Month: June 2018

Yoga Relieves Stress and Anxiety

by Stuart Allen Uncategorized

Introduction

To the man or woman in the street, you could add depression to stress and anxiety, they appear to be similar in some ways and some problems can be linked.

At sometimes in our life we all suffer from both stress and anxiety, the degree of which differs from person to person, as does the degree of suffering. We can even suffer from depression, often without realizing it.

Yoga relieves Stress and Anxiety, as you will see.


What do we mean by Stress

We all know that stress in a severe form can overwhelm us, this can then lead to being depressed or suffering from anxiety. Whilst we all know what it is like to feel stressed, it is difficult to put a definition on what stress actually means.

People can report feeling stressed when multiple competing demands are placed on them.

The feeling of being stressed can be triggered by an event that makes you feel frustrated or nervous. We could be talking about a number of situations that put pressure on us:

You have an important meeting at work: guess what, you over sleep the alarm or the children are running late for school, when you finally get in the car and begin the drive to work, there is traffic everywhere.

Deadlines change: you have been given a problem to sort out at work, it is not easy but you are coping, until the completion date is brought forward by a few weeks.

Both the above are two of the many situations that people find themselves in, often on a regular basis, when they do they can get stressed, or suffer with stress.

What do we mean by Anxiety

If a person is suffering from depression they have a feeling of being lethargic, and feel that doing anything is too much trouble. Anxiety however makes them nervous, jumpy and in a fearful state.

Anxiety is a feeling of fear, worry, or unease.

The problem with anxiety is that it is the fear of the unknown. Whilst it is easy to name the problem as anxiety disorder, it does appear in many different ways.

Psychiatrists believe that the root cause of anxiety is depression, as people who are depressed often experience anxiety. The two go together like strawberries and cream.


Relieving Stress

If you look for a medical definition of stress, you will not find one. Both medical and health care professionals often disagree whether stress is the reason for the problems or as a result of them.

This makes it difficult for you to work out what the problem is, or how to combat it. Whatever you think, it is possible that you could manage stress better by:

Learning to manage external pressures, do not let them get to you, this will reduce the pressure and thus the stress.

Try to overcome your emotions, this will enable you to cope better with situations that would normally cause you stress.

Relieving Anxiety

Anxiety can disappear when the cause of it fades away. One example is that you can be late for a train, so you become anxious in case you miss it, as it is the last one of the day. When you arrive at the station, the train is late and you can board. You breathe a sigh of relief as you settle in your seat, anxiety gone.

If the anxiety lingers, as it often does, as the problem is deeper than just possibly missing a train, it can make it difficult to enjoy life, due to the anxiety. Early steps to obtaining relief require measures which will form new mental and physical habits.

There are a number of ways in which this can be done, these can include changing the way that you do things, which cause you to worry and lead to stress.

Altering your lifestyle by:

  • Not drinking Coffee
  • Reducing your intake of alcohol
  • Reducing your intake of sugar and starchy foods.

Natural stress reducers include.

  • Bananas
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Nuts

Yoga – how it can help

If you learn to practice yoga it can effectively relieve stress, it also eases both the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Yoga exercises transfer focus and attention to the body and breathing, this releases physical tension, while helping to control anxiety.

Whilst our bodies are designed to heal naturally, this process is stopped by the stresses of our normal daily lives. When you are practicing yoga, the stresses are dissolved during this time, it is not uncommon for the effects of the practice to last for a number of hours afterwards.

Whilst today yoga is not uncommon, a large majority of people are still not using it to relieve their tension. Many gym’s offer yoga classes, but it is still not accepted as a form of treatment.

If you are living a life full of pressure, and not doing anything about it, may I suggest that you seriously consider giving yoga a thought. Just a few simple exercises could make all the difference.

Two Common Stress Occasions

Children’s Parties

Those of us with children are familiar with our offspring, saying but Freddie/Rosie are having a birthday party why can’t I? Even worse when they return from one and tell you how fantastic it was and how cool the birthday child’s parents are.

This of course gives you stress before you start, so what do you? Plan and budget for the occasion. A good party is well planned, not a reason for a second mortgage.

If you can, try to recall a really good party that you attended, use this as a base for an idea but do not copy it.

The first and possibly most important part is cost, set a budget that you can afford, then ensure that you stick with it.

Can your friends and family help you to plan the day? Do you know someone who is able to provide the music, does anyone have access to a karaoke machine, is anyone an amateur magician, the thoughts are numerous. To keep costs down try to borrow or gently persuade people to do the gig for free.

Keep the food bill down, if possible choose a time of day when people will already have eaten, then you need only provide snacks and nibbles. If you can make most of the food yourself, this also keeps costs down.

Whilst it is a good idea to have a theme for the party, beware the budget, keep it simple, use balloons and similar items to decorate the room.

The aim of the day is for those attending to have fun and to enjoy themselves, for you to keep within the budget and have a happy child when all the guests have gone home.


Shopping

To some people this may seem a strange subject that can cause stress to others it is possibly the most stressful day of the week.

When I go shopping, the first thing I do is plan the day and time, this usually stops me from having to fight my way through crowds of other shoppers, with their overloaded trolleys of unhealthy food, surrounded by a seeming multitude of children. Why is it that other people’s children cannot behave when they are out, when yours are perfect!.

