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Stress Less with Yoga
Rest in the Breath
Restorative Yoga to Combat Stress

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Restorative Yoga
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Stress Less with Yoga

 
Stress is a necessary part of life; however, our bodies are not designed for the unrelenting nature of current day, chronic stress. Research is now citing stress as a major factor in high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, depression, osteoporosis, strokes, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and cancer. Stress impairs the immune system and increases inflammation, cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, and our resistance to insulin.  In addition, high cortisol levels, which are a result of chronic stress, contribute to overeating, and these extra calories are converted to fat which is stored in the abdomen, the most dangerous place for our heart.

Rest in the Breath

Rest in the Breath
 
The breath facilitates our connection with body, mind and spirit during our yoga practice.  In fact, the quality of the breath impacts us profoundly all day, every day.  Rapid, shallow breathing contributes to anxiety, while long, slow breaths encourage relaxation. Posture and the muscles we use when we breathe also affect the quality of the breath. 
 
The following breathing techniques help encourage relaxation by slowing down the breath. While they can be done at any time or place, the suggestions below will help optimize your practice.

Restorative Yoga to Combat Stress

Stress is a part of life, and there is no escaping its effects.  Even positive life changes, like marriage, babies, new jobs and houses create stress in our lives.  In ancient times, stress was shorter lived.  The "fight or flight" response of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) was designed to help us flee from danger.  When faced with a real or perceived threat, the body produces adrenaline and cortisol to increase heart rate, blood pressure, mental alertness and muscle tension in order to deal with the threat.
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