Five Ways Yoga Helps You Through a Divorce
The stress of divorce can cause illness, missed work days, insomnia, upset stomach and weight gain. I can certainly relate because I went through a divorce after 15 years of marriage. Although I am happily remarried now, I would never had found the strength to get through that turbulent time in my life if it weren’t for the practice of yoga. Here’s five ways yoga helps you cope through a divorce.
- STRESS RELEASE – Simultaneous muscle stretching and focused breathing benefits you in two ways. Tense muscles relax while you release emotional stress. Being under stress causes a shallow, chest breathing style of inhaling. If you’ve ever gone through a divorce, then you know what I mean. Serious stress. Diaphragmatic breathing won’t come up very often in dinner conversation, but when incorporated with gentle yoga movements, it’s one of the best ways for reducing anxiety and fatigue. And it doesn’t cost a dime. Concentrate on filling your belly with air first, followed by allowing your chest to expand. The diaphragm is a muscle under your lungs and above your stomach. Extending it down towards your tummy is how you stretch it out and as a result, fill your lungs to their capacity. It’s a good idea to be in a quiet place when doing this. Images of nature combined with relaxing music helps chase anxieties away and replaces them with hope, joy and fulfillment.
- WEIGHT LOSS – Since stress releases a carb craving hormone called cortisol and interferes with your entire hormone system, you can really pack on the pounds. Yoga helps you lose weight by decreasing production of the stress hormone. You don’t need to choose a strenuous type of yoga to shed some pounds! With a gentler practice, you’ll become more aware of which foods your body really needs, and your diet will change.
- BETTER SLEEP – According to Alejandra Chaoul-Reich, a graduate student at Rice University, yoga practice can help you sleep better-no pills, no warm milk, and no sheep. Take hold of your mind. Manage your thoughts using yoga meditation. Then use specific relaxing poses to invite sleep.
- IMPROVED MOOD AND ATTITUDE – When you practice yoga, you won’t just learn good posture and deep breathing. Since yoga ends with a relaxing meditation, you’ll train your mind to let go of negative input. Over time, you will gain more control over your thoughts improving your mood and your attitude. Flexible minds don’t get bent out of shape!
- BOOSTED IMMUNE SYSTEM – Dr. Jeff Migdow, a physician who specializes in the treatment of allergies and other immune disorders, found that therapeutic yoga does more than relax you. It allows you to fight off the germs, infection, and illness.
Written by: Suzanne Andrews, Founder, Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews, PBS TV,
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