Many people think that Yoga is just stretching or twisting the body into various complicated shapes and poses. Or maybe you think it’s just some down time to go over your to do list (hehe Carla used to do this!). However, inside our online Yoga (and Pilates) Studio, MerryBody, we teach you that Yoga is much more than that. One of the things we love the most is the benefits of Yoga for stress management.
It’s like you start the class feeling blahh and after… it’s like ahhh.
The key to getting the best out of each Yoga session is absolutely focusing on your breath. In doing so, you immediately bring yourself into the present moment allowing the stress of the past or future to fall away.
Regularly practicing Yoga increases your ability to calm yourself down, focus, balance, and relax. Here is what happens in the body when you do Yoga and how the process relieves stress.
The Benefits of Yoga for Stress Management
Yoga clears your mind
Our minds are constantly active, spinning scenarios for the future, dwelling on the past situations. In Yoga we call this the Manas Mind or the Monkey Mind. And this continuous racing from one thought to another is tiring and stressful.
It puts your mind in a state of constant stress and worry, which is very harmful not just to your present moment but also in the long run of your life. Ongoing stress can lead to many health complications.
Yoga offers several techniques for taming your racing mind. Each breath and each Yoga movement are tied to the present moment because you cannot breathe in the future or in the past; you have to be in the present moment, feeling your lungs fill with air. Allowing all of your thoughts to simply (sometimes not so simply by the way!) float out of the mind and concentrating all of your attention on each breath allows you to clear your mind completely.
Yoga teaches breath control
Breathwork, in Yoga we call this Pranayama (translated to Lifeforce Control) is a crucial part of any Yoga practice. Once you know the techniques it can (and should) be used on and off the mat.
Inside MerryBody Online Studio we will teach you how to increase your awareness of the breath, which can be used as a tool for relaxing the body. As well as many other techniques including Alternate Nostril Breathing, Ujayii Breath, and more.
Learning the technique of correctly taking deep breaths can be a quick way to combat stressful situations, and it is going to come in handy for when you’re feeling anxious, angry, frustrated or impatient.
When you learn to actually breathe properly (most people only breathe into their chests! Missing out on soooo much oxygen and goodness), you allow the body to move into the Parasympathetic Nervous System, this is where your body de-stresses, rejuvenates and rests.
This is such a benefit of Yoga for stress management and one of the comments we receive daily inside MerryBody. If all you do is breathe deeply for 5 minutes, your body and mind will thank you.
Yoga is a form of moving meditation
Yoga is like a moving meditation, and the way you move into and through the Yoga poses (we call these Asanas), acts as a form of active meditation.
The poses are physical (some of them are really challenging), and they require attention, physical strength, and flexibility to be done correctly.
That means that, while you are doing Yoga, it takes your full brainpower. It’s so much easier to allow all other thoughts and worries to be put aside… if you don’t, you usually realise by falling off your mat or losing balance. This time of clear and concise focus gives your mind a break, providing moments of relaxation and stress free living.
Relaxation through Savasana
We encourage you, after each Yoga session inside our Online Yoga Studio MerryBody, to end with 5-10 minutes in Savasana, or, corpse pose. We have a beautiful guided session called Guided Savasana Magic in the Studio which one of the most listened to Meditations (for good reason, it’s MAGIC!).
If you are just starting out on your Yoga journey, you should note that this pose is going to feel a bit strange in the beginning. Literally, you just lie on the ground, close your eyes and let everything go (especially the mind).
Enforced relaxation can be a bit challenging to get used to in the beginning. However, eventually, you will love this pose because of the purpose it serves. Savasana is a total release for both body and mind that transitions you back into the world, feeling relaxed, refreshed, ready, and equipped with the tools to deal with every day-to-day stressful situations you may encounter.
It’s a posture where you are encouraged to let go of the mind and tension in the body in order to make room for all that’s to come.
Walk it off the mat…
When it comes to the benefits of Yoga for stress management, the most important thing to remember is that simply showing up and doing the Yoga class will help you with your stress.
The more you do something ON the mat, the more likely you will be to walk it off the mat.
It’s all well and good to have 30 minutes of bliss in the day, but really, we want to alleviate the stress in the other 14 waking hours you have each day!
If you practice your deep breathing in class, you will notice, that your body will start to breathe deeper in everyday life.
If you practice letting the thoughts go in class, the more likely you will be able to quit jumping onto the stories that your mind is trying to tell you.
It’s not really a matter of IF Yoga helps you manage stress, the answer it simple: Yoga helps you manage stress!
It’s a given that all of this will happen simply by showing up and doing your best.
After reading all this we’re guessing you’re a little intrigued and inspired to get more Yoga into your life! The best thing is, you can test out MerryBody Online Studio for free!
The first 7 days are completely FREE. This means risk-free! 7 days of UNLIMITED Online Yoga and Pilates classes!
Inside the Online Studio, you’ll have access to 100s of Yoga and Pilates classes. We have classes from beginner to challenge, we also include modifications in ALL classes.
Our goal is to make Yoga (and Pilates) do-able for all levels of fitness. You’ll feel empowered and energised to get on the mat and do your MerryBody class.
We really care about you and your results, you can even message us privately when you’re a member!
And maybe the biggest difference with MerryBody is that it’s all about shifting your mindset, so you can change your relationship with working out and your body. You’ll learn to cultivate a positive mindset that changes the voice in your head from “I need to lose weight” or “I’m not good enough” to “I’m doing this because I actually enjoy it and because it feels good”.
And this feeling… it liquid gold!
If you have any questions about MerryBody or Yoga and how it is so amazing for stress management, let us know, we’d love to hear from you.
Emma + Carla