Yoga and Pranayama Tools to Combat Stress

Both yoga and pranayama are used in Ayurveda to enhance spirituality, cleanse and integrate the mind and body, and to heal specific illnesses. Balancing the doshas and the mind and body can be natural remedies to stress as well, but more importantly, these practices help a person achieve self-realization. This can bring an inner peace that may help build resistance to the harmful effects of stress.1

Yoga. Different body postures, or asanas, that form the basis of modern yoga come from 6th century Indian Vedic texts. However, India is not the only area of the world where hatha yoga was found to be a part of the ancient culture. Pre-Columbian stone statues half a world away depict these yoga postures, indicating they were a part of the culture in parts of South America as well.1

Some of the yoga postures that can balance the mind and help reduce mental stress include:1


Pranayama. Literally translated, pranayama means stilling of the breath.1 These breathing techniques work to quiet the mind as it stills the brain and central nervous system, including the hypothalamus.1 This area of the brain produces hormones that regulate other hormone-secreting glands, moods, sleep, libido, and hunger.82

Examples of pranayama breathe-work techniques to alleviate stress in all doshas include:1

Breathing exercises.
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