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Three Ways Yoga Reduces Stress and Anxiety

Posted Feb 18 2011 10:35am
Here is a guest post for you to enjoy.  It is written by one of my online friends, Maria Rainer.  I took yoga classes for approximately two years and can tell you that yoga really does help a lot with one's anxiety level. 

Yoga does more than help your balance, core fitness and flexibility - it helps to reduce anxiety and relieve stress. With the hustle and bustle of today’s society, it’s normal for people to stress about life, money, work, family and whatever else causes daily anxiety. Yoga relieves and reduces stress in three ways:


1. Through regulated inhaling and exhaling breaths. As you inhale, you're sending more oxygen to the brain, which stimulates your nervous system. Exhaling helps regulate this process and releases toxins from your bloodstream, helping your body relax. The double leg raise and certain yoga breaths like alternative nostril breathing are great ways to send oxygen to the brain and circulation to your body thus reducing stress levels.


2. Meditation and relaxation helps you find your center and focus, while using your regulated breaths to relax the mind. Once the mind is relaxed, you're able to transfer your relaxation to the rest of your body while meditating and focusing on this process. Meditation helps you focus on quieting the mind and finding your inner strength when stressful situations arise.


3. Through regulated breathing and meditation, you're able to focus and block out outside noises while focusing on your inner self and your inner strength. This aspect of yoga is also vital for focusing on your breathing and meditation. This may be one of the harder aspects of yoga to grasp – being able to focus and not become distracted with inner thoughts and outside noise. Focus and lack thereof is a major contributor to daily stress; with so much going on, we can struggle to focus on accomplishing one task before we can complete another.


Once you've mastered the aspects of breathing, meditation and focusing through yoga, you're able to calm your nervous system, relax your mind and block out outside noises, which are all contributors of stress.


Bio: Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education, researching various online degree  programs and blogging about student life. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.


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