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How Yoga Can Combat Stress

How Yoga Can Combat Stress

Let’s face it; life can be stressful - trying to juggle our busy lives, work and family with a constant stream of digital media and news. To compound this, intrusive and negative thoughts can exacerbate our feelings of anxiety and depression. Hence the current popularity of “mindfulness”, a meditation technique that encourages us to be aware of how our thoughts are driving our emotions and behaviour. Yoga is a useful tool in the mindfulness box, helping practitioners of this ancient form of exercise to de-stress and create some mind space from the worries that occupy the brain. These are just five ways in which yoga it can be beneficial in achieving this: -

1. Yoga boosts physical and mental wellbeing, helping you achieve peace in both mind and body. It has been found to be particularly helpful for people suffering from conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

2. With its emphasis on slow movements, postures and controlled breathing, yoga can calm and relax you, lowering both your heart rate and blood pressure. It can also be positively helpful if you suffer from insomnia.

3. Studies have found a higher level of GABA, an amino acid that is vital to the brain and central nervous system and that promotes feelings of calm, in people who practise yoga rather than other forms of exercise.

4. The deep feeling of rest promoted by yoga is believed to boost energy metabolism and positively improve the immune system, cognitive function and insulin secretion.

5. Yoga releases tension and lowers the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the body, improving your mood and promoting a feeling of calm.

If this all sounds positive and you think that yoga might help you, a yoga mat, loose, non-restrictive clothing and a quiet space are all that you need to take time out, relax your body and mind and make room just to stretch, move gently, be still and live in the moment.

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