March 2016 – How Yoga relieves stress

Yoga has been shown to decrease cortisol and adrenaline.  These are two of the hormones that your body releases when in the “fight or flight” mode.  This is useful when you need to prepare for defensive action, but not so much in daily living, since these are also the hormones that leave you feeling stressed, overwhelmed and on edge.  Classic hatha yoga postures with deep breathing and mindfulness meditation have been shown to reduce these hormones, however, it’s not like getting a vaccination: one vaccination and you’re good for life.  Studies that show the positive benefits of yoga in reducing stress are over the long term. This typically means a yoga practice of 30 – 60 minutes, 5 days a week for 3 – 6 months.  The good news it that once you start a yoga practice and feel the difference in your body and mind, you will be inspired to continue, no matter what the research says.  Feel free to try out the yoga practices on the Resources page of my web site, and enjoy the feeling of clam bliss that settles over you.

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