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Blog / / Fighting anxiety and stress with yoga
BLOG
Fighting anxiety and stress with yoga
When I am asked to explain what yoga is, the first thought is unity - the unity of spirit, breath and body. This ancient skill unites 8 paths of yoga, among which are physical posture (Asana – a stable and comfortable position), exercises for managing prana (life energy) through various breathing exercises (Pranayami), relaxation-meditative exercises, concentration exercises, meditation and self-awareness. In yoga, energy is not wasted, but is gathered and centred within us so that we can use it. Yoga is not a sport. In it, there is no competition with others, nor with oneself.

Yoga is a thousands-year-old practice that teaches us how to breathe properly, listen to our body, release tension and stress, and restore balance.

PA little over two decades ago, my parents and sisters started yoga and invited me to come with them. At first, I didn't want to go, but after several invitations, I decided to join them. My first impression was that yoga was too static for me. But, when I felt the very next day that almost all my muscles had been used in those, for me, static exercises, I decided to go again. I practiced yoga for the next 15 years with small breaks (due to attending college, studying, traveling, etc.), until 2017 when I became one of the most regular yoga practitioners and enrolled in the Holistic Academy in 2019.

Yoga requires only good will and a mat that can be a blanket, grass or any other comfortable place. Comfortable clothes, which will not limit our movements, are also necessary because while doing yoga, our attention should be focused only on ourselves, on our body and breathing. We practice this ancient art within the limits of comfort. It is important that every position is comfortable for us, that nothing hurts or pinches. I often hear people say - pleasant pain. There is no such thing as pleasant pain. While there is pain, it is not pleasant. If we feel that something is hurting us, we should reduce the intensity of stretching. In yoga, attention is focused on breathing, that is, on movement of the breath. This means that when we are in a certain position, we keep our eyes closed and with each breath we feel a certain part of the body expanding with an inhale like a flower in bloom, and shrinking like a bud with an exhale. That is the movement of the breath.

A yoga class begins with withdrawing the senses within oneself and listening to one's body. Then we start exercises for moving all the joints in our body. We go from rigidity to mobility and become fluid like water. Yoga is like life. We are born, we begin to grow, we reach the maximum, we stay in it for a while (the central part of the class), after which the exercises get easier, until the moment when we move on to breathing exercises and finally relaxation exercises.

I practice yoga as much as it feels good. Sometimes it's every day, sometimes it's 4 times a week, sometimes it's even twice a day... It depends on how I feel, what kind of day it is and how much time I have. I would recommend it to everyone because there are no age limits. No one is too young or too old to practice it. Also, lack of flexibility is not a reason to avoid practicing yoga. We don't have to be like "rubber" to exercise this ancient art is not gymnastics, nor acrobatics. It is a lifestyle, the way we get to know ourselves and work to our own benefit.

Yoga helps us find peace, relax mentally and physically and at the same time gather strength. The way we deal with stress depends on ourselves, and this ancient skill teaches us to deal with stress so that it is not harmful to us, meaning, to release it. The moment we release part of the stress from ourselves, we gain mental and physical strength, we are more durable and productive both in our job and in our personal life. In addition to benefits for mental health, yoga also helps our physical health, because with regular exercise, the body becomes harmonious, relaxed (tension and pain are released), and our mind is more satisfied.

Although life pushes us into having a hectic schedule, yoga is here to help restore balance. Achieving the unity of spirit, breath and body is the achievement of harmony that we all strive for, which is why I highly recommend practicing yoga. Because being in motion is good for the body, and being calm is good for the mind.
AUTHOR
Senka Vojtečki
Senior Expert Associate - Product and Process Quality Compliance, SEERU Centralized Quality Function, SEERU Quality, Hemofarm