Yoga Therapy: Personalized approach to managing stress

In modern life, there are a lot of ways you might experience stress which can lead to imbalances throughout your body from your outer body to your most inner/spiritual centre. Here is a list of 10 possible sources of stress that you may have some experience with.

  1. Unhealthy diet
  2. Environment
  3. Lifestyle
  4. Work/Life Balance or Time Management
  5. Family Issues
  6. Medical Condition or disease
  7. Physical Condition
  8. Mental/Psychological Condition
  9. Situational – temporary
  10. Unrealistic expectations

From a yoga perspective there are 5 causes of pain and suffering according to the ancient text Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. These are Ignorance, Egoism, Attachments, Aversions & Fear. According to the ancient teachings, practicing yoga can help lessen these causes of suffering and allow you to live your life according to your true nature – which is joyful, peaceful and loving.

We cannot completely avoid stress so we have to learn how to live our best life while reducing the negative effects of stress. Yoga Therapists look for the particular imbalance that the stress creates in your body and teaches yoga practices or other methods to bring the mind/body/spirit back into harmony. This may be simple – but not necessarily easy! – like a dietary change such as reducing caffeine intake, or creating some routines that help you stay consistent with your goals and your practice. A personalized approach is essential because everyone responds differently to stress. This is all normal. You can learn specific yoga practices to lessen the impact of stress on your whole system regardless of the source or cause of the stress.

Stress impacts your ability to enjoy life on a regular basis. There are many practices, including yoga and others, that can help bring some balance to your life. The more personalized the approach, and more holistic the view, the better your chances of creating some lasting balance.

One of the practices we might consider is becoming more aware of your thoughts, and the effect that they have on your emotions and decisions. Sometimes making the right choice, however simple (food, exercise, lifestyle) can seem very hard but we have yoga and meditation practices to help clear the mental clutter and thus make the decision seem easier.

We may also design a movement based yoga practice to help address physical conditioning issues and also calm the nervous system. But what if your habitual response to stress is to shut down and hide? You might need a yoga practice that raises your energy to help you get up and face your day. This is why a personalized approach is key to your success.

Stay tuned to my Facebook page @kerrysyogapage for more information on living a balanced life in the coming weeks and also some personal challenges for you to try!