Yoga with Melissa 192: Yoga for Relaxation and Stress Relief, Benefits of Yoga Series

by Melissa West on August 23, 2013

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Relaxation and Stress Relief


Relaxation-and-Stress-ReliefMillions of us in our modern world suffer because we are constantly pushed and hurried. Rushing causes tension and stress. We are over-exposed over-saturated with incoming information 24/7. Any information that comes to you causes your sympathetic nervous system (the fight, flight or freeze) to act or react. When you are exposed to stressors it is up to your parasympathetic nervous system to bring you back down.

Stress can be reduced when you sleep, but the problem is the average person is not sleeping well (which is why we have an entire yoga for insomnia series on our membership site). Ideally we should be getting 8 hours of sleep a night and experiencing 90 minutes of R.E.M. Today the average R.E.M. is between 25-40 minutes, which is 1/3 to 1/2 of what it should be. This accelerates the aging process, puts your body in an acidic state and leads to more pain. Healing and cellular repair are not happening because we are not tapping into our parasympathetic nervous system (our restore regulator).

Your sympathetic nervous system is your body’s stress regulator and your parasympathetic system is your body’s restore regulator. Your stress regulator increases your heart rate, perspiration, and pupil dilation in response to what you perceive as incoming internal and external stress. Your restore regulator relaxes theses same functions in your body to restore your internal balance. Your ability to respond to stress and return to balance directly correlates to how healthy you are. Stress is one of the sole contributors to premature aging and the degeneration of your health.

Lots of daily activity causes our sympathetic nervous system to kick into action from watching tv, multitasking, reading, exercising, and working. When we are anxious, tense, and stressed out your sympathetic nervous system has to work a lot harder to do its job effectively. Way too often our sympathetic nervous system is asked to go into overdrive in our day to day lives.

When our stress levels (sympathetic nervous system) outweighs our ability to rest and repair (parasympathetic nervous system) we experience as stress imbalance. This attacks our enteric system and we experience all kinds of digestive problems, immune disorders, food intolerances, toxicity in our bodies, joint inflammation, foggy brain, improper muscles contraction and firing, chronic symptoms, fatigue, chronic inflammatory issues such as sinusitis, arthritis, colitis etc., anxiety and depression, sleep issues, constipation, and weight gain.

Yoga allows us to access our parasympathetic nervous system and restore your body’s sensitive balance. Through yoga you can bring your body back into equilibrium. As I have explained above, true relaxation involves more than just resting, but balancing and restoring your energy. Yoga excels in rejuvenating relaxation. Through yoga asana and pranayama (breath practice) you are able to release tension, stress, blockages in your body and experience deep relaxation and restoration of your energy.

Asanas/Yoga Postures: Deergha Swasam/ 3 part breath, half moon reclined/supta ardha chandrasana, apanasana/knee to chest pose, ardha supta virasana/ half reclined hero pose, Marjaryasana/cat pose, lunge pose/Anjaneyasana, pigeon/ eka pada rajakapotasana, peaceful warrior/reverse warrior, side angle /parsvakonasana, legs up the wall /Viparita Karani, Bhujangasana/Cobra/Seal, Zig zag twist, sage twist, bharadvajasana, Upavistha Konasana / Wide legged seated forward fold,

Props Needed: Yoga Block

Yoga with Melissa 192 Benefits of Yoga Series: Relaxation and Stress Relief Photos

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