Practicing yoga can do more than relieve stress, it can also impact all of the wear and tear on your body associated with stress. We've all experienced the "fight or flight" response to a stressful situation — rapid heart rate, sweating, and increase in blood pressure. Yoga can create a "restorative state" to bring you down from this stressful level and reduce stress hormones released in the body. Chronic stress can cause physical and mental deterioration over time, so reducing stress hormones through yoga is especially important. The quiet asanas, slower breathing and meditation encourage a state of relaxation. One specific pranayama technique, the "healing breathing technique" teaches breathing through the nose, mouth closed, in 3 distinct rhythms.
Desiree Bartlett, MS, CPT, a yoga instructor, teaches a corporate yoga class at a law firm precisely to give these highly stressed individuals an opportunity to de-stress and "find their inner sanctuary." The meditative impact of the onsite yoga class allows the lawyers to "create a stillness" so that they literally empty out the stress.