• Karin Wilson Edmonds

Stressed? Try Yoga - 3 Ways Yoga Reduces Stress

If you're looking for a quick and easy way to reduce your stress, yoga is it!

Research suggests that yoga balances the stress response as well as enhances your mood and overall sense of well-being. Now how cool is that?

As a mind/body practice, yoga includes a combination of physical poses, controlled breathing and some type of meditation. These three elements work magic together to reduce your experience of stress as well as lower blood pressure and heart rate for some people.

The best news is pretty much anyone can do it! I've taught yoga to people ranging in age from 5 to 85!

Yoga has many styles and forms. Hatha, Gentle or Restorative yoga are all good choices for stress management. These styles are all fairly slow with easier movements which can be adapted to most people, even people with chronic joint pain.

Yoga reduces stress by promoting the opposite of stress - the relaxation of mind, body and breath.

Here are three main ways that yoga reduces stress:

Yoga relaxes the mind by encouraging you to observe your thoughts without judging them. I often say in class, "Just let your thoughts pass like clouds overhead, without paying much attention to them."

Yoga relaxes the body by taking the body through various types of movements, including restorative poses, ending with Savasana, a deep relaxation pose.

Yoga relaxes the breath by slowing it down. Slowing down the breath sends a signal to the body to slow down and relax.

Here's the link to my short breathing meditation if you want to try it out now: https://youtu.be/tEEX4v0Yo7I

So why not make yoga part of your stress management toolkit!

Sources: The Mayo Clinic & Harvard Health.