Planning the day and time will also, hopefully, mean that there will be room in the car park.

That is the first point, if possible leave any children at home, this will reduce the possible stress immediately. Do have a shopping list, which is within your budget, and stick to it.

What you must avoid is an overspend, as this will cause more stress later when you do not have enough money left for other essential items.

Leave time when you get home for a few simple yoga breathing exercises, to relieve the tension, (just a thought)

Conclusion

Stress and anxiety can be helped by practicing a few simple yoga exercises, give it a try you might be pleasantly surprised.

Why not give Yoga a try, as Yoga relieves Stress and Anxiety.

Stay healthy

Stuart

Yoga and Pilates Benefits – What are they?

Introduction

This question is often asked by those who are thinking of studying Yoga or Pilates for the first time, or those who are just curious, as to what these two forms of exercise are. So just what are the Yoga and Pilates benefits, when you make a decision which discipline that you would like to follow.

There is however, nothing to stop you following both, working them alongside each other, or doing some exercises from one, then the other to suit your preferences.

Some people, will do mainly Yoga, with one or two Pilates sessions added in once or twice a week, others will reverse the process.

It really depends on what you want to get out of the two disciplines.

What are the differences between Yoga and Pilates?

Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that focuses on strength, flexibility and breathing to boost physical and mental wellbeing. The practice originated in India about 5,000 years ago, and has been adapted in other countries in a variety of ways.

Pilates places particular emphasis on core strength, aiming to strengthen the body evenly, improving general fitness and well-being, also improving your posture, muscle tone, balance and joint mobility

Both disciplines can use a mat. Whilst it is usual to use one for Pilates, a mat when doing Yoga exercises is more comfortable than just using the floor.

If, however you require your body to be strengthened and toned, then Pilates would be your choice. However, whilst both Yoga and Pilates can help you in building more strength, Yoga does not place as much emphasis on building strength and toning as Pilates does.

If, however you wish to do exercises to help you relax, then Yoga would seem more preferable than Pilates.

Yoga Exercises

The main components of yoga are postures (a series of movements designed to increase strength and flexibility) and breathing.

To confuse the issue, there are a number of different types or forms of Yoga, with differing poses and structures, these include:

Hatha Yoga – a basic form of Yoga, the classes are slow moving, requiring you to hold your breath for just a few breaths.

Vinyasa Yoga – this would suit those that like artistic movement, as this flows linking both breath and movement, in a way that reminds you of dance movements.

Other forms of Yoga include, Hot Yoga, Yin Yoga, Lyengar Yoga, Bikram Yoga and Kundalini Yoga to name but a few.

For the beginner there are a number of gentle exercises which you can start with, that are slow as well gentle.

Pilates Exercises

Whilst some Yoga exercises can be done on a mat, Pilates exercises are always done on a mat. If, however you are undecided about Pilates and wish to try out some of the exercises first, you could always use a rug.

If, however you find that you are comfortable with the exercises you can then buy a mat. A ball is also used in some of the routines.

However, Pilates can be done with no equipment whatsoever. It just depends on how deep you wish to go, just a few core exercises getting a flatter tummy, or the whole hog to impress your partner.

The Health Benefits

Both Yoga and Pilates Benefits, do have some similarities with regard to improving your health.

Are there any health benefits to Pilates? Those who practise regular Pilates exercise believe that it can improve posture, muscle tone, balance and joint mobility.

Classed as a muscle strengthening activity, this can help you to maintain a healthy weight.

For those who wish to lose weight using Pilates, these exercises should be combined with a healthy diet and activities such as walking and swimming.

Pilates can improve your general fitness and well-being, it is also believed to relieve stress and tension.

Yoga helps you to relax in a recognised way by improving your physical and mental health.

Research has shown that not only do regular sessions of Yoga help stimulate your immune system, it can also help with conditions such as…..

  • Arthritis
  • Asthema
  • Lower Back Pain
  • Diabetes
  • Blood Pressure
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Heart Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Headaches
  • And a number of other related illnesses.

Those who practice Yoga believe it enables you to get a better night’s sleep, improves your concentration and focus, reduces your stress levels, boosts your self-estem and respect and improves your feel good factor

In General

Pilates has something to offer people of all ages, levels of ability and fitness. It does not matter whether you are a beginner or an elite athlete.

Age, level of fitness and ability are no barrier to Pilates.

Yoga is a more gentle form of exercise, which apart from a mat does not require any other form of equipment. But some teachers do use a varied array of extra kit.

Some forms of Yoga are more physical demanding and power related these can get you very hot and sweaty.

In Summary

Yoga is now commonplace in leisure centres, health clubs, schools, hospitals and surgeries.

With all forms of exercise if you do have any doubts about your health then do seek medical advice first.

Both Yoga and Pilates benefits, will help you to achieve, a healthier you, enabling you to feel more relaxed and generally enjoying that feel good factor.

Practising both will enable you to get the right balance of benefits.

Whichever you choice, or both if you like, enjoy the experience and well-being, that either or both will bring.

Before you begin any form of exercise it is advisable to do some form of warm up exercises first.

As was said earlier if you are in any doubt about the state of your health,

PLEASE, DO SEEK PROFESSIONAL ADVICE FIRST.

Which ever activity you choose, enjoy it, be healthy and happy.

Stuart