You’ve probably heard it hundreds of times if you’ve told someone you’re stressed out all the time. “Have you tried yoga?” If you haven’t, then maybe it’s yet another item to add to your checklist of things to-do already causing you stress.
If you’ve tried it, and even if you enjoy it, then you know how tough it is to actually get on the mat some days—especially if your stress becomes a chronic issue.
This is where the smallest of yoga practices come in handy when dealing with stress. Here are two tips for implementing yoga into your life to manage stress.
Start with mindful breaths while moving around, or walking.
Maybe that means taking deep, slow breaths while on a train or bus. Or practicing a grounding technique to tap in with your five senses while brushing your teeth. Try walking meditations.
Timothy Lewis, a THAY trauma-informed yoga teacher and a graduate from our Trauma-informed Yoga Teacher Training Program created a Complete Breath Practice to help guide you through your meditation.
About Timothy Lewis
Timothy is a 200-h RYT with additional training in the foundations of Yin yoga, and trauma-informed yoga. He practices Ashtanga yoga, is a regular attendee of trainings and retreats related to mindfulness meditation, and is forever a student of contemplative practice.
Pick a pose, maybe two, maybe three.
If time is limited, try practicing just one yoga pose a day, or one small flow through two poses. Perhaps start with flowing through cat and cow poses for a minute. Or cycle through urdhva hastasana, and tadasana while inhaling and exhaling.
Though exactly how yoga reduces stress inside our bodies isn’t perfectly understood, research has shown yoga as a workplace program is useful in reducing how stressed out workers are, according to one review. It can potentially help healthcare workers with stress management when in combination with better workplace conditions. Whether you are just starting out or trying to find a regular practice, be thankful to yourself for showing up.