Especially in difficult and stressful times, people long for balance and inner peace. Yoga combines mental balance with physical activation. Fluid movements and breathing exercises help to relax. Which yoga exercises are particularly suitable for inner balance.
How does yoga affect the body?
Yoga has been shown to reduce stress – this is shown not only by the positive opinions of yogis, but also by scientific studies. “yoga deepens breathing, lowers heart rate and helps normalize blood pressure. Stress is reduced and it is easier to relax, “says Jessica Fink, yoga teacher and spokeswoman for the Yoga Teachers’ Professional Association in Germany.
Yoga can also help relieve anxiety and counteract depression. Yoga is recognized by health insurance companies as a behavioral primary preventative measure for stress management. If certain requirements are met, the health insurance companies take over the costs.
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What makes yoga so valuable against stress?
Yoga combines different exercises that have a balancing, relaxing and concentration-promoting effect. Fluent movements are accompanied by gentle breathing exercises. The exercise sequences, which are made up of different asanas, help to focus attention on the here and now.
“Asanas teach us to feel the body and to handle it with care. Connecting the processes with the breath helps us to concentrate on practicing and staying in the now,” says Fink.
Jessica Fink is a spokeswoman for the professional association of yoga teachers in Germany and teaches yoga herself.
Sun salutation: Good exercise for beginners
The yoga teacher recommends yoga beginners to start with light exercises. The sun salutation (Surya Namaskar) is easy to make for yoga beginners. It includes lighter exercises such as Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) and Cobra (Bhujangasana). Performed slowly, the sun salutation has a relaxing effect, practiced faster has an activating effect. Warrior (Virabhadrasana) and Tree (Vrikshasana) are also good first yoga poses.
How does yoga affect the nervous system?
The autonomic nervous system controls many functions. These include, for example, breathing, digestion and metabolism. Using relaxation elements, conscious inhalation and exhalation and specific exercises, yoga stimulates the vegetative nervous system and brings body and psyche back into balance.
How much yoga is good for the body?
It is important that the exercises do you good and do not overwhelm you. The stretch should also be comfortable. Only in this way can the individual asanas exert their beneficial effect. The yoga expert recommends practicing yoga several times a week to increase the de-stressing effect. It is also important to find the yoga practice that suits you best.
“While power yoga, for example, is a more demanding yoga style, yoga nidra is one of the deeply relaxing yoga techniques,” says Fink. “Here it’s worth trying out which yoga style you feel comfortable with.”
What yoga breathing reveals about stress
Yoga is not about creating particularly challenging exercises. It’s about feeling your own body and respecting your boundaries. “Yoga allows you to listen to yourself through mindful bodywork. Stress and mental pressure often manifest as uneven breathing. Many people tend to breathe too low or too fast when they are stressed. Breathing reveals a lot about , how you feel. “, by Fink.
But just as stress affects breathing, deep and calm breathing can affect stress. For this reason, the accompanying breathing exercises in yoga support stress reduction. In challenging acute situations, the yoga expert advises taking a few deep breaths. The exhalation should always be slightly longer than the inhalation. “Consciously controlled breathing helps relieve stress and regain control of the situation.”
Important note: The information in no way replaces professional advice or treatment of trained and recognized physicians. The content of t-online can and must not be used to independently diagnose or start treatments.