Reducing Stress through Yoga, Breath Work, and Meditation

By Michelle Parker, N.C., H.H.P, for Robin’s Yoga & Healing Center, LLC,
Tewksbury, MA

Medical research suggests that stress is one of the biggest reasons for disease and illness in the United States. Stress is defined as a threat, real or imagined, that affects one’s mental, emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. When stressful situations pile up one after another, the body has no chance to recover. This long-term activation of the stress-response system can disrupt almost all the body's processes, increasing one’s risk of obesity, insomnia, digestive complaints, heart disease and depression. To maintain an optimum physical well-being, therefore, requires one to focus on reducing stress by increasing the connection between the mind, body, and spirit.

Yoga and meditation, work together in achieving the common goal of unity of mind, body and spirit. Meditation creates conditions, where you are not affected by the happenings around you. This in turn creates a remarkable calmness and a positive outlook, which has tremendous benefits on the physical health of the body. Meditation is an effective way of focusing the mind to bring about, relaxation, peace, and tranquility. It can help one gain a new perspective, and is a great way to relieve stress and promote relaxation. A regular meditation practice can help improve sleep patterns, lower blood pressure, improve circulation, all of which help prevent disease and aging. Guided imagery a form of meditation can be very effective at helping someone regain a sense of balance, calm, and peace. Virtually everyone can use imagery. However it does require practice. Once you feel relaxed imagine a favorite scene (perhaps the beach). Try to go into this scene each time you practice. As you visualize the scene imagine that you are restful, safe, and comfortable. Since the body and mind are one, when the mind is deeply rested the body is also deeply rested. While prolonged stress can make someone sick, causing high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, insomnia, and depression, a well rested mind and body promotes wellness. According to Deepak Chopra, M.D., Chairman and co-founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in California, the most direct way to experience this is via meditation.

Deepak Chopra defines meditation as “restful awareness” the opposite of fight or flight response a reaction to stress. Stating “restful awareness” is “a natural mind/body response, as natural as the stress response”. During which time the breathing slows, blood pressure decreases, and stress hormones levels fall.

Another great way to reduce stress and support the mind, body, spirit, connection is the practice of yoga. Yoga has many benefits both physiological and psychological. Yoga involves movements, which bring stability and energy to the body, mind, and spirit. Physical benefits of yoga include: improved sleep, decrease in aches and pains, normalization of weight, increased levels of energy, improved posture and improved muscular strength and flexibility. Psychological benefits include: improved concentration, attention, mood, a greater sense of well-being, and increased self acceptance.

Breath work goes hand and hand with yoga and meditation. Breath work is safe, and gentle, and yet a powerful means to access both the inner self and the higher self. Breath work can help alleviate stress and tension while promoting relaxation.

Yoga coupled with meditation and breath work, work remarkably well to help the mind work in sync with the body and help defuse the negative effects of stress on the physical, spiritual, and emotional systems of the body. There are many different types of yoga, meditation, and breath-work, do some research and find what works best for you, you’ll be glad you did when you begin experiencing yogic “bliss”. Bliss is defined as “perfect happiness” and “spiritual joy”.

Robin’s Yoga & Healing Center LLC
Visit us online and view our yoga class schedule, workshops, certifications, events, learn more about our Healing Therapies and more.

Michelle Parker is a member of the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner, and Nutritional Consultant as well as a yoga instructor at Robin’s Yoga and Healing Center LLC.


Grow Younger, Live Longer, Deepak Chopra, M.D. & David Simon, M.D.




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