Stress can take a tremendous toll on the body, draining our energy and keeping the body in a constant state of anxiety. The effects are magnified when the body builds up tension in the muscles and the mind is restless.

Yoga is a powerful vehicle to access the inner strength that allows us to face the overwhelming fears, frustrations and challenges of everyday life. Yoga allows our energy to flow more freely pushing through any emotional and physical barrier and freeing the body and mind.

We can’t eliminate stress from our lives, but we can learn to manage it in a healthier way. A simple way to calm our mind is in our breath. Here are a few tips on how:

  1. Sit down comfortably, or lay down on a yoga mat and close your eyes. Focus on your breathe and listen to the sound of each inhale and exhale.
  2. Place your left hand on your stomach, just below your ribcage. Place your right hand over your chest.
  3. Breathe in deeply through your nostrils, letting the air fill your stomach and feel your left hand rise with the breath. Hold for 5 seconds.
  4. Breathe out through your mouth, releasing the air from your stomach and gently guide your left hand on your stomach inwards. Hold for 5 seconds.
  5. Slowly repeat between 5 and 10 times.
    You should begin to feel relaxed after this exercise, but feel free to continue as long as you feel you need to.

Daily practice of complete relaxation – even a few minutes during your work day or before bed can make a difference. This daily exercise in focusing the mind on stillness teaches us to consciously quiet our mind whenever we feel overwhelmed.

Our breath is fundamental to any yoga practice or meditation. It puts you in touch with your inner self; this means greater self-awareness and a fuller, happier life. Namaste.

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