Reducing stress by adding yoga to your routine

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yoga
carl-barcelo

Stress is the root cause of 70-80 per cent of all our health conditions which require us to visit the doctor. When we treat these problems with medicines, it is only a temporary fix. This is where Yoga comes in. Yoga is the practice of a non-competitive, physical exercise involving held or static poses (in Sanskrit we call it, asana) combined with regulated breathing also known as pranayama and meditation techniques.

Yoga, with its combination of asana, pranayama and meditation, truly combats stress at its source and eliminates it, and better still provides a person with the tools to manage it for a lifetime. We all know that exercise, in general, is proven to be a very useful way to relieve stress, but yoga is different from other forms of exercises like running, cycling or weight-lifting.

So, how can you integrate yoga into your daily life to get rid of stress?

Set small realistic goals

Start with a short 15 to 20-minute asana. Practise daily and commit to this at least 4 times a week. Consistency over quantity is always the key to success. If you have access to a good teacher, then take their guidance or if not there is plenty of wonderful material available online to suit your needs.

Breathe

Add in short pranayama practice with your asana practice. This habit will change your life. I highly recommend learning and practising a calming breath called Alternate Nostril Breathing or Anuloma Viloma daily. Doing this for 5-10 minutes before you sleep at night improves your quality of sleep and truly allows your mind to release all the stressors of the day before you fall asleep. A good night’s sleep can do wonders to keep stress at bay.

Quiet time

Spend the first 10 minutes of your day as soon as you wake up in silence. No phones, no books, no music, no eating or drinking anything. Just sit and stay with your thoughts, whatever they might be. This may be hard to do in the beginning, but it is worth it.

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