Why physical exercise alone isn’t enough to counter stress & Why yoga works

You know that physical exercise in general improves many functions of the body and mind, and helps relieve stress. But if you feel stressed on a regular basis, like daily, going for a run or lifting weights at the gym won’t keep you from burning out.

One thing is to see if you can change the situation you’re in that makes you stressed.

However, the most important part of the situation is you and the way you handle whatever is around you; like work, colleagues, family, friends and strangers. Like traffic jams, “bad” weather and all kind of difficulties that life brings in front of you.

How you handle what happens around you is based on your inner belief systems, most of which are hidden in your SUBCONSCIOUS.

For example, having a subconscious (hidden) belief about yourself that you’re not really worthy (of love and existence) and that the only way you can make yourself worthy enough to go through this world is when you’re constantly fulfilling everyone’s wishes (also the wishes you’re imagining), going the extra mile every time to deliver more than expected and trying to be perfect.

As long as you cannot observe your own subconscious thoughts, you’ll remain trapped in this belief system, a remnant of your past.

Nevertheless, there is a cure that works on many levels: yoga.

Apart from the physical exercises that improves the functions of the body and mind in many ways, yoga helps through releasing tensions (ie new or old stress). Tensions in the body are connected to “tensions”/hang-ups/memories in the mind – including the ingrained patterns and belief systems.

Yoga is also a practice of OBSERVING your experiences with present moment AWARENESS. You learn to observe the sensations, movements and tensions in the body as well as practicing complete relaxation of body and mind. Improving your ability for (self-) observation will help tremendously to see and understand your patterns and belief systems.

Your subconscious beliefs will remain hidden as long as you’re not ready to see and handle them. You need a calm and less reactive body-mind to allow your hidden beliefs to move from the subconscious to the conscious.

The yoga exercises, particularly the breathing techniques, take the body-mind from the stressful state of “fight-and-flight” (the sympathetic nervous system in active mode) to CALM and RELAXATION in the state of “rest-and-digest” (the parasympathetic nervous system active). It’s in this calm state, where the physical body digests the food you’ve eaten, that your mind can also DIGEST the experiences of your past and the present. And the hidden beliefs can become conscious to allow for you to see and understand them.

If you wish, you can then consciously chose to un-program your mind to be able to experience life in a clear and open state; where you’re consciously acting on whatever happens around you, not just reacting according to your hidden beliefs and ingrained patterns that keeps you trapped in painful experiences and stress.

The healing process of yoga is a slow but effective process. The effects come immediately, still you might not notice it in the beginning.

If you want to experience the deep and transformational effects of yoga, then practice every day. However, it can take time to build up the readiness for such a committed practice. It took years until it felt natural and inviting to me to practice yoga every day. So do what works and feels compelling to you.

Be patient. Consider it a practice for life.


Questions? Leave a comment below or send me an email: info(at)tovekristiansson.com



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