Yoga makes us feel incredible. Our mind is clear, our breath is deep and our muscles are toned and flexible. One of the main reasons people all over the world practice yoga is to relieve stress and anxiety but where does all that stress stem from? How did we get to the point where we feel under pressure and full of tension? Why does yoga remove this stress, or better yet how does it? It stems from the saying “we are in fight or flight mode”.
The fight or flight mechanism is our inborn, primitive reaction to stressful situations, whether it be internal or external circumstance’s that bring it on. When we feel threatened by anything our nerve cells fire and chemicals such as adrenaline and cortisol (stress hormones) release into our system making our rational mind take the back seat and putting us into an extremely stressful and taxing experience where we either want to run or fight our way out. What happens is our eyes dilate, our digestion shuts off and our ability to rationalize situations and perceive the world with clarity is deeply curbed. Most people in the world are living in a form of “fight or flight” which has been linked to chronic disease and burn out. We often seek yoga classes to help with our stress relief. In fact it’s the most common thing people tell me when they come to my yoga class. Here is how to shut of the “fight or flight” response in you yoga practice and daily life.