For the month of April I’m blogging alphabetically about quick, easy, and practical ways to relieve stress. To see the other posts in this series, click here.
I took my first yoga class in college and I was hooked. I love yoga. I love the stretching. The posing. The quiet. The calm. The challenge. The confidence. It’s relaxing and rejuvenating and wonderful. I love yoga. (Full disclosure – it’s a very novice level love, but a love of sorts nonetheless. Perhaps infatuation is a better term?)
One of the most amazing things I’ve learned from yoga, I learned in a prenatal yoga class when I was pregnant with baby number 2. The instructor spent a lot of time on hip opening exercises because, in addition to being good preparation for delivery, she said women store a lot of stress in their hips. I learned that is definitely true for me.
When I’m stressed or at the end of a long day, I still fall back on a lot of those poses. Even though I don’t presently practice yoga regularly, it’s not uncommon to find me in my room or in our library or somewhere else quiet in one of my favorite poses. It’s such a great way for me to unwind, to decompress, and to clear my mind. I can still hear my college yoga instructor teaching us how to breathe and relax. He always talked about breathing out stress and tension. Breathe it out and let it go. That exercise alone is enough to induce calm, but combined with some of my favorite poses, it’s a surefire method for decompressing, relaxing, and alleviating stress.