Yoga for Stress Management
Yoga Beginners: Tips to Get You Started and Enjoying the Relaxing Health Benefits.
Never Too Late to Begin Yoga for Stress Management continued...
Don't worry that you are coming to yoga late and you'll be way behind. "It's
not about doing it better or worse than someone else, it's about how you feel
each stretch in your own body," says Arbuckle. The names of poses -- and chants
of om -- are beside the point. The only test, according to lifelong yoga
practitioners, is how relaxed you can allow yourself to feel. Now that wasn't
hard, was it?
Yoga is a deeply personal practice and no two people can or should hold a
pose in exactly the same way. It's important to work at your own level of
flexibility, one that makes you feel challenged but not overwhelmed. "If
a teacher is telling you to do something that doesn't feel good for your body,
then don't do it," Arbuckle says. "Your body will warn you if you are about to
get hurt." The key is to listen to your body, push the limits gently, but don't
let yourself be overcome by ego. "Allow your body to guide you and be your
Concentrate on Your Breath
The goal of yoga is to marry the breath to movement. Most teachers
will tell you when to inhale and exhale as you work through poses. "Breathe
through your nose only," Shaw advises. "This keeps heat in the body and keeps
the mind focused." Concentrating on your breath is the key to yoga for
stress management, as it helps you let go of external thoughts and anxiety.
"The easiest way to bring yourself into the present moment is to focus on your
breath," Arbuckle says. "Feel how it goes down your nose and into your
body. It helps you let go of the worrying thoughts."
Every yoga class ends with 'corpse pose, a pose designed for deep
relaxation. Simply lie on your back with your arms at your side and your eyes
closed, breathing deeply. See how easy it is -- you've learned a yoga
Let Go of Competitiveness
It can be hard in a class not to look sideways and notice the lithe young
thing balancing on one leg while you teeter and flail. But it's important
to remember that yoga truly is about you. "The biggest mistake
beginners make is having expectations. Yoga is a process and it can be
slow. Let go of competition and judgment," says Shaw. "Yoga is
supposed to bring us into the present moment. You will find joy in not only the
physical movement and mental benefits but in spending time in the now," Shaw
says. "Where else can you get that kind of mental vacation?"
And you don't even have to send postcards home.