Ever feel so stressed that you wanted to scream? A good shout can literally help you blow off steam, releasing pent-up frustrations and leaving you spent, relaxed, and calm. We are often taught, in our society, to hold all our emotions in and to betray no trace of frustration or exhaustion. But it can be much healthier just to let it out! Earlier this month Gary and I went to a carnival with one of our daughters, her husband and their children. What better place to scream and blow off steam than at the carnival. I love to go on the rides, so I was trying to get my daughter to go with me. She finally said “take Shaylee with you, she’ll go”. Shaylee who is 10, and I had a blast screaming and laughing as we went on one ride after another. In yoga we sometimes mimic the roar of a lion in particular, but any roar or shout will help you reduce stress throughout the day. Sometimes if I sense that the class is struggling with a particularly hard pose I will have them growl loudly as they perform it. It takes the stress away and adds some humor.
Stress is just fear. 80% of visits to the doctor are believed to be stress-related. Yet what is “stress” if not fear, anxiety, and worry dressed up in more socially acceptable clothing? While we tend to view worry, anxiety, and fear as signs of weakness, most of us are perfectly willing to admit that we’re stressed. We’re also happy to parade our stress around as proof that we’re busy and productive people leaving our mark on the world. But for many people, being “stressed out” is just the code word for being really scared.
yoga encourages transformation by helping you to shift patterns you've developed over time, patterns that may be unhealthy. When you put your body into a pose that is foreign and you stick with it, you learn how to take a new shape. Taking this new shape with the body can lead you to learn how to take a new shape with the mind. If practiced correctly, yoga breaks down the psychological, emotional, physical, energetic, and psychic obstacles that inhibit us from thriving.
Maybe you are new to the practice of yoga, you can feel overwhelmed. There's so much to learn—the physical postures, the breath work, the history, the philosophy—that you feel like you'll never get it all. Maybe this feeling is enough to make you want to stop your practice completely.
Luckily, yoga is a practice that provides answers organically. In other words, you will start to understand its lessons in time if you stay with your practice of the postures.Yoga takes care of you if you stick with it. You start to sense what's right and what's wrong, and you follow a path of moral living and meditation because it feels right. The answers are in the practice, and the practice never judges you.
So instead of feeling buried under all there is to learn, or worried about all the ways you'll need to change your life, relax into your practice and trust that the right answers will come when you're ready for them.
Yoga is a cleaning process. It’s just clearing out the dust and the cobwebs so we can differentiate our minds from ourselves. As a result of yoga, the things that block our true essence dissipate. and the result is that we can shine from our true, authentic self.
One of my favorite yoga mentors Rod Stryker says, “yoga helps you remove the obstacles that obscure who you really are, it helps you come into a fuller expression of your true nature. "We're not transforming into something we aspire to," he says. "We're transforming into the very thing that we are innately: our best Self."
Nancy Adams Certified Thai Yoga Therapist
Certified Yoga Instructor
and Ayurveda Consultant
These are my own thoughts. I sometimes take writings from others to support my own ideas.