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Background – the facts

In addition to the wonderful physical effects it has on the body, Yoga enhances the mind and spirit and in doing so can help you to manage stress levels and /or mental disorders. Through practice you’ll experience a significant increase in your awareness and understanding of your own body, how it works, while at the same time creating a wonderful air of confidence.

It is well known that high levels of stress frequently lead to physical ailments, and with physical ailments comes more stress – a vicious circle that can often be difficult to break. By practicing Yoga we work on the body and mind together, directly combating
stress through breathing techniques and asana (postures).

Benefits of Yoga for stress management

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Mood improvement and control

Overall well-being improves with Yoga practice. The combination of creating a strong mind-body connection, creating a healthy body, and focusing inward can all lead to improvement in your mood

Inward focus

The concentration required during yoga practice tends to focus your attention on the matter at hand, thereby reducing the emphasis you put on the stress in your life

Reduce anxiety

Controlled breathing used consistently in Yoga leads to a reduction in anxiety

Managing depression

Some believe that the negative feelings that you may be repressing are brought to the surface during Yoga. When this happens, the negative energy is no longer stuck within you, but released through exercise. Regularly releasing this negativity leads to a reduction of depression in many people. There are chemical reactions which also lead to an improved management of depression. Case study available upon request.

Self-acceptance and control

Focusing inward and realising through your Yoga practice that perfection is not the goal, self-acceptance begins to take over. The controlled movements of Yoga teach you how to translate that self-control to all aspects of your life

Mind-body connection

Few other exercises offer the same mind-body connection that Yoga does. As you match your controlled breathing with the movements of your body, you retrain your mind to find that place of calm and peace within

A positive outlook on life

Continued practice of Yoga results in a balance of your hormones and your nervous system, which brings about a more stable, positive approach to life

Less hostility

You’ll see a reduction in the amount of hostility you feel as well as a sense of control when anger flares. This calm effect stems from the relaxation incorporated into Yoga practice that leads to an overall calming of the nervous system. Less hostility means lower blood pressure and stress and a healthier approach to life

Improve concentration and motivation

Researchers have shown that as little as eight weeks of yoga practice can result in better concentration and more motivation

Maintaining a sense of calm

Concentrating so intently on what your body is doing has the effect of bringing calmness. Yoga also introduces you to meditation techniques, such as watching how you breathe and disengagement from your thoughts, which help calm the mind

Recommended programmes and next steps

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  • Yoga is a practical system in disciplining and correcting the errors in the body and mind. When these errors are corrected, then yoga becomes a way to understand oneself Swami Satyananda Saraswati