How Yoga and Meditation Can Help You Manage Stress

Typically practiced together, Yoga and meditation are widely practiced for health and relaxation. Mainly the ultimate goal for these practices is to achieve peace of mind which leads to better overall wellness. But also, meditation and yoga are greatly used to help manage stress.

Using Meditation to Reduce Stress

If stress has you anxious, tense and worried meditation can help. Spending even a few minutes in meditation can help you restore your calm and inner peace. The great thing about meditation is that anyone can practice it. It is simple and inexpensive. There is no need for special equipment. It can be practiced anywhere.

There are many ways to meditate. I find it best to experiment a few ways and find one that works best for you. For me, I meditate in different ways in different situations.

Here are some ways you can practice meditation:

  • Breathe deeply. Focus all your attention on your breathing. Concentrate on feeling and listening as you inhale and exhale through your nostrils. Breathe deeply and slowly. When your attention wanders, gently return your focus to your breathing.
  • Walk and meditate. Slow your walking pace so that you can focus on each movement of your legs or feet. Don’t think about a destination. Concentrate on your legs and feet, repeating action words in your mind such as “lifting,” “moving” and “placing” as you lift each foot, move your leg forward and place your foot on the ground.
  • Read and reflect. Read a poem or sacred text and quietly reflect on the meaning.

Here are some additional posts to check out for meditation:

12 Powerful Ways Meditation Benefits You

How to Use Gratitude Meditations & Affirmations

Practicing Yoga to Keep the Stress Away

Yoga is the process of reversing the outward flow of energy so that the mind becomes the center of perception. It is a spiritual practice that extends to the physical and, with practice, helps you keep your body and spirit energized with the ‘right’ kind of energy. The kind of energy that comes from a sense of well-being.

There are meditation techniques designed for breath control, physical poses and positions designed for body healing and balance, and deeper meditation and breathing study designed for spiritual growth.

Here is a pose you can do right now to relax and reduce stress:

It is called Three Part Breath (Dirga Pranayama (DEER-gah prah-nah-YAH-mah). It is a simple breathing exercise that brings your awareness to the present moment and calms your mind.

  1. Sit or lie down in a comfortable position on the floor, in a chair, or on a bed.
  2. Place one hand on your belly and one hand on your rib cage.
  3. Close your eyes and breathe deeply, but naturally.
  4. Focus your awareness on the breath as it moves in and out of your body.
  5. Feel the lift of your belly and the expansion of your ribs on your inhalations. Notice the slight compression of your ribs and the drop of your belly as you exhale.
  6. Bring your bottom hand to your chest, just below your collarbone. Breathe all the way into this area and allow your chest to rise slightly; then exhale and let it go.
  7. As you inhale, feel your belly lift, ribs expand, and chest lift. On your exhalations, notice how your chest drops, ribs contract, and belly lowers.
  8. Release your arms and focus your mind on your breath for 5-10 minutes, inhaling and exhaling fully.

Finding a good consistent yoga and meditation routine that works for you will help you manage stress on a regular basis.