How Yoga Contributes to Stress Relief


Yoga is not some “new age-y” method of unproven techniques to help folks find their inner selves. It is, in fact, a method that has garnered plenty of evidence proving it can assist practitioners in learning controlled methods of breathing, controlling their response to stimuli, and reducing stress while improving their overall mood. While yoga is a form of physical activity, it also offers great benefits for a person’s mind and emotional well-being.

Stress Response

Those who engage in yoga have been shown to have more flexibility in their response to stress. They are more likely to maintain lower blood pressure as well as deep breaths and a reduced heart rate even in situations where these vitals are more likely to increase at sharp rates. Practitioners have a more regulated response to stress, which tends to have an increased effect on their tolerance for various types of pain, both acute and chronic. When a person is able to better regulate incoming stress, it gives more control over the amount of incoming pain that their brain and body perceives. Over long term, yoga techniques have also been proven to positively affect those with high level chronic diseases such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in dealing with bouts of anger, hostility and mood swings. It can help alleviate stress factors faced by those overcoming addictions such as with alcoholism, and help those with terminal illnesses be more comfortable while increasing quality of life.

Stress Reduction and Mood Improvement

Engaging in yoga can have a big impact on stress reduction as well as mood improvement with a single session, but best benefits as an ongoing activity integrated into a person’s life. Yoga has been shown to have substantial effects in alleviating symptoms of depression and anxiety. It reduces stress, increases energy levels, and reduces fatigue felt throughout the day. Studies have shown that regular yoga can also result in better quality of sleep.

Day to day stress is not the only area where yoga is beneficial. There is plenty of evidence pointing towards a positive effect for those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Over time, yoga can reduce the symptoms of PTSD and has also been beneficial in assisting sufferers in reducing their use of other coping vices such as drugs and alcohol as respite. Studies have shown that veterans who engage in yoga over a course of six months have shown significant signs of improvement over those veterans who have not taken part in such a program.

If you are a beginner, check with your doctor to make sure you have no restrictions before beginning a yoga program. Find a quality instructor with whom to work to learn proper poses and breathing techniques. Then, stretch and breathe the stress out.

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About Ferland Manuel

Dr, Manuel Ferland is health care specialist,