Stress is associated with various diseases that are causing so many health issues in America. It is the way our bodies protect us from danger and prepare us for fight or flight mode. Stress pushes your adrenaline into over drive and helps you rise to the occasion of meeting deadlines and overcoming various challenges. However, at a certain point chronic stress begins to cause significant damage to your productivity, your health, your relationships and your mood which compromises your quality of life.
It’s funny that we don’t realize how important our health is other than when it comes to food. Your health just can’t stop at food; it has to come full circle with your mental and emotional health. We are so caught up on watching the number on the scale that we forget to effectively manage our day to day stress levels. This ultimately causes some us to over eat or not eat at all. Meditation and yoga are the beginning of the best physical practices you could implement into your lifestyle. Yoga and meditation have known effects on positively effecting stress. Yoga is used to re-establish a balance within your body while meditation soothes and calms the mind. Studies have shown that these ancient practices can reduce the number of hospital visits and stress related issues between 75% to 90%.
A well known meditation exercise, Nadi Shodhan, alternate nostril breathing, helps keep the mind calm, happy and peaceful. It helps relieves stress, accumulated tension and fatigue. The following are benefits of its practice.
- Works therapeutically for most circulatory and respiratory problems.
- Releases accumulated stress in the mind and body effectively and helps relax.
- Helps harmonize the left and right hemispheres of the brain, which correlate to the logical and emotional sides of our personality.
- Helps purify and balance the nadis, the subtle energy channels, thereby ensuring smooth flow of energy through the body.
- Maintains body temperature.
Here is a video to help you learn how to practice this exercise at your leisure Nadi Shodhana Video
Asanas “to be seated in a position that is firm, but relaxed” Yoga, aids in restoring balance to the body and its metabolic systems. Practicing asanas will increase physical stamina and calm the nervous system. This practice alone helps improve circulation, respiration, and concentration which can have major effects on how well your body copes with stress.
Here are a few of my favorite poses (always consult your doctor before participating in any physical activity regimen):
- Gently stretches the hips, thighs, and ankles
- Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and fatigue
- Relieves back and neck pain when done with head and torso supported
- Strengthens the ankles, thighs, calves, and spine
- Stretches shoulders and chest
- Stimulates the abdominal organs, diaphragm, and heart
- Reduces flat feet
- Strengthens the abdomen, hip flexors, and spine
- Stimulates the kidneys, thyroid and prostate glands, and intestines
- Helps relieve stress
- Improves digest
There are plenty of additional poses you can try to help relax and realign your body. The following link provides an A- Z link of Asanas Yoga poses for you to try. Yoga Poses Because let’s face it, we all know how crazy we look trying to figure out how to actually do some of these yoga poses.
Implementing these practices in your daily routine can aid in making you feel a lot better at managing life and your many hats without worrying about your stress levels, which are their own challenges. Although, there are days when you will feel tired and find it tough to juggle the many responsibilities on your plate, one thing is for sure … you will be a better and potentially healthier you!