Certain parts of the nervous system become “wound up” and dysfunctional in a persistent pain state. Yoga, meditation, deep breathing and relaxation can help to calm the nervous system and return it to a healthy state. In this class, a yoga instructor will cover simple breathing and relaxation techniques that can be performed daily as part of a self-treatment program.
Stress is something that we commonly talk about in our society. However, we rarely take time to define Stress. What is Stress? What causes Stress? How do we experience stress? Most importantly, what can we do to manage our stress? Stress is a fairly universal experience for all of us. Regardless of how our personalities vary in terms of intensity, at one time or another, we will all be confronted with a situation that we find stressful.
STRESS is the result of our need to adapt to change. The sources of change, stressors, can come from one of four basic areas:
- Environmental stressors (e.g., weather, pollution, noise)
- Social stressors (e.g., job interviews, examinations, daily responsibilities, family demands)
- Physiological Stressors (e.g., illness, menopause, injuries, poor nutrition, sleep disturbances)
- Cognitive Stressors, i.e. your thoughts. (e.g., need to be “perfect”, interpretation of others’ reactions)
While stress is often discussed in terms of negative impact, it can be beneficial. A healthy level of stress is necessary for optimal performance. However, it is when stress interferes with our functioning, rather than optimizing our functioning, that we begin to experience harmful effects. Consider the example of having a project deadline at work. This is a social stressor that necessitates adaptation. The resulting level of stress can be beneficial: it may cause an end to procrastination, faster work, a sense of accomplishment, etc. However, if adaptation is resisted then the stress can harmful: leading to feelings of helplessness, failure experiences, etc.
Recommended Websites and Reading
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Recommended video below: 25 minutes of gentle yoga performed in both sitting and in standing.
“Easy” and “Hard” variations of each pose are provided.
Laurie VanCott, MSPT (Physical Therapist and Yoga Instructor)