The 5 steps to destressing your life with Yoga

Discover holistic wellbeing with your practise.

From bubble-baths to the idiot box, in the packed days of modern living, we are constantly looking for quick ways to escape from the worries of job lists and Monday mornings. Very often, we aren’t even conscious of how stressed out we are. What we don’t realise is that simply by being conscious of our stress, we can tap into our own inner resources to relax and energise ourselves.

Yoga is an ancient practice that you can use right at home, to zap you out of those 9-5 blues. Here are 5 ways in which Yoga can help you, de-stress.

1. Connect with your breath.
Often, without realising it, we breathe ineffectively. With our shoulders pulled up and running frantically from task to task, our chests close and our breath becomes shallow. Yoga teaches us to truly understand the power of our own breath. Breathing deeply and consciously we may find ourselves energised and calmed. Pranayam is the ancient practise of controlling your breath. Over time, with practise, Pranayam can alter how you breathe even when you are not practising Yoga. From Kapalbhati, to Brahmari Pranayam, your journey through your breath can be a powerful tool in your arsenal against stress.

2. Open your body.
You can truly unclench those shoulders and let go off deep-seated stress within the body through Yoga. Stretches and poses can help your body, step off the stress cycle and relax. The poses themselves can also help you soothe sore muscles. Try Baal Asana or Child’s Pose, allowing the act of leaning forward and resting to unwind. Shavasana, practised mindfully can also help you let go of all that tension in your limbs.

3. Unhook your Mind.
Another symptom of stress is the vicious cycle of thoughts that can circle within our minds. Constantly bombarded with multiple deadlines and expectations, we can forget to catch our breath, getting more and more anxious in the process. The act of focussing on your breath and meditation can be a wonderful and nurturing practise in helping us to control and calm our thoughts. Over time we can discover that mindfulness can help us unhook from the spiral of stress, more and more easily with practise.

4. Be present in your body.
Another side-effect of stress can be the disequilibrium of the mind-body connection. Stress creates negative feedback in our body, activating our fight or flight response and stimulating the production of adrenalin. When you are anxious your nervous system is causing for your blood pressure and pulse to rise, putting pressure on your heart. It can cause queasiness, exhaustion. By harnessing the power of your mind over your body, and of your bodies impact on your mind, you can bring yourself to a more tranquil and happy place.
Yoga helps you strengthen your mind-body connection using your breath to focus your mind, using your mind to calm your pulse and using the act of stretching your limbs to create a sense of deeper well-being.

5. Talk to your mind.
Very often we are anxious about things subconsciously and therefore we do not resolve them. A lack of awareness can create snowballing anxiety which in turn begins to impact how we react to new challenges. Yoga is a great practise when it comes to creating greater awareness within yourself. The clarity that meditation can bring you, often helps you to see and resolve your problems. You can use your Yoga practise as a means of spring cleaning your mind and letting go of your emotional baggage.

Yoga is a journey that can help your tap into inner reserves you never knew you had. It is a kinder way to destress helping you build your capacity to handle stress rather than simply letting you escape from it. So, go on then, before Monday begins, bring out that Yoga mat and rise above the grind.