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Natural Awakenings South Central Pennsylvania

Local Yoga Studios Share their Views on Yoga and Stress Relief

Sep 02, 2015 12:27PM ● By By Erin Lehr

Chronic daily stress can be a contributing factor to premature aging. The more stress we put on our bodies, the faster we age. Thankfully, there are plenty of habits we can incorporate into our daily lives to minimize stress and slow down the aging process. Natural Awakenings reached out to several local yoga studio owners who shared why practicing yoga is beneficial for stress reduction. “Yoga is a great stress reliever,” says Cindy Beers, owner of Red Head Yoga, in Mechanicsburg. “It is a mind/body practice that combines asanas, controlled breathing and relaxation. This, in turn, reduces stress and lowers blood pressure.”

To clarify how yoga helps reduce stress, Ron Blouch, co-owner of Just Plain Yoga Studio, says, “By directing our attention away from our problems and driving focus to the physical act of placing ourselves in a yoga posture, we do something radical: we interrupt the stream of thoughts and feelings that are creating the stress we live with in the first place. Those two things working together are the primary source of stress release in a yoga class.”

The relaxing effects that yoga has on the body and mind can help turn back the clock on aging. “Yoga reverses the aging process with the positivity it has on the body. It gives flexibility to your muscles, strengthens tendons and ligaments, decreases fat and reduces weight gain, slows down and calms the heart rate and eases your mind