Yoga and Meditation for Stress Reduction

Many people picture yoga as a posturing practice, but it’s necessary to remember that meditation and pranayama are monumental parts of a complete practice. Meditation has been demonstrated to not only decrease stress levels, but also induce changes in brain physiology. Eileen Luders, a researcher in the UCLA School of Medicine, conducted a study in 2009 that compared the MRIs of 22 meditators, with 5-46 years of experience, with 22 non-meditators, and found that meditators had increased gray matter in the areas of the brain associated with attention, regulating emotions, and decision-making. In effect, meditators were more focused and better equipped to deal with negative or stressful situations and make logical, mindful decisions. Similarly, in 2009, Philippe Goldin, a project director in Stanford University, monitored individuals taking an 8-week course on meditation and yoga.

Yoga for Transforming Stress Into Positive Energy

The very first stress management method suggested on the website of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America is to practice yoga. Focusing on yoga or exercise allows you to free yourself from whatever is causing your negative feelings.

Teaching Yoga To a Stressed Out Population

Stress is actually resistance to sensory inputs that are unfamiliar or disturbing. Stress, or resistance, builds up in the body with unhealthy consequences over time. Yoga, especially hatha yoga's physical regimen, provides the means of releasing stress from the body.

The Benefits of Yoga Practice in Relation to Stress

Practicing yoga gives your body a designated time to relax in what can often be a hectic life. It improves muscle strength as well as blood circulation which in turn works to detoxify the body’s major organs. The calming effect brought on by deep breathing and the meditative state often experienced throughout and almost always at the end of a yogic session stabilises the autonomic nervous system which works to bring about more balance within the body.

Yoga Therapy for Chronic Stress

Ultimately, yogic medicine is a way of life and not a series of exercises. Contrary to modern notions, yoga is not simply something that you do. In order to truly receive the benefits of the yogic lifestyle, practitioners must move from simply practicing yoga to living it.

Restorative Yoga to Reduce Stress

After practicing restorative yoga regularly, many students begin to notice a release of anxiety within the body, which they did not perceive before. They learn to calm anxiety faster. This skill helps them to reduce stress both on and off of their yoga mat.

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