If you’re feeling stressed over the past few weeks or even the past month or you feel your mental health is getting worse, here’s a way on handling it through yoga.
When it comes to managing your stress, yoga can help you slow your body down and process what’s going around you. As you do the poses, meditating and even breathing can help you feel good.
“When you practice yoga, you stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system that is part of the autonomic nervous system,” Yoga certificate coordinator and professor, Alix Plum said. “Also if you’re practicing poses, for example, you can work on relaxing the body by, you know, the physical activity, and sending endorphins to the brain, which make you feel good.”
It can also help you with spiritual practices.
“It’s kind of training yourself to practice being in the moment,” yoga professor, Duron said, “Yoga is a great physical practice. It’s a great mental practice and integrates spiritual practice as well.”
Plum mentions that with meditation you can reach nirvana and relieve stress.
“There are eight limbs in yoga, it’s a well-rounded way of you know, being a good human. So doing all of these things lead us to, to that pit, that place where we just feel fantastic, body and soul. “
Not only can yoga relieve stress, but it can also help you handle a certain situation and how you’d react to it. In yoga breathing is a huge emphasis throughout the whole exercise as it can help you focus on how you’re breathing and what’s in front of you, calming you down.
This is a huge help to overcome anxiety and certain breathing techniques such as chest breathing wouldn’t help since it actually produces anxiety. When you’re able to breathe properly, you gain more confidence and mindfulness.
Additionally, of course, you will gain a healthy lifestyle out of practicing yoga as it can increase your mobility since some poses focus on balancing yourself. Flexibility is one of the biggest components of doing yoga from stretching during warm-up and on certain poses.
Yoga can help you gain more muscular strength because it takes a lot of muscles to hold a pose and can also strengthen the muscles of your arms, back, legs and core.
The yoga poses that the professors have recommended are the Supine Twist as well as cat and dog pose from Duron, but the most important are the breathing exercises.
“That could just be like taking five to ten breaths before you go and do something…so counting like one up to five for the inhale and then exhaling out,” said Duron, “And a lot of people don’t recognize that their breath is just completely out of control. And that just gets them to slow your heart rate back down.”
For Plum is the Shavasana, also known as the corpse pose.
“Because we’re meditating there… and what I noticed that when I’m practicing the poses and I have a really challenging yoga session, physically, that when I get to my Shavasana, I want to spend a long time there and it’s never long enough,” said Plum.
She also recommends any exercises that involve crisscrossing or twisting because it’s a lot easier if you don’t have a lot of space. You can do it sitting down or standing up and it will do you a whole lot of good especially with the pandemic.
Though the fall semester is coming to a close, you can still do yoga in the comfort of your own home through YouTube. Both professors have recommended Yoga with Adriene as a good yoga YouTuber. Her videos are only 20 minutes long and are very thorough with the poses.
You can also go to yoga studios near Fullerton such as Purple Yoga which is located at 140 W Amerige Ave, Fullerton or you can find studios that offer virtual classes.