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Yoga: physical and mental benefits

Beth96

New member
Yoga is universally known as a form of exercise used to improve blood flow and flexibility. Experts say great it can be for mental health as well. I read online that yoga has been found to improve one's mental health because it forces you to focus on the individual sensations in your body, and it takes your mind off of whatever stressers you have in your life. It has also been found to be successful as a treatment of PTSD. I've never personally tried it. Has anyone ever used yoga as a way to deal with stress?
 

magikheart

New member
I have used yoga several times to deal with stress. A lot of it is focused on breathing as you work through specific poses. Focusing on breathing really allows you to relax. At the end of nearly every yoga routine I have done, there are a few moments where you center yourself. You lie on your back, hands out, and you just stay like that for about 30 seconds. At the end, there is sometimes a warming of the hands, and you place them over your face. It always ends with you coming back to your heart and saying "Namaste." I've found yoga is really about the senses, which does seem to be a stress reliever.
 

Beth96

New member
I have used yoga several times to deal with stress. A lot of it is focused on breathing as you work through specific poses. Focusing on breathing really allows you to relax. At the end of nearly every yoga routine I have done, there are a few moments where you center yourself. You lie on your back, hands out, and you just stay like that for about 30 seconds. At the end, there is sometimes a warming of the hands, and you place them over your face. It always ends with you coming back to your heart and saying "Namaste." I've found yoga is really about the senses, which does seem to be a stress reliever.
That's so interesting! Do you feel like yoga has helped you in dealing with stress? Also, would you suggest going to a class or doing yoga at home with YouTube or something like that?
 

1akhand2

New member
I was born in an Indian brahmin family, the ones who developed yoga as well as the Kamasutra too. Yoga is an integral part of our life which we do in early morning chanting "OM" which soothes our soul and forms a kind of relationship with the Almighty. It relieves us from stress, anxiety and carries various invisible health benefits with it. The 'Pranayam' used in Yoga to exhale and inhale air accordingly helps not only in relieving the body but also helps in digestion too.
 

JessicaW

New member
That's so interesting! Do you feel like yoga has helped you in dealing with stress? Also, would you suggest going to a class or doing yoga at home with YouTube or something like that?
I am a very casual yoga practitioner...in my living room with my computer screen, which has no judgmental eyes. I think it definitely helps me reduce stress, helps me sleep (I've experimented enough to realize this was true), and helps me keep the muscles in my neck, shoulders and back from locking up post injury. I've never set foot in a yoga class. I might one day. I'm sticking to my living room where I have practiced (on and off) for 10 years. I could talk for an hour about how much yoga helps me.

I would love to learn, but feel like I'm too out of shape to attempt it.
If you're worried about getting into those "stereotypical yoga shapes" that you see in pictures, do yourself a favor and don't think like that. Do the best you are able. Don't worry about getting a "perfect" shape for the stretch. Start with the objective of being in the moment, breathing and stretching your muscles. Yoga should always be a positive experience.

Just find one or two beginners yoga videos on YouTube and alternate between them for a couple weeks, if that's what you want to do. You can literally search "yoga for beginners". My favorites are Yoga with Adriene and YogaTX (pay attention to video titles with this channel). They have whole playlists dedicated to beginners yoga with a variety of video lengths from 15-40+ minutes. The instructors on both of those channels also give you modifications to the poses if you can't stretch like a Yogi--I still can't. They also won't talk down to you. They are very positive. I have to use many of the modifications because of body type and ability level. But, do what is comfortable for you. I only know what has worked for me.
 

ltk20

New member
I've actually come to really like yoga. I used to brush it off, but I have found that it actually helps me with my anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Part of it is that I'm so focused on doing the poses that I don't have time to focus on my anxiety! I think I have come to enjoy Vinyasa Yoga or Yoga Flow the most because I like the movements involved. And the yoga instructors I've encountered have always been very nice, helpful, and non-judgemental. If I'm going to a new class or if there is a new instructor, I try to introduce myself before class starts and let them know that I'm on a still on a beginner level and that they should feel free to correct me. They're always very positive. I've come a long way since I used to have the similar attitude towards yoga as Ron Swanson:


ron swanson-yoga.png

But I still prefer my yoga classes to be 60-minutes long. A 75-minute class still feels too long for me.
 

ALGrace656

New member
I had weak ligaments in both of my knees. It would mess up and instead of hold my kneecaps in place, they'd get strained and tangled and wrap themselves around the top of my kneecap, making it so I couldn't move my leg. I did yoga 4 times a week. One month in, and the severity of the strains lessened considerably. Three months in and it was only happening every once in a while. Six months into and they stopped failing entirely. Yoga absolutely strengthens your body, and its definitely helped calm my mind. Taking an hour out of your day to dedicate to yourself is a small price for peace, focus, and happiness. Yoga is easily one of my favorite things to do when stressed because it helps me keep everything in check, physically and mentally
 

anniel

New member
I am a very casual yoga practitioner...in my living room with my computer screen, which has no judgmental eyes. I think it definitely helps me reduce stress, helps me sleep (I've experimented enough to realize this was true), and helps me keep the muscles in my neck, shoulders and back from locking up post injury. I've never set foot in a yoga class. I might one day. I'm sticking to my living room where I have practiced (on and off) for 10 years. I could talk for an hour about how much yoga helps me.



If you're worried about getting into those "stereotypical yoga shapes" that you see in pictures, do yourself a favor and don't think like that. Do the best you are able. Don't worry about getting a "perfect" shape for the stretch. Start with the objective of being in the moment, breathing and stretching your muscles. Yoga should always be a positive experience.

Just find one or two beginners yoga videos on YouTube and alternate between them for a couple weeks, if that's what you want to do. You can literally search "yoga for beginners". My favorites are Yoga with Adriene and YogaTX (pay attention to video titles with this channel). They have whole playlists dedicated to beginners yoga with a variety of video lengths from 15-40+ minutes. The instructors on both of those channels also give you modifications to the poses if you can't stretch like a Yogi--I still can't. They also won't talk down to you. They are very positive. I have to use many of the modifications because of body type and ability level. But, do what is comfortable for you. I only know what has worked for me.
I agree with your point that especially at first, doing yoga at home rather than in a class can be especially helpful for stress relief. I've been doing about 15 minutes of yoga a day this summer and finding it extremely helpful. I do it alone in my bedroom in the evening. I went to a class with some friends and found that I wasn't as able to get fully relaxed because I felt the instructor's eyes on me and I felt like I was being evaluated. Interesting, since it seems like free online yoga often gets a bad rap!
 

JessicaW

New member
I agree with your point that especially at first, doing yoga at home rather than in a class can be especially helpful for stress relief. I've been doing about 15 minutes of yoga a day this summer and finding it extremely helpful. I do it alone in my bedroom in the evening. I went to a class with some friends and found that I wasn't as able to get fully relaxed because I felt the instructor's eyes on me and I felt like I was being evaluated. Interesting, since it seems like free online yoga often gets a bad rap!
Oh, online yoga does get a bad rap. And, I've seen the reasons for that, which is why I always first watch through a video of different, unfamiliar instructor. But, I haven't had to do that in a few years now. I pretty much just stick with the same few at this point. I just need to make sure they go at a pace I know I will have time to make the adjustments to poses.

Normally, my mind is goes in a million different directions, except in three circumstances: when I'm playing a musical instrument, when I'm editing/writing, when I'm practicing yoga. The fact that I am able to add yoga to that list makes me feel so proud of myself.
 

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