Stretch Through Stress

knowyoga

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As an athlete, I used to be a skeptic of the possibilities that calmly flowing into stretches could provide increased energy, healing, strength and balance. The first time I tried yoga, I didn’t realize it was yoga. In fact it was so simple and an action we’re all told to practice but often look past.

“Relax, take a deep breath,” have you heard that before? Well, it took a psychiatrist to really teach me when feeling stressed, do not underestimate the power of slowing down and simply breathing. Inhale through the nasal passage. Pull your shoulders back, fill your chest and feel it rise. Exhale through your mouth. Repeat three times, enjoy the release before acting in demanding times. The world is a hectic, fast paced place, never underestimate the power of just being still. Life does not demand any more from you than you can deal with. Your only requirements are to find harmony.

Later on I understood this technique as the common core to all yoga. It is the art of yoga breathing is named pranayama. Also known as breath control, the intention of this exercise is to slow down, control breathing, and release your mind from incessant attention to bodily functions. 

When you teach your physical body to stretch, you won’t feel the need to mentally clock out during an experience that mentally stretches you thin. Practicing pranayama and asanas (a flow of yoga postures) is the most natural therapy for stress (the fact that it’s free is also a plus). When practiced together, pranayama and asanas will generate a large amount of energy while relaxing tense muscles causing a meditative experience. The results are felt over time and continued practice. 

The asanas will follow in later posts but for now, take a deep breath. With every exhale release the tension placed on your heart and mind. Life does not demand more from you than you can deal with. Your only requirements are to find happiness. Wake up every morning with gratitude.

Take care readers!

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