Stress is a simple fact of life on earth in the twenty-first century; stress is so common that countries all over the globe are incorporating the English word "stress" into their own languages: "Que stress. ¡Me siento agobiada/o!" (translation from Spanish: "What stress. I am totally overwhelmed!"). If you've never been under stress, we'd like to know your secret. (It's probably yoga!)
Yoga tackles stress on many levels. The postures, or asanas, help you control your wayward body, making it stronger, more flexible, better functioning, and consequently, more resistant to disease and other physical problems. Practicing the asanas trains your body to do exactly what you tell it to do. Your doctor knows that moderate exercise, deep breathing, and relaxation are all great ways to relieve stress—yoga accomplishes all three. Yoga's breathing exercises, or pranayama, consciously channel the flow of the life force, prana, into and out of the body. Physiologically, deep, regular breathing sends a signal to each cell of your body to relax. Yoga meditation calms your racing thoughts and exercises your ability to master your own mind, rather than let your mind master you.
Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual way of life that puts reality into perspective. Yoga doesn't change your stressful circumstances, but it does teach you how to react to them without neglecting or injuring yourself.
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