- Posted by kaleigh
- On August 21, 2018
Stress is out there, and there’s really no avoiding it. Feeling anxious, depressed, and overwhelmed – some of the time – is part of the deal. Stress is necessary for our survival.
Our ancestors needed to know if the sway in the tall grass was a breeze or a lion. They needed to know if they could trust strangers from distant tribes. They had to hustle everyday just to find food. Leading us from the grasslands, through society, and to nourishment was stress.
When we get a stress *ping*, stress is speaking to us – sometimes yelling to us. In that moment, we have the opportunity to listen and understand our stress by focusing on the breath.
Consider the quality of the breath. Is it shallow and rapid? Perhaps stress is suggesting a quick break to sit and breathe. Is it full and steady? Maybe there’s nothing to be stressed about right now, and a deep, clearing breath will do the trick.
Maybe some yoga is in order. Placing physical stress on ourselves – i.e. doing yoga – in a safe environment gives the body and mind a chance to process and work through stress. It also strengthens our ability to handle future stress. Yin can help calm the mind with long-held – 3-5 minutes – postures that encourage relaxation and introspection. To blow off pent-up steam, Vinyasa Flows cultivate an energetic breath that links a series of asanas together into a stress melting flow. All of the classes at the YogaLoft are designed to help students navigate stress.
Trust that we will encounter stress that is beyond our control. But we can always control how we respond to stress. One response: use stress as a tool. Grab the bull by the horns, wrestle it to the ground, saddle it up, and ride off into the sunset.
Or, at least take a moment to listen and choose to respond next time stress creeps up.
BY BRODY MIKESELL
CYT and Front YogaLoft Teacher