Yoga requires a few things that impact and reduce your stress level, says CHERYL MACDONALD, and the first stress-reducing component is breathing.
When we become calm, this stabalizes the functioning of the mind. Many yoga styles have a structured breathing protocol. When you focus on your breathing, it automatically lowers cortisol (a stress hormone) and it lowers your heart rate.
Additionally, yoga requires great focus. Some poses not only ask you to hold your body in a balanced position, they also ask you to pay attention to your body and make slight adjustments to improve the pose. You’re looking inward and focusing solely on your body and the very moment you’re in. This focus reduces stress. It’s akin to meditation and it’s wonderful for the health of your body and your mind.
Top Yoga Tip: Take 10 minutes at the start of each day to focus only on your breath. Close your eyes and focus on the cool inhale and the warm exhale. If any thoughts come into your mind, acknowledge them and then let them go.
There are numerous other yoga health benefits: improved breathing, better posture, and weight loss are just a few more to consider. If you’re looking for a new fitness program to try, you just can’t go wrong with yoga.
Cheryl MacDonald is a yoga elder and founder of YogaBellies women’s yoga school. She has been practising yoga for 20 years and has trained hundreds of yoga teachers across the world. YogaBellies specialize in yoga for women of all life stages from puberty to post menopausal.
For a yoga class near you please visit www.yogabellies.co.uk/findaclass