Yoga can help us to handle emotions and those moments when stress and anxiety levels arise, symptoms that can be triggered by many reasons. One of them can be the ending of our holidays, those relaxing and fun days that always excite us. Maybe we are traveling and discovering new places, visiting loved ones or we are focusing on ourselves and breaking the routine.
Anxiety, stress and in some cases even depression can appear when we start thinking about returning to our activities and work. These unpleasant sensations could be caused by the accumulated work, a demanding routine or simply because we wish that our holidays last longer. Stress can help to avoid danger, but sometimes we feel stress in situations that aren’t dangerous. When these feelings last for long periods of time, they can impact our health and destroy our inner peace. Yoga can be positive as a tool to deal with challenges in life. Numerous studies demonstrate the benefits of Yoga as a method to prevent and manage anxiety and stress-related disorders. From postures or asanas to conscious breathing or pranayamas, we can perceive how our mood begins to change and emotions and thoughts calm down in a few minutes.
How and why can Yoga help you to reduce stress and anxiety
In ancient times, yogis dedicated their lives to the mastery of the body and the mind. Living in peaceful environments, they consciously observed the animals and their loneliness, how they moved, rested and instinctively healed themselves when they got sick. These ancient yogis experienced the different animal’s postures in their own bodies. They started to notice the subtle effects of those movements on their organs and glands.
Through thousands of years of experimentation, these postures that yogis invented were refined into a scientific system of asanas. Many of them were named as the animal that inspired the posture: cobra, butterfly, dog, lion and more. This means that long before scientists knew about the endocrine glands and their functions, these ancient yogis discovered the connection between emotions and hormones.
They found that the endocrine system affects the emotions and the mind, so they developed these postures to exert specific pressure on the endocrine glands. The years passed and science has proved that these masters were right. Many studies confirm that Yoga has been found positive to regularize the autonomic nervous system function. It’s favorable for the heart, blood pressure and glucose, helps to reduce cortisol, plasma and urea levels. The scientists also discovered that Yoga has an immediate calming effect on the stress response of the HPA axes (Hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis.) And if we talk about its spiritual teachings, one of the first lessons that Yoga gives us is accepting the present moment as it is, even when our posture or personal moment it is not perfect.
Yoga practice and this neutral attitude can encourage us to live the return from holidays as a normal process. Everything has a beginning and an end, everything is part of a continuous cycle of changes. If we embrace these moments, they will cause us less suffering and resistance.
Conscious breathing technique
In addition to postures, yoga offers other wonderful practices as the conscious breathing. It’s especially beneficial when we are sad, stressed or anxious. Let’s see a simple breath in 4 parts that you can practice to feel calm and peace:
First, inhale mentally counting 1, 2, 3, 4. Inhale in these four counts continuously without any pauses.
Then, hold the air and mentally count up to 4. Exhale all the air at the same time that you mentally count up to 4, continuously and without any
After breathing out, remain in vacuum and mentally count 1, 2, 3, 4.
Start the cycle again. Repeat these steps at least 1-3 minutes or more if you have practice.
This is an easy and useful technique that anyone can do. Notice the difference in your emotions and thoughts before starting this conscious breathing and after finishing it.
Motivate yourself with a positive point of view
Something simple that we can do if we like Yoga, is to think that our Yoga practice can be a sacred time to have fun and connect with our inner peace. Even a short 15-30 minutes practice can change the perception of our problems and it will have benefits on our health, emotions and mind. If right after holidays we can’t attend classes due to the volume of responsibilities, we can always
practice at home a short meditation or conscious breathing. I also love to carry my yoga crystal set and my infused water bottle in my bag with me, or if practicing at home, place them out in the room with me. I also have a beautiful limited edition, handmade yoga crystal bracelet on the site now.
You can grab your yoga goodies here!