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Yoga for stress management

The benefits of yoga include decreased stress and tension, increased strength and balance, increased flexibility, lowered Blood Pressure and reduced cholesterol levels at all times.   Yoga emphasizes on breathing connecting the Body, Breath and Mind bringing in positive emotional balance.  People who practice yoga frequently report that they sleep better and feel less stressed.

To begin changing the way you react to stress, you’ll need to understand how it typically affects the body.  If your mind interprets a stressful event as an emergency threat, it triggers an immediate response in the autonomic nervous system.  Over a period of time, the chronic stress takes a toll on the body and brain, leading to all kinds of health problems, including insomnia, depression, chronic pain, and  cardiovascular disorders.

How do we explain why participants in the aerobics group didn’t derive the same benefit as the participants who practiced Yoga?

Some of the poses, such as Dharnurasana (Bow Pose) or Shirsasana (Headstand) are likely to cause a strong sympathetic nervous system reaction for stress management.  But as you learn to hold these poses with a calm mind, focusing on the breath, it trains how to remain calm in stressful situations.

In other words, the physical challenge of a pose becomes the equivalent of a stressor.  If you do aerobics, which has no direct breathing or mindfulness component, the physical challenge can trigger a full-fledged stress response in the body.  However, when physical demands are met with mindfulness and steady breathing, as they are in yoga, the nervous system responds differently. It maintains activation while keeping an underlying sense of calm.  It remains skillfully engaged without going into full-fledged fight-or-flight mode.

 At first, you will need to very consciously tap into this response during yoga practice by focusing on the breathing and thoughts.   Nevertheless, with enough conscious practice, the rehearsed challenge response can become an ingrained automatic response - on and off the mat.  Yoga also trains the nervous system to return to balance quickly after a challenge response.  By alternating strenuous poses with gentler ones, yoga conditions to move easily between states of challenge and rest.  Letting go of all effort in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) for example, seals in this flexibility, because the pose teaches the nervous system to let go once the challenges of your practice have been met.

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Yoga Bharata [Abhyaasa Yoga Shala] offers its participants a chance to escape from the heave and buzz of everyday life, where people can leave behind the noise and enjoy the yogic way of life – which is a journey to re-connect with their inner selves through different types of yoga postures and Meditation

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