Life is complicated and always changing.
When we respond to life situations with stress, we create more stress — which in turn creates illness and disease. But when we calm the body and mind and react to life from a place of ease, we bring in still more ease and create healing.
Therapeutic yoga taught me to feel my experiences and then let them go; I found that if I held on, I created stress and blocks that stunted my growth in life. It is only when I let the past go that I was able to work for a healthy future and invite in positivity and true happiness. Getting to a place of ease relieved the dis-ease that was created by holding on.
When we feel stress, our bodies go into fight or flight mode, where cortisol and adrenalin levels are elevated. This rush of body chemicals — natural, but inappropriate in most situations — creates a host of physical symptoms. When our bodies are busy sending energy to “defense” mode instead of “relax” mode, we quickly deplete our reserves of energy. It’s in that situation that illness and injury thrive. We tend to feel exhausted and the little bumps in the road overwhelm and tire us out.
But by combating the stress of the world with times of relaxation, we strengthen our immune systems, increase productivity and focus, get restful sleep and improve organ function, keeping ourselves healthier and stronger during difficult times. We move out of a state of high alert and are able to relax, be soft and find joy in daily life — instead of always rushing to the next thing.
We also find clarity.
When we are stressed, we are faced with two kinds of stressors – external and internal. Most external stressors are out of our control. Most internal stressors are in our control. Internal stressors are the mental dialogue we tell ourselves about an external stressor. Internal stressors are most of the incessant stream of thoughts running amok.
For example, a coworker insults you first thing in the morning when you arrive to work. You are stunned and hurt by the insult, and in that moment, you aren’t sure how to respond so you brush it off. But due to the nature of the mind, you keep replaying the event over and over. You hear the words ringing in your ears and wish you could have reacted differently. You feel worse and worse about yourself as you focus on it – perhaps even thinking, “That Jackie, what a jerk. I wish I said…”
The mind runs with judgment about the person that insulted you. Your day is filled with turmoil from this interaction. You can’t focus, you feel tired. The turmoil continues as you get home. You share the experience with loved ones and that night, you can’t sleep because it’s bothering you. You lay in bed, feeling worried about going to work the next day and wonder if you should take a sick day.
Therapeutic yoga can help witness and silence this incessant train of thinking that is causing you great stress. As we practice being a witness, we become more present and better prepared to speak our truth next time or not take it personally at all. We witness those internal stressors and gradually shift our experience of stress, into an experience of clarity and peace. We develop the skill to use presence as our “super power” and relax into what is, taking nothing personally.
Regular therapeutic yoga practice calms the nervous system, which eases anxiety and creates clarity in the mind. It focuses the mind and strengthens body awareness. We are then able to connect to our true self, tap into the resources of our inner guides and let our intuition guide us through life. A regular practice of self-care clues us in so we know when we’re pushing too hard—and need to back off and do less. We need time to ourselves, to tune inward and replenish our energy reserves – mentally, physically and spiritually.
Some may say that self-care is selfish, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Our external world is a reflection of our internal world — if we’re suffering on the inside, we’ll project that suffering out on the ones around us. When we’re calm, free from physical pain and at our best, we can think and act with clarity that is best for our families and friends. More presence and ease in life means better quality relationships and doing what truly makes us and those around us happy.
“Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”
– Eleanor Brown
Healing yourself with yoga is the most important thing you can do for the ones you love… and for yourself. I discovered this and you can too.
Schedule your session today to learn how to make lasting change, silence incessant thinking and be free from internal stressors. Learn how to shift from stress to ease with regular practice.