Guest Post: Yoga for Stress Relief

In life you meet individuals who make an impact on your journey. As a mother of three, I reached a point where I needed to invest some time and space for myself rather than everyone else and in fact that investment benefited everyone around me. I was very fortunate to meet Mehul. Thank you for your patience, teachings and acceptance of people from all walks of life and backgrounds; it was a privilege to participate in your classes. Heartfelt thanks for today’s guest post you have written for mum2sons.

Yoga for Stress Relief

In today’s frantic world, parents of young (and not so young!) children face several different types of stresses that can wear us down and lead to serious mental, physical and emotional problems. Stresses associated with looking after the children, managing the home, meeting the demands of a full or part time job, and other family, social and community obligations can all take their toll.

You may recognise some of the symptoms: low energy levels, difficulty sleeping, experiencing a shortage of breath, becoming restless or irritable, unable to maintain focus, feeling moody, feeling overwhelmed and that your life is slowly slipping out of control.

If we don’t do anything to counter this, then constant exposure to high levels of stress over a period of time can result in illnesses such as diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure, strokes and depression. Yoga, with its emphasis on relaxation techniques, is one of the best known anti-dotes to stress. Just a few minutes of regular yoga practice has been proven to calm down our nervous system, relax our muscles, normalise blood pressure, lift our mood and reduce the strain on our hearts.

If you are already doing yoga then you know how wonderful it makes you feel, right? If you haven’t experienced yoga, then why not give it a go? It is the most comprehensive health and well-being system ever devised! A typical yoga session will include:

Physical postures – where you mindfully take your body into different shapes to stretch and tone the muscles, increase mobility of the spine and other joints, release tension, strengthen your bones and improve the functioning of the internal organs.

  • Yogic breathing – to energise the body, enrich the blood and calm down the mind.
  • Mindfulness & Meditation – to bring you closer to your soul and experience your inner peace and joy.
  • Positive thinking – to help you face your daily challenges with courage and equanimity.
  • Relaxation – to melt away all the tension from the body, mind and heart.

The Chi Kri Trinity Breath Technique

To demonstrate the power of yoga, I would like to share with you a simple breathing technique, known as “The Trinity Breath” in Chi Kri Yoga. This technique involves taking a breath into the lungs, retaining the breath and exhaling, with each portion being of same duration, like the sides of an equilateral triangle. You are grabbing control of your breath and slowing it down. While it takes less than 5 minutes, it brings about many benefits:

  • Strengthens the lungs.
  • Oxygenates the blood and increases the flow of energy to the mind and body, giving energy and mental clarity.
  • Furthermore, your mental activity, nervous activity and cellular activities all settle down, leaving you with a tangible feeling of peace.

Trinity Breath Instructions

Please click on my short video on Youtube, where I show you how to perform the Trinity Breath.

1.Sit in a comfortable posture, with the spine held upright, and the mouth and eyes closed. Keep the chin parallel to the floor, the shoulders relaxed, the hands on the knees, or the lap, with the palms turned upwards.

2.Breathe into the chest for 3 seconds.

3.Retain the breath for 3 seconds.

4.Exhale for 3 seconds.

5.This is one complete Trinity Breath. Repeat the practice to perform 6 – 12 Trinity Breaths.

6.Then sit quietly with your eyes closed and just notice how settled and soft your breathing becomes, and how peaceful you feel.

Yoga Is For Everybody

One of the most common reasons I am given by people for not taking up yoga is, “I am too busy right now; maybe I will take it up later, when I have more time on my hands”.

Well, what if I told you that yoga will actually reward you with more time?

Once you allow yoga to be a part of your daily life, you will find that just 20 minutes of mindful yoga practice a day is sufficient to bring about the following positive changes in your health and well-being, each one increasing the amount of time you have available:

  • Fewer illnesses: Yoga practice, especially meditation, will help to improve your immunity so that you will lose less days due to illness.
  • More energy: Yoga releases blocked energy. It also helps to purify your blood, sending more oxygen to each cell and removing toxic carbon dioxide. As a result, you have more vitality and will therefore accomplish more in your day.
  • Greater mental focus: Many aspects of yoga practices are superb for increasing powers of concentration. This means that your mind will be better focused on the task at hand, increasing your efficiency and improving your decision-making ability.

As your general health and fitness levels improve, you could well end up living longer, making the most of your days and appreciating the good things about being alive – is there any better way of “buying more time”??

Another common reason people give me for not taking up yoga is, “I am not flexible enough to do yoga”.

You know what, “I am not flexible…” is one reason why you should be doing yoga!!

I repeat, yoga-is-for-everybody: young or old, male or female, inflexible or bendy like rubber. The best way to begin yoga practice is with a properly qualified teacher. It is such a broad subject that you are very likely to find a suitable yoga class near you. Some classes are very gentle, with the primary emphasis on the relaxation aspect; at the other extreme, you can also find classes that will give you a complete physical workout. Why not try out a few different types of classes and see which one resonates with you?

You are most welcome to come and try out our classes: between my wife, Miti, and me, we offer 6 public Chi Kri Yoga classes a week in North West London: Pinner, Northwood and Hatch End. I am also available for private classes, corporate yoga, workshops, seminars or retreats – just give me a call or drop me an email and we can have a chat about what I could do for you!

Wishing you all the very best in your yoga and life journey. Namaste!

Dr Mehul Shah

Mehul@chikri.com T: 07931 717 788 www.chikriyoga.com