These days, it’s not a surprise that the mindful movement and breathing exercises involved in yoga have numerous benefits for our health and well-being. Conversely, the majority of us are all too familiar with the chronic stresses of our modern lifestyle; being constantly ‘on’: working, emailing, texting, planning, and always doing more. This steady barrage of stressful stimuli doesn’t allow our bodies and minds time to properly recoup and rejuvenate. What is worse is that we often feel like this lifestyle is unavoidable and out of our control. Happily however, studies continually highlight yoga’s ability to effectively manage stress and since many chronic conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, anxiety, depression, and even back pain are exacerbated by stress, it behooves us to learn how to deal with it.
So, what can we do to counter chronic stress if we can’t work less or avoid those emails? We can begin to establish a daily practice of pushing the pause button and listening to our body, mind, and heart. Not only does this help restore balance in our physical body systems so that our immune, digestive, and nervous systems can function better, but we also begin to make healthier lifestyle choices since we are operating from a more composed state of mind.
We start to make wiser choices about what we do with our time, what we choose to eat, and even how we interact with others. The beauty of this ancient practice of looking inward is that the more we honor and learn about ourselves the better we actually understand the world and our place in it. Commit to a daily yoga practice of even just 15 minutes for 30 days and see for yourself just how far the benefits extend!