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Yoga to calm the soul

You’ve got 99 problems? Well yoga can solve about 80 of them. Let’s discover how…

Yes, I’m talking about yoga, that class people go to wearing really nice leggings. The thing is, yoga comes from a 3,000-year-old tradition that is about so much more than exercise and cute outfits. Yoga means to connect. It’s about connecting movement with breath, mind with body and yourself with your emotions so you can take control of them.

Finding time and activities to relax can be difficult for many of us – we struggle just to sit still and mediate. And then we find it hard to justify giving up an hour to get a massage. The great thing about yoga is, yes you can practice for an hour, but you can also flow for just 5 minutes and still connect to your mind and calm the soul.

The Science

Yoga is highly effective at reducing the physiological and psychological feelings of stress and inducing a state of calm. When you’re in a state of stress, you stimulate your sympathetic nervous system and fire up your adrenal glands. This is what causes an increase in heart rate, sweaty palms and lack of focus. Through the use of breath, movement and mindfulness, yoga stimulates the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system and down-regulates the production of stress hormones like cortisol. This will lower your blood pressure, allow you to digest, control your heart rate and breathing – filling you with an overall sense of calm.

The how to

Yoga can be practiced anytime, anywhere. If you’re in Australia, here’s a list of beautifully designed yoga studios across the country. Otherwise, juts type the word ‘yoga’ into your smartphone and you’ll have an abundance of apps to choose from. There’s even one called 5 minute yoga for the time poor. And lastly, if you’re a visual person, YouTube can provide you with some easy yoga sequences to follow. Try out this yoga flow for relaxation from Yoga with Adriene.

You don’t have to be an epic yogi to enjoy the benefits of yoga. Yes, wearing nice leggings and a sports bra does help you look better doing a downward dog. But for the times you just need to de-stress and calm the soul, doing a 5-minute flow can make all the difference.

Check out Marc’s post on his experience with yoga as a busy executive.

Until then, be Powerful.

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