By Amanda Azizi on Oct, 07, 2016
No matter what everyone says, living a stressful life is not necessary. Your friends may say that this is normal, that they are all having the same struggles with the demands of life. However, continually being in a tense state can take its toll on your body particularly health and is also not good for your state of mind.
This is not the kind of life I choose to live. Much like my friends, I thought stress was just a part of life. However, when I started to feel tense all the time and worried about every tiny thing, I wondered if that was still normal. I would toss and turn in bed every night, unable to fall asleep and wake up just as exhausted. I was also grumpy and every little thing would get me upset. I wanted to get away from it all because even a few days off were just not enough to recover.
I finally decided that I needed to do something more proactive about achieving the quality of life I wanted. The day-to-day struggles are normal, but I couldn’t anymore leave them behind. I decided to try out yoga to fight stress. I was convinced that this practice will help me tune out and relax better. I quickly searched around for a place that offers yoga classes and enrolled myself immediately.
To prepare myself for my first class, I did a bit of research to know what to expect. I knew so far that we would be doing poses, breathing and relaxation exercises that would help me reduce my stress levels, lower my heart rate and blood pressure. The fact that anyone could do it was also very encouraging. I was not a very athletic person, but as there are poses perfect for beginners like me, I did not feel pressured to do more than I am physically able to.
There are many different styles of yoga, and for people who look to manage stress, Hatha yoga is the perfect choice. It is quite common and is a bit slow-paced and easier, perfect for beginners like me. Not only will you feel less tense, but you will find a more positive approach to life and be able to handle situations better.
In order to enjoy the benefits of yoga, it requires the combination of the following:
Also called asanas, these poses release tension and negativity from your body. There are specific postures that are great for this purpose, the Bow Pose, Fish Pose, and One-legged Forward Bend being among them. It is, however, important to lie down in Yoga Nidra position to relax your mind and body for a few minutes and allow toxins to be flushed out of your system.
Also called pranayamas, there are also various practices that you can try like Alternate Nostril Breathing (where you exhale longer than inhale) that are perfect for relieving yourself of tension. Moreover, focusing on each breath frees your mind of unnecessary thoughts that make you worry.
In order to relax your mind, try to meditate. Not only does it make you feel calmer and at peace, you can understand and later on control how your mind works and reacts in certain situations. You can later on “train” your brain not to get anxious and stressed so quickly.
Applying the principles of yoga can help achieve a happier, balanced and healthier life. For example, the Santosha principle will teach you to become more content. The Aprigraha principle, on the other hand, will help you overcome the desire to have it all. This can, in turn, lessen the stress of working hard to earn enough and even comparing yourself to others.
It is the whole combination of these four factors that makes yoga popular to people who are sick and tired of being in a rat race. Life is short, after all, to always be pressured and worse, unhappy. I am glad to have finally taken control and made the decision to do something about it. Yoga was the way for me to do a complete change in my life, from being a victim of stress to being happier and healthier.