Yoga and Stress Reduction Costa Rica | Costa Pacifica LIVING

Yoga & Stress Reduction

mandala on beach - yoga
Photo by Micheal Fernandez

Yoga is not to be practiced just as physical exercise but when practicing all components it has many positive effects on the brain and the body. Relaxing the body through the use of the breath directly affects the nervous system. The brain responds with the release of hormones and chemicals affecting our state of mind and our physical body. In the parasympathetic state (relaxed) our organs function smoothly, lowering our blood pressure and our heart rate. Equally, reducing anxiety and muscle tension, allowing for the continuous function of our digestive tract.

Then the movements/asana engage the body with the breathe, so we develop connection, awareness, concentration, to our physical being and the state it is in at that moment. With that awareness we learn that no state is permanent that all thing continually shift and change. If we can stay present to that we will lessen our anxiety from rumination and develop self-compassion and acceptance for whatever is in this moment, be it emotional or physical.

Over time the stressors become less, we gain resilience and can move deeper into a pose, as we do in life where we accept or recover from upheavals more readily. As we become more flexible in body through the continuous practice of yoga, the mind follows suit. Anyone can do yoga, no matter your flexibility, strength, size, age or ability to focus. Yoga is practiced to gain these last attributes, not because we already have them.

Yoga has been practiced for 5000 years, but only with recent scientific technology do we
understand how it works with the body to create well being.

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