How Downward Facing Dog can help to beat work stress
Yoga became a passion for me when I was working in a stressful job, with deadlines, meetings, and ‘I-want-this-yesterday’ attitude from managers. I’d sit at my desk for hours hunched over my computer, telephone tucked under the chin, and the only times I got up was to walk to the photocopier or to the coffee machine. I was on the 9am to 5.30pm stress train.
To find a release, once a week I went along to a yoga class, I had tried aerobics, spinning and other forms of keep fit, but yoga gave me so much more than just exercise. Not only did I feel stretched when I left the class but I had a feeling of calm and lightness, which carried on the next day and the next. And so, the more my job became stressful, the more I went to my yoga class.
Now as a yoga teacher, I know why yoga has this magic panacea. In a yoga session, not only is it a full body work out but it’s a work out for the mind too.
We release tight shoulders, caused by hunching over a computer, with a wide range of back-bending postures. We loosen tight hips, created from sitting, with hip-opening poses and these postures also have emotional benefits, as they help us let go of any negative feelings and pent-up emotions. Forward folds not only keep our spine, calves and hamstrings flexible but also soothe our mind, and stop it from buzzing. Twists wring out the tension in our spine, stretch and tone our back, as well as being a massage for our digestive organs, and they calm the mind. And inversions help our lymphatic system, build core strength and give our heart a rest. And, of course, in a yoga class we learn how to breathe properly so that, once mastered, in a moment, we can switch off and relax.
With so much going on in a yoga session, both physically and mentally, it’s no wonder we leave the class glowing.
So, at the end of a hard-working day, instead of grabbing that glass of wine, grab your yoga mat and do Downward Facing Dog.
Join me at one of my classes and discover how you can incorporate yoga into your every day life. Find your nearest class here.