Best Way to Tame Stress
One of my favorite types of exercise is yoga. There are many types of yoga and even some odd forms of yoga popping up today. Even if you are a guy, this article should reach you, yoga is not gender specific, the benefits apply to men and women!
Today 77% of Americans admit to regularly experiencing physical symptoms associated with stress. Another 33% admit to feeling like they are living with extreme stress. Those statistics are scary! Fortunately, yoga can significantly reduce the amount of stress you may be experiencing. The calorie to weight burning ratio is almost 1 to 1 for every 30 minutes of yoga. That means if you weigh 185 pounds you can expect to burn about 175 calories in a 30 min yoga session. Yoga may not be the fastest way to shed the pounds and get in shape but it can act as a gateway to more exercise if weight loss is part of your fitness goal. There are many forms of yoga, I have a few of the more common forms listed below. Research your closest yoga studio to see what they offer and what might be best for you.
Some Types of Yoga
- 90 minutes, 26 poses specific to this form of yoga done in 105 degree heated rooms.
- Quick movements that link your breath and poses together. Often combined with music and expect to have a higher heart rate.
- A series of six exercises that you perform over and over again. A smooth flow that will raise your internal body temperature.
- Hot Yoga. Not to be confused with Bikram, this is a copyrighted form of Yoga. Think of the term “CrossFit” when you hear Bikram. Hot yoga is similar but can be any form of yoga in a warm room.
Experience Like No Other
When you first begin yoga your mind may race, you may lose balance and feel yoga is more challenging or hectic than just going to the gym. Heck, it might cause more stress! Be patient, learning yoga is not just poses and breath but learning how to quiet the mind and tap into inner peace. Find ways to quiet your mind prior to yoga. Try a cup of hot tea, reading a book, or listening to some calming music. What someone else does may not work for you. In time, it will open up a new never before found experience.
Imagine you are in a yoga studio (whether at home, outside, or away) the lights are soft and tranquil. The smell of sage or nag champa entering your nose and together they are calming you to a point where hardly any thoughts are crossing your mind. You lie on the floor and listen to your breath, rhythmic like the waves of the ocean. Imagine fresh air in and bad air out, positivity in and negativity out! You rise up to begin your first few poses and eventually, you get further and further into your stretches as your breaths get deeper and deeper. Meanwhile, your body is being supplied with fresh air and blood is rushing to and from the parts of your body that you are stretching. Your mind is calm; stress is finding no place to burrow itself. Now that you have gone through multiple poses, you are wrapping up. You feel relaxed and calm, you lay flat on the mat in Savasana or corpses pose. As you lay there breathing and thoughtless you can almost feel yourself leaving your body. Then when you come back, you are refreshed and ready to take on the day or go to sleep depending on the time of day you prefer yoga.
As I mentioned, there are many types of yoga, the previous paragraph explains in detail a typical yoga experience. Don’t expect that right away with Bikram! Many claim yoga is best in the morning, I have done yoga both morning and night and I find yoga the night to be much more relaxing. The stress of the day can wear you down and negatively impact the quality of sleep you get. When you do yoga at night, you get rid of all that stress, relaxing your mind and body prior to sleep.
This article is not to provide you the statistics or details of yoga. It is to attempt to encourage you to try yoga or even begin to rely on it for reducing stress, a silent killer in today’s society. You can tailor yoga to you, use candles, different scents or special lighting. Imagine being able to have a home away from home, at home. I will post an article in the future on how to convert a room into your own yoga studio at almost no cost!
Consider some of these benefits from yoga, below
- Increased core strength
- Increased lung capacity
- Improved balance
- Greater flexibility
- Relaxation and stress reduction
- Increased mood
- Some studies suggest that it may increase testosterone in males
Whichever form you choose to try, be patient and stick with it for a few weeks. The results will be worth your time and energy!