Do you have a hard time managing stress?
I know, I’m supposed to be serene and not show an ounce of stress as a yoga teacher. I’m supposed to let worries wash over me like waterfall…Riiiiight.
Before I started my regular yoga practice, I would consistently have meltdowns. By consistent I mean, about once a month (may or may not be coincidental). Something trivial like missing an assignment would catapult me into a fit of tears and hyperventilation. If you would have witnessed my meltdowns, you would have thought the world was ending. I wasn’t invited to the party? Bury me in the pit of sorrow. Nothing to wear? Let the asteroids descend upon the Earth. Haven’t eaten in six hours? Hell fire breaking loose. It was all completely egocentric driven stress. How do you prevent ego stress (i.e. the stress that does not actually exist but only in your mind)?
“Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins—chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers—and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress.”
—Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA)
Essentially, if you move more, you’ll feel better. And why did I choose yoga? The focus on breathing in combination with dynamic and static poses allows works the mind and body in a way unique to any other workout.
Now, whenever an existential crisis does occur, I have a secret weapon…
I go immediately into my stress emergency pose: child’s. In this pose, I’m safe and grounded. I can feel my breath against the floor. My mind stops racing. Trust me on this, you need an emergency pose. Find what makes you feel good. And when you get stressed, stop, drop, and strike your pose.
I will be the first to say that yoga is not a cure-all, but it may help in subtle ways you may not even be aware of.