Contrary to popular belief, stress is actually a choice. Something that you choose to allow yourself to feel and it can be controlled and managed. Maybe my monkey kiddos were challenging this morning and the traffic was bad but hey, this situation is now out of my control. So I usually turn the radio up and sing my lungs out, if I'm really in a bad way I turn on my Ujjayi breath and try to simply be in the moment. Now Im not saying that every day single day you can rock into work and say to your boss, "Hey dude, I'm late. shit happens, Buddha says you'll only be mad temporarily." What I'm saying is that if you're late, ask yourself, "What could I have done differently?" Could you manage your time more effectively to have a different outcome? Maybe not pressing snooze 10 times tomorrow or go to bed earlier in future. Tapas, discipline, know yourself and be the best version of yourself.
Yoga is the oldest personal development system know to mankind. This ancient practice has been around over 5000 years. It's not the trendy fad that makes you think of 10 chicks in lycra and two dudes at the back huffing and puffing in a hot yoga studio. It's so much more. It's a way of life and an ethos to live by. But yoga is also is the key to spinal health, mobility, flexibility, detoxification and clarity in the mind. Think about how stress makes you feel. When fight and flight mode switches on, the adrenal gland starts releasing extra cortisol around the body. Cortisol is a stress hormone that in small quantity has its benefits but high levels of it have been proven to increase mood disorders, depression, anxiety and lengthen injury and wound recovery time. So in short, it's best to avoid the over production of cortisol. Stress and tension also manifests in our physical bodies, my teacher Jennifer Yarro says your biography is in your biology. Every trauma, event, thought, feeling, it's there. And that reoccurring thought be it negative or positive will impact your mood, the way you walk and talk, your reactions and your personality.
Your thoughts essentially become you.
If you are tense, anxious and stressed often, that pattern will set into your body and your shoulders will become tense, your hips, your poas will over activate and the body will become a breeding ground for injury and pain. So many of us are in a constant state of dis-ease.
Yoga brings you back to the essence of who you are, the breath has the power to gently guide you from your sympathetic nervous system to your parasympathetic nervous system, feel the earth beneath your feet and the natural fluidity in the body (we are 65% water after all). The shoulders can release, the hips can open, the heart centre where we hold grief, love, pain, vulnerability can be liberated. After yoga you stand taller, more confidently, more energized and that undoubtedly has an effect on how we work, how we live, who we are. Have an open mind, there's a reason it's been around 5000 years. This invaluable tool has the potential to enable you to be the best version of yourself, to gain clarity, focus and patience.
The Yogassential Team