Using Yoga-based Breathing to Reduce Stress
The first and last thing we all do in life is take a breath, and we never stop breathing in between. Yet, most of us are unaware of the power of Yoga-based (conscious) breathing, a series of techniques that uses both your mind and your body to exercise more control over that very same mind and body.
By using Yoga-based breathing techniques, you can significantly reduce the stress you experience in your life. How does it work? It begins with your body’s contribution. In response to stress, the body releases hormones that prepare you to flee from or fight whatever threatens you. This works if you’re a prehistoric human and are being attacked by a massive tiger—but unless you’re a zookeeper or animal trainer, this type of threat has thankfully come and gone!\
These same stress hormones can be triggered by perceived threats today, like being late to class, deadlines at work, or a confrontation with your parent, sibling, boss, or a friend. Prolonged release of these hormones can actually be harmful, which is why eliminating stress is so vital to maintaining health and overall wellbeing.
By using your mind to consciously control the process of your breath, you learn to introduce air into the deepest recesses of the lungs. This inhibits the release of the “fight or flight” reaction, and stimulates beneficial hormones instead, the “rest and digest” hormones.
Where does the mind come in? First, it converts our breathing from an unconscious process into a conscious process, and employs the Yoga-based technique.
Next, the mind focuses more and more intensely on the process of breathing, pushing away other thoughts. Among these thoughts are those anxieties and fears that led to your stress. As the anxieties and fears are removed from your conscious mind, your body ceases to react to them.
Give it a try. Exhale all the air from your lungs and finish the exhalation by squeezing your belly button toward your spine. Next, take a deep breath in and picture the air traveling deep into the lowest reaches of the lungs. Pause for a moment, then exhale, forcing all the breath out at the end by again squeezing the belly button in toward the spine.
Focus all of your attention on the process. If—or when—your mind drifts to other thoughts, bring your attention back to the breath.
Aly Faber aka “The Stretch Lady” CBP, CMP, CYT, YACEP, E-RYT, IYTA When it comes to maximizing physical, emotional, and mental potential, Aly Faber is your secret weapon to success. With energy and passion, she empowers you to tap into the best version of yourself. Backed by the national success of High Performance Life, Aly is proud to present her newest online coaching endeavor, The Stretch Lady. With 15 years of expert development, this program maximizes athletic performance in minimum time, creating better, stronger, and more mobile players. With a sincere passion and energetic drive to help people achieve their goals, Aly’s programs have helped to transform: · Corporate Executives · Professional Athletes · Healthcare Systems · Medical Practices · School Systems · Student Athletes · Collegiate & Professional Athletic Teams
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