Do you know how unhealthy being stressed is? I do from my own experience. It can drive us nuts.
Of course we can not avoid things happening that could stress us out, but we can literally practice to not get triggered easily.
One aspect of practicing yoga is to maintain our physical well-being and get a little workout. Personally I feel if it‘s “just“ for the workout then there is more
efficient ways to get ripped, but there is more to the practice of yoga.
Do you know that feeling at the end of class, when you hate not moving and the relaxation part is rather stressing you out? You are not alone. Most people feel like you.
Our bodies might be fit, but our Nervous Systems are exhausted.
That is why people practice Restorative Yoga and other forms of Yin Yoga. It strenghtens our Nervous System.
Not reacting or doing anything is a practice itself and we all kind of suck at it. That might be a reason why anxiety, depression and insomnia are at an all time high.
Society conditions us to always be alerted. We feel guilty when we don‘t do anything for an afternoon. Being busy is almost a batch we are wearing proudly and there is always something happening we do not want to miss.
The ability to take care of our Nervous System is something that sounds like a luxury to most of us. Yet it is very important to our well-being.
Being alerted is something we all learned from evolution, it was necessary in order to survive to stress out when there is a Tiger chasing us. Stress sets our body up to use our muscles and escape dangerous situations.
When we feel threatened our mind reacts to that. Once out of control we can even see danger where there is none.
Chances are pretty low that we actually miss something dangerous by not being cautious enough all the time.
We do not really need to practice that.
Unfortunately evolution did not teach us how to de-stress. It‘s not necessary for our survival, “Just“ for our well-being.
Once the tiger is gone (or in our case the work is done) we need to restore our bodies from the activity, but even more important we need calm our Nervous System from being alerted. But how?
Imagine every time we stress out during the day our body stores a little trigger point within us. If we continue that for a few days, weeks or months we will notice that we get irritated much easier.
It will not only be easier to push our buttons, we simply will have more buttons to push.
One of the reasons why Yoga is so popular nowadays is because we are all stressed out to the maximum. Yoga can be one of many ways to establish a healthy connection with ourselves and manage our emotions.
Personally I really enjoy teaching Restorative Yoga mixed with very gentle Flows because I can literally see people de-stressing during class.
The practice of Restorative Yoga asks us to remain in different shapes supported by Bolsters, Blankets, Blocks and whatever we can find to support our physical body. This might sound easy, but is actually pretty challenging.
How much can we surrender into the support of bolsters when we are in a back bend on our backs? How much of our body weight can we actually truly release into the ground without holding onto it?
There is no need to always be strong. Taking a break from hard exercise and restoring will eventually make us stronger on the long run.
The moment we slow down our mind gets more space to process our thoughts. Being in stillness is a form of meditation. We go through all kinds of emotions that are stored in our subconsciousness. Sometimes it might be a little uncomfortable.
Good news is that these emotions would have come out at some point of our lives anyways. Better in a safe space like a yoga class than at the supermarket, right?
As our body becomes stronger with exercise, our Nervous System also becomes stronger with practice.
The stronger our Nervous System becomes, the less we will be subject to getting triggered by events around us. As a side effect our physical performance might also dramatically improve, but that is just a side effect.
So next time you feel stressed out, maybe have a look for Restorative or Yin Yoga Classes at your studio or gym. It is worth a try!