There is such a thing as being physically healthy while also being extremely stressed. However, this is a precarious balance that can’t be maintained for long, simply because stress inevitably affects physical health. The American Psychological Association provides an overview of how much stress, particularly chronic stress, can actually introduce prolonged changes to your physiology. In short, if your mission is to achieve holistic health, you can’t do it without an effective way to battle stress, which is where yoga enters the picture.
But before anything else, it’s important to understand that the source of your stress is unimportant in this equation. An article published on Lottoland lists the most common causes of stress as the following: money, job, the economy, family, relationships, family health, and personal health. Simply put, nearly every aspect of our lives can cause significant stress. They also mention how the most common reported signs or symptoms of stress include irritability, insomnia, fatigue, and a general lack of motivation. It’s clear that stress can be a killer, and that it can come from anywhere. But how can yoga fight it better than any other stress-beating exercise?
The answer to this lies in understanding another important fact: yoga is a mind-body practice. While it’s more popularly known today as a way to shed excess pounds – thanks to modern yoga studios – yoga actually originated as a way of bringing harmony between the mind and the body. Journalist Ramya Achanta wrote a feature on StyleCraze “a deeply spiritual practice that is part philosophy, religion, science, and exercise.” The word yoga itself actually comes from the Sanskrit word “Yuj,” which essentially translates as “to unite.” We’re not saying that you need to achieve spiritual balance in order to battle stress – although it will certainly help. But even without delving into the deepest traditions of the ancient practice, consistently practicing the rudimentary principles and poses of yoga can serve as protection against the main causes of stress in your life.
After finishing several classes and ensuring that you’re properly attaining and maintaining the poses, you will be competent enough to practice it on your own. Ideally you’ll need a large mirror in order to correct your poses on the spot, but if you hone your muscle memory enough through consistent practice, you can do yoga anywhere, whether you’re at home, on vacation, traveling for business, beside a stream in the forest, on a mountain summit, or even in the break room at work. And it’s not just yogis and fitness enthusiasts who can attest to yoga’s stress-beating properties. Psychology Today reveals how yoga is widely accepted by the medical community as a powerful way of handling life’s daily stressors.
To find out which type of yoga can help you beat stress, check out our own recommendations here at True Nature Travels. You should also find the nearest yoga studios in your neighborhood to see which ones offer free or discounted classes for beginners. Technically speaking, every type of yoga can be used to manage stress – it’s up to you to find which ones you prefer so you can practice regularly. The more consistently you practice, the better chances you have against major stress.