Why Yoga is Better for Stress than Other Forms of Exercise

The first step to de-stress is to find an outlet. Physical outlets, like exercising, sports, and occasionally the arts, are a fantastic place to start. They help physically tire us out, boost feel good hormones, and help us to create connections outside ourselves. But stress isn’t just physical. There’s a mental aspect to stress that working out just begins to hit the tip of the iceberg on. Yoga begins to bridge that gap.

Process Stress

I know stress is a bad word and none of us want any stress in our lives, however, stress isn't inherently bad. Stress is described as tension or pressure, so by that interpretation lifting weights is muscular stress. In a nutshell, this stress breaks down the proteins in your muscles, which is why working out is hard and doesn't necessarily feel good while we're doing it. However, we know "muscles need time to rest, restore, and recover before they can rebuild back up even stronger." Our muscles process that stress, heal from it, and turn it into strength. Yoga teaches us how to do the exact same thing with our mental stress; process it and turn it into strength. Stressed about a test? Think about why you're taking the test. It's probably to test your knowledge on a subject you want to know more about. Practicing or studying the subject will help put you at ease. Still stressed? Go to yoga.

Reminds the Body How to Relax

When the body is tense, it's almost like we forget what it's like to relax. Each and every yoga class can assist with this, because they all end in Savasana - essentially a post workout meditation. Savasana gives us time to seal in our practice, it brings us closure after the cool down. It's kind of like forced relaxation, if I had a word with a more positive connotation than "force." It is here where we learn the most about our body, our mind, our practice, and ourselves. It creates a safe space, even if for just a few minutes, for the body to completely be at rest.

Actual Self Care

Yoga gives you that same fantastic feeling you get while working out and then some. Since yoga isn't JUST about strength training and physical gains, it brings our attention inwards. Yoga helps us check in with ourselves, find our limits, and create healthy boundaries, so we can get the most out of our workout. Sometimes that means taking it easy in a session because you had a mentally challenging day and you've already been pushed to your limit. As our mental capacity gets used up throughout the day, it becomes harder to stick to our boundaries. When we push past our limits, moving past our boundaries, we find discomfort, pain, and injury. Self care isn't about hitting the gym 6 days a week, it's about finding that sweet spot that helps you be your best self. Yoga can help you find that sweet spot.

Helps to Quiet the Mind

When we're stressed is when that monkey mind seems to be busiest. It's a constant go, go, go! Do this! Do that! And don't forget the other thing! The constant chatter in our minds creates excess stress. All forms of exercise can help with this, but yoga takes this a step farther. Once we've mastered the asana (poses) - perfect posture, alignment, breath work, physical engagement, etc. - the next step is to hit all that without thinking about it. But, Lyssa, how tf do we do that? Start coming to classes. I'll show you how.

Click the "Classes & Schedule" button at the top of the page to find my public classes ($10-15 drop ins). Not into public classes? Shoot me an email, I'd love to have a chat! Coffee date's on me. =)

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