Use Pranayama Breathing to Cope with Change
Change in most cases is a good thing. However, too much change can increase anxiety, tension and if it continues, result in illness. Lately, my life feels like its constantly changing. So I was curious, what type of change is good and which ones tend to trigger that anxiety button?
Here’s what I discovered, the type of change that is healthy and good are the ones where you feel you have some control. It just makes sense. If you can control the change, you can expect it. It’s those unexpected changes that create stress.
As much as we may like to, we cannot control all of the changes in our lives. Actually, we cannot control most of the changes that happen. So is there a way to feel a bit more balanced when those unexpected changes happen? Thankfully there is.
Create your own Balanced Life style
The best way to cope with change is by maintaining a healthy and normal lifestyle. This includes the basics: drinking enough water, getting enough sleep and eating nutritionally balanced meals. However, to be truly balanced you also need to make time for physical activity, work, and your family and down time. Sometimes just thinking about this list can actually increase stress. So what do you do, when the basics seem difficult to accomplish?
Take the time to Breathe
One of the essential tools that yoga teaches us is the value of becoming conscious of your breath. In those moments of stress or strain, take the time for a complete Pranayama breath.
There are a variety of techniques of Pranayama breathing. However, what they all have in common is taking complete, full inhalations and exhalations. The key to Pranyamic breathing is becoming conscious of your breath and slowing your breathing down.
In a 2006 study by the Augusta’s Women Centre they discovered the practice of Pranayama breathing acts by resetting the auto immune system.
Benefits of Pranayama
- Decreases oxygen consumption
- Decrease heart rate
- Decreases blood pressure
- Increases relaxation
- Increases feeling of control
Stress and Yoga
Yoga can be the perfect form of exercise for reducing stress. However, yoga practitioners beware. If you’re study is continually focusing on pushing your mind and body, you could be increasing stress.
If you’re trying to reduce the stress in your life, focus on the forms of yoga whose main intent is rest and relaxation. Choose classes that spend a lot of time in resting poses and focus on pranayama breathing. Focusing on restful forms of yoga, will help you get in touch with the needs of your mind and body. In times of stress, try to combine a variety of the quieter forms of yoga such as Yoga Nidra, Kundalini, Hatha and Restorative.