It’s hard to be productive or to simply go through your day when you feel stressed. Stress is common, especially among adults. Although it is not as serious as other health issues, it can lead to further complications if left unmanaged.

The wonderful thing about stress is that there are lots of ways to manage it. It can never fully go away but it can be relieved by simple measures. Among them are eating well, engaging in hobbies, and another one that’s proven to be effective—exercising. Exercise has a huge positive impact on how we handle stressful moments. One of the best types of exercise to relieve stress levels is none other than yoga.

For many centuries, yoga has proven itself to be an effective tool in self-development. It strengthens our bodies and increases our mindfulness, both of which are keys to improving our overall well-being. Having a better sense of self allows us to have more control of how we handle stress at a present moment. So, if you want to reduce stress better to live happier, then you better go grab that yoga mat!

 

What is stress?

Stress pertains to feeling overwhelmed or not being able to cope up with either emotional or mental pressure. This is a normal occurrence among us and it can happen anywhere—whether at work, at school, or even at home.

Our nervous system controls our breathing, vision, heart rate, and more. It also has its built-in stress response which helps our body deal with stressful situations. However, if the stress response is continuously activated, it can also leave a negative impact on our bodies. Too much stress can cause physical, emotional, and behavioral issues such as:

  • Aches or pains
  • Chest pain or having an increased heart rate
  • Sleeping disorders
  • Exhaustion
  • Headaches, dizziness, etc.
  • High blood pressure
  • Muscle tension
  • Weakened immune system

The health benefits of yoga practice in stress reduction

Many studies have shown how yoga relieves stress. Practicing yoga in the morning, at lunch, and night can help reduce stress and increase productivity. Every yoga pose and deep breathing not just strengthen us physically but also enable us to focus on ourselves and uplift our mood.

Here are some of the health benefits of yoga:

  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Improves quality of sleep
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Lowers heart rate
  • Relieves muscle tension
  • Helps improve various medical issues
  • Promotes spiritual growth
  • Slows down aging

Stress relief techniques in yoga practice

There are many aspects to yoga that make it an ideal workout for stress relief. It is a type of workout that does not just focus on the physical aspects of a person, but also the spiritual one. Yoga is about knowing and memorizing the way our body works for us to truly understand what we need.

Some of us aren’t good at dealing with stress because we don’t know how to handle ourselves properly. However, by doing the following things below, we will be able to reduce stress better in no time.

Stretching

Yoga is famous for stretching. There are different yoga poses, each catered to touching certain parts of our mind and body. The difficulty of each posture may range from being super easy to very challenging.  But the bottom line is that each yoga pose strengthens our muscles, improves our flexibility, and promotes better mobility.

Stretching will help us loosen tightened muscles and release the tension from the body. This is why lots of people advise stretching in the morning—to condition yourself physically and mentally for the challenges that the day might bring.

Controlled breathing

Breathing is also a very important factor to combat stress. Yoga poses will only be executed perfectly if they’re accompanied by proper deep breathing techniques. It provides our muscles with the support it needs to move into the positions. Yoga teaches us how to control our breathing and the importance of it to our overall health.

If you suddenly feel stressed and feel that your blood pressure is rising, try to close your eyes and breathe deeply and slowly. This is a technique that many people do when they are trying to calm down.

Meditation

The best thing about yoga is that it’s completely relaxing. It allows you to focus on your inner self and finding peace within. Once you can improve your focus and energy, you will become more productive. This is also a great way to practice a healthier perspective towards life.

 

Precautions in doing yoga for stress relief

Practicing yoga is generally safe and beneficial. It would be hard to imagine that anything could go wrong in such a relaxing exercise as this. However, just like in everything else, we still need to take certain precautions. The purpose of this is to avoid any unwanted incident from taking place, especially if any of the following conditions apply to you:

  • Avoid practicing yoga if you have an illness or are in a state of exhaustion or acute stress conditions.
  • Women should avoid regular yoga practice while on their menstruation. They can instead engage in relaxation techniques and pranayama.
  • If you have any injuries or just came out from surgery, it would be best to refrain from yoga as well.
  • Pregnant women can practice yoga. This is essential in preparing them for labor. However, make sure to only do the yoga poses that are considered safe for the trimester you are in to avoid any complications.

Which type of yoga is the best to release stress?

Many types of yoga were developed over the years. Each style of yoga is dedicated to a specific group of people or a certain goal. For instance, those who are aiming to lose weight should opt for more intense yoga classes such as Vinyasa, Bikram, and Power yoga. There is also yoga for pregnant women and new moms called prenatal and post-natal yoga. In this case, the best yoga to relieve stress is Hatha yoga.

Hatha Yoga for stress management

Hatha yoga is mostly gentle stretching. It is a more slow-paced yoga class that allows us to focus on each movement, with a resting posture in between each movement. This type of yoga is best to reduce stress because it only focuses on doing each yoga pose while breathing deeply.

If you want to take a deep dive into relaxation and learn how to master the art of managing stress through Hatha, consider joining a good yoga class led by an experienced and reliable instructor.

Yoga poses for stress relief

Here are the following poses that will help us relax and reduce the stress and anxiety that we feel:

1. Cat-Cow Pose

 

This pose is ideal for reducing the stress and tension in the body for sitting too long. It involves extending and flexing the spine, that’s accompanied by focused inhale and exhale.

2. Corpse Pose


 

Although this pose looks simple enough, it helps reduce stress by releasing the tension in the body. It is also great for rejuvenating the body and mind.

3. Child’s Pose


 

This is a deeper stretch that’s very comfortable and relaxing. It helps reduce anxiety and fatigue by calming our minds.

4. Seated Forward Bend and Standing Forward Bend

 


The forward bends or forward folds are ideal for soothing the nervous system. This can help reduce our stress levels in situations that normally get our heart rate up. These poses require having to bend forward, whether standing or sitting down on the mat.

 

How to get started with yoga to manage stress

If you’re starting yoga for the first time, do it right by studying a little bit about it. Try to learn the types of yoga and find out which one is best for attaining your goal. You can also read an article about it or research on various websites on how to get started with start yoga practice. Choosing a yoga class can be a little bit overwhelming, so try reaching out to a yoga instructor to guide you. If you want to reduce stress through yoga easily, it would be best to engage in the best yoga classes in Singapore.

 

About the Author​

Lynette is fully dedicated to the support and empowerment of the growing community of committed yoga students and teachers. As one of the Lead Instructors for Yoga Teacher Training, she is here to share tips on how to grow your profile as a yoga teacher or build a yoga business either physically or digitally.