By Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Sometimes, Yoga teachers are called in to a corporate facility, an office, or a manufacturing facility, to organize a stress management program. The management is forward thinking enough to realize absenteeism, tardiness, morale, and production, will improve, if employees can learn to manage their stress levels.

Very often, one of the first questions the employees will ask is, “Do we have to talk about what is bothering us?” Obviously, people do not want to discuss anything personal in a group session, with their co-workers.

The solution is for the Yoga teacher to make him or herself available for private or semi-private discussions. I mention semi-private, because sometimes a family member is present for these discussions.

In a large company, this can be very time-consuming. Therefore, this should be discussed with the company before one takes on the additional responsibility. There is also the option for students to meet with you for a private or semi-private consultation at your Yoga studio. Sometimes, solutions that seem obvious, from the outside, are not so easily found, from within, when we are stressed out.

For many of us, stress tends to have a cumulative effect on our health and well-being. Stress can cause violent outbursts and change our life for the worst. Small daily problems tend to add up over a period of time, until we feel like we are ready to “burst at the seams.”

Some people keep their feelings to themselves. Unfortunately, this is much like placing a time bomb in the middle of a toxic waste dump. The more we hold our emotions in, the more likely we may lose our temper on an “off day.”

Worse yet, we may become very aggressive toward someone who has nothing to do with the real problem. A good example of this is road rage. Some people become violent toward other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians, on the road, but they do not know the people they threaten. The consequences of one violent action can be fatal or life altering.

Therefore, stress overload can potentially become a violent situation, and the cause should be identified, before it is too late. One way to have students track the situations, which cause them stress, is to have them carry a pocket diary. This may seem to be a useless exercise, at first, but a diary is a great way to track stress triggers in daily life.

Once the cause of a stressful internal conflict is identified, it is much easier for someone to find reasonable solutions. There are many forms of therapy for stress. Yoga is just one of them, but Yoga can work in conjunction with all of them.

© Copyright 2008 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

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