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Yoga and Observation

private yoga instructorIn his blog, Facing the Stress Epidemic, J. Brown reflects on the type of yoga he practices and teaches. His comments really resonated with me so I am sharing them with you. Here are some of his points that I found particularly meaningful.

My Thoughts

  1. As he notes, yoga is described as being great for stress reduction yet that is not always the case. Classes that ignore the breath or mention it only occasionally “… exhibit a lack of understanding about the nature of stress or how to effectively address it.”
  2.  Yoga that has breath as the primary emphasis, rather than as an afterthought, does much more to reduce stress because the deep breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system allowing our body to rest and repair.
  3.  Athletes are taught to power through the pain no matter how you might be feeling. Certainly, that was my behavior. I learned very early on that powering through just doesn’t work in yoga. As J. Brown says, you will get hurt.
  4.  Yoga is about observation and understanding your physical, mental and emotional state every time you get on your mat. By observing where you are, you can adjust your practice to where you at the moment and mindfully experience the benefits of yoga.

J Brown Article

Here is the first part of his article. Click here for the complete article and video. It is a thought-provoking read.

According to the American Medical Association, 80 to 85 percent of all human illness and disease can be attributed in part to stress. Over two-thirds of all office visits to physicians are for stress-related illness. Stress is a major contributing factor either directly or indirectly to the six leading causes of death in the United States. In a recent study, 75 percent of yoga students reported attending yoga classes for stress management.

Yet despite yoga’s reputation for stress reduction, yoga classes regularly exhibit a lack of understanding about the nature of stress or how to effectively address it. Often, people talk about stress as though it were a lactic acid in their muscles that just needs to be stretched out. Surely, one of the great boons of an appropriate yoga practice is its capacity for alleviating some amount of musculoskeletal tension. And there is some interesting science being done on the release of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA). However, this is merely scratching the surface when it comes to dealing with stress in the sort of epidemic proportions that we currently face.

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Joanne Thompson

Joanne Thompson

Founder/Owner at Yoga for Self

Health is a precious gift and my goal is to help you live a healthier, happier life through yoga. Every private session is uniquely designed just for you. For a free telephone consultation call me at 303.818.4181. Discover whether personalized, private yoga instruction is right for you.
Joanne Thompson

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