Inhale deeply, consciously. Do you feel energized? Now exhale deeply, consciously. Feel that release? It’s not just in your mind.
The latest issue of Yoga Journal has a comprehensive article on how yoga strengthens your stress response, whether you react by retreating from stressors, or attacking them.
Here’s my Top Take-Away Tips from the article: 1. inhaling stimulates your sympathetic nervous system (the adrenaline-charged fight-or-flight response) 2. exhaling stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system (in control of the more restorative, calming responses) 3. certain yoga poses charge up the SNS 4. other yoga poses induce the PNS 5. by breathing deeply in all poses, and learning to balance our energy so that we stay calm yet alert, we develop the skill to do this off the mat
Bottom line: Yoga can help us face stress calmly and with focus, whether our first instinct is to run from it (who, me?) or eat it for dinner (who, your type A friend who never stops rushing?)