4 Yogic Practices to Reduce Stress

4 Yogic Practices to Reduce Stress

Four simple and gentle yoga ways to curb daily stress. By Vidya Heisel

Reading time: 3 minutes

During times of stress, several yogic practices can be helpful: meditation, restorative yoga, yoga nidra, and yin yoga. By practicing meditation regularly, even for just 10 minutes per day, we can cultivate a sense of calm and relaxation by observing our thoughts and emotions without judgement, thus reducing the negative effects of stress.

Restorative yoga is a gentle more passive form of yoga that utilises props to support the body in specific relaxing poses. It promotes the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system, reducing the production of stress hormones and inducing a state of calmness

 Yoga nidra, often referred to as yogic sleep, guides us into a state of conscious deep relaxation. This practice helps manage stress by reducing anxiety and promoting a sense of inner peace.

Yin yoga involves holding passive poses for an extended duration, targeting the release of deep connective tissues and joints. By gently stressing the deep tissues, the practice stimulates the relaxation response, relieves physical tension, calms the nervous system and promotes emotional balance.

While these four yoga practices can really help in managing stress, ultimately the best way of completely liberating ourselves from the harmful effects of stress is through contemplating and assimilating the philosophical teachings of yoga.

One of the most-loved yogic texts, the Bhagavad Gita provides profound wisdom and guidance on embracing life’s challenges. It teaches us to surrender to the present moment and embrace whatever is happening exactly as it is. By understanding the core teachings of non-attachment and equanimity, we can learn to let go of worry and stress and embrace what is. By incorporating this understanding into our lives, we cultivate a sense of resilience, acceptance, and gratitude, ultimately reducing stress through knowledge, and finding deep inner peace.

Vidya Heisel is director of Frog Lotus Yoga International Yoga Teacher Training (froglotusyogainternational.com) and Suryalila Retreat Centre (suryalila.com)

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