Yoga & Stress

Written by: Beth Cosi

Stress is defined in the Googles as Anxiety, an “intense, excessive and persistent worry
and fear about everyday situations.”

What I take real note of here, is that it occurs in “everyday situations.” Stress is a part of our living. We need stress to get out of bed, get the work done, achieve goals, live our potential and inspire others. The key to “managing” stress, i believe is to befriend it.

First, here’s a bit of what we know about stress and the body in regards to our Nervous System:
The Parasympathetic Nervous System is our Rest and Digest state. Here, we CONSERVE ENERGY. Our heart rate is able to slow and our blood pressure stabilize, allowing better functioning of our DIGESTION and ELIMINATION organs and systems. You don’t have to be a doctor to know that when you are in harmony with your food, your energy and your gut that you feel and perform better! This is crucial to healthy living and being happy.
The Sympathetic Nervous System is our Fight, Freeze, or Flight reactions. Here, we EXPEND ENERGY. Our heart rate accelerates, our blood pressure spikes, the eyes dilate, intense sweating, goosebumps raise. It is the system that prepares the body for intense physical activity, quick focus thinking and capacity to react violently and/or valiantly. This too is crucial to our living well and long.

The body is designed to work best in BALANCE.

When your nervous system is out of balance, your Cortisol levels are out of balance. Cortisol is a steroid hormone that regulates a wide range of processes throughout the body, including metabolism and the immune response. It also has a very important role in helping the body respond to stress. But, when you are in a state of higher and more prolonged levels of Cortisol – associated with CHRONIC STRESS – your body responds
with slowed healing, weight gain, muscle weakness and impaired cognitive performance.

So, how can we begin the transition of our bodies- our Whole Self- from IMBALANCE
and DIS-EASE to BALANCE and EASE and feel almost an IMMEDIATE positive response???
Yoga directly effects the Nervous System because it STABILIZES and CALMS.

Here is your Brain on Yoga: “Yoga effects brain levels of gamma amino butyric acid, or GABA, a calming neurotransmitter associated with neural receptors targeted by anti-anxiety benzo-diazepines.” Basically, your brain on yoga is a calm brain.
Even after one well-guided practice, you can experience a “blissed-out” state; a sense of peace and calm in the body; well-being. With a consistent practice you can change your brain, how you respond to stress and how it effects your body and ultimately your relationships/your life.
For me, Yoga is the practice of LOVING-KINDNESS. It is a skill set of Noticing and Recognizing; of Stories; and of Body. It is the anchors of Postures; Mantra; Drishti; and Breath.

Ultimately, Yoga the practice of Staying in the Moment. And what could befriend stress more than this?

Looking to learn more about our yoga practice at Locomotion Fitness?

Join us April 26th for our Friday Feature Flow! Space is limited for this event, so snag your tickets now! We’ll have beer from Commonhouse Aleworks and snacks too…talk about some stress relief!

We’re now offering more classes than ever & MORE to come in May!! Check those offerings out here!



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