It’s 7 am and your alarm clock sounds, startling you awake. Immediately your mind kicks into overdrive, thoughts racing with all that you need to accomplish in the day. “I have to get the kids ready for school. I’ll have to grab something to eat on the way to work. I have a meeting at 9, I can’t be late. I have to drive the kids to soccer practice after school.”
Does this sound familiar? If it does, you’re not alone. Our Western ways have placed us in a life that leaves us often feeling overwhelmed, overworked and overloaded. Stress and anxiety are everywhere. If they’re getting the best of you, you might want to hit the mat and give yoga a try.
Many Types of Yoga
There are many types of yoga. Hatha is one of the most popular styles. Hatha yoga focuses on Pranayamas (breath-controlled exercises), a series of Asanas (yoga postures) that are linked to the breath, and ends with savasana (a resting period).
The breath is the only voluntary and involuntary function in the body that reveals your unconscious emotional, mental and physical patterns. We can only heal and transform these patterns when we take time to recognize them. Once you realize that you can influence the depth, rhythm and sound of the breath, you will understand the power of Pranayama.
There are are number of Pranayama techniques one can learn and practice, but simply just take a moment to take 5 deep breaths if you’re feeling overwhelmed can change the way your body and brain feel.
The asanas are beneficial for the muscles, joints, cardiovascular system, nervous system and lymphatic system, as well as the mind, psyche and Chakras. They are psychosomatic exercises that strengthen and balance the entire nervous system and harmonize and stabilize the practitioner’s state of mind.
The effects of these exercises are sense of contentment, clarity of mind, relaxation and a feeling of inner peace. Whether you spend an hour in class or take 15 minutes at home, you will see the benefits.
Savasana (sometimes called corpse pose) does not require physical strength or flexibility, but it does challenge the mind and body in other ways. In this pose, sensory stimulation and external distractions are minimized to help the body come into a state of relaxation. With the body grounded in this relaxed position, mental energy can be channeled inward and one can begin to become more mindful of their body and take some time to be introspective.
One may begin to notice things like the body’s breathing and heartbeat as well as form calmer and more relaxed feeling states. This is definitely something we need more of in our world of multitasking, full schedules and generally being rushed and stressed day in and day out.
You Can Practice Yoga Anywhere
The best reason to consider yoga is versatility. You really can do it anywhere. If you have been thinking that you need to spend time and money at a yoga studio to enjoy the benefits of this amazing therapy, you are wrong. All you need is a mat and instruction on how to perform these healing practices. It’s time to enjoy the benefits of yoga. So take a few minutes for yourself – you’ll find it’s worth it!