Yoga has been practiced for centuries and is known to have incredible benefits for the mind and body. One of the most notable benefits is its ability to reduce stress and anxiety. High stress levels are common among people today, no matter what age you are. Practicing yoga on a regular basis allows people to cultivate a relationship with their mind and body that can help to manage that stress, while improving overall well-being. Here’s how incorporating yoga into your life can help you manage your stress:
Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands in response to stress. High levels of cortisol can lead to a range of health issues, including anxiety, depression, and even weight gain. Studies have shown that yoga can lower cortisol levels in the body, which helps to reduce the symptoms that coincide with high cortisol.
The foundations of yoga lie in connecting to your breathing. Practicing deep breathing techniques can help to lower heart rate and blood pressure, which are both associated with stress. Yoga classes teach about different breathing techniques that help you build a better relationship to your breath, allowing you to use it as a tool even outside of your practice. Regular practice of yoga can improve lung capacity, making it easier to breathe and reducing feelings of anxiety.
Mindfulness is the practice of being present with your body, your thoughts, and your feelings. Yoga encourages mindfulness by requiring you to focus on your breath and movements. This helps to quiet the mind and reduce racing thoughts, which can lead to feelings of stress and anxiety. Learning how to achieve a quieter mind through the practice of connecting to your physical body can help you gain awareness of reality, and bring you a sense of calm.
Yoga is known for its ability to promote relaxation and reduce tension in the body. By practicing yoga, you can release physical and mental tension, which can help to reduce stress levels. Circling back to breathing, because yoga encourages deep and mindful breath, your body and mind are able to relax much more easily which helps reduce the overwhelm from anxiety and stress. Additionally, yoga can help you to sleep better, which is critical for managing stress and anxiety.
Endorphins are chemicals produced by the brain that are responsible for feelings of happiness and pleasure. Yoga has been shown to boost endorphin levels, which can help to reduce stress and improve overall mood. Simply showing up for yourself on your yoga mat a few times a week can drastically improve your mood through this endorphin boost.
With consistent practice, you can experience the many benefits of yoga and achieve a greater sense of well-being. While yoga can help with managing stress and anxiety, there are a number of other reasons that it can help you in your day-to-day life. At Integrated Counseling and Wellness, we offer private yoga sessions that allow you to release the fear and overwhelm in your life and focus on feeling good and connecting to your body. To learn more about the services we offer, visit our website for a complete list.