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Stress Relief - Yoga

Author : Sam Nickel

Submitted : 2008-11-06 00:00:00    Word Count : 554    Popularity:   64

Tags:   stress relief, yoga

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Yoga is considered to be an extremely effective method for relieving stress. Many people avoid yoga with the idea that they either can't or don't wish to maneuver their body into a pretzel. However, these positions are for advanced practitioners. Yoga has many postures that are simple to perform. For example, the thirteen exercises, which are recommended for awakening the body, consist of gentle backward bends, forward bends, and an exercise resembling push-ups.

Yoga is a very old program that comes from India, dating back some 4000 years. It supposedly originated from watching the movements and stances of animals. The main goal of the yoga practitioner is to achieve harmony of body, mind, and spirit, which results in inner peace in all areas of one's life.

Yoga is divided into eight parts. The first two emphasize an attitude towards life, which should be to live in peace and harmony, observing cleanliness, following a simple diet and studying.

The next two parts are concerned with the movements and their proper execution. They combine various exercises with breathing techniques. Some are strength building and some develop balance and flexibility. Others are designed to help one focus the mind. The underlying premise is to calm and rejuvenate the body, mind, and spirit through performing simple exercises.

The last four are devoted to the training of one's mind together with the development of spiritual qualities. The final goal is enlightenment at which time the trainee acquires deep insight into the nature of the universe.

Yoga masters emphasize the importance of patience and persistence. One must practice the routines on a daily basis in order to realize any benefits.

Most people learn yoga by taking a class although there are various books and tapes available. Classes are commonly divided into beginning, intermediate and advanced sections.

It is recommended that a prospective student seek out classes that are welcoming and friendly. They should emphasize cooperation, not competition and should be encouraging. Before signing up, visit the class and sense the ambience. If you feel comfortable, join the group. If not, continue to look for the right class for you.

Also, there is a newly emerging yoga practice known as yoga therapy. In yoga therapy, you visit a therapist who, after careful discussion with you, will design a yoga program to fulfill your personal needs. This field of yoga is relatively new so there are not many skilled therapists available.

However, many yoga masters are accredited and yoga societies keep a list of accredited teachers. The society in your country can recommend a therapist if one is available. In addition, many physicians recommend yoga therapy to their patients and they maintain lists of available therapists in your area.

But yoga may not be for everyone. People with certain health conditions should not attempt yoga on their own. Women who are pregnant and patients with hernias, low back pain, back injuries, and high blood pressure should consult with their doctor before attempting yoga. And even with their doctor's approval, they should only attempt the exercises under the expert guidance of a highly qualified yoga master.

There are many devotees of yoga but the bottom line is that you should enjoy it and it should relieve your stress. If it causes you stress, than you need to pass it up and seek other alternatives.

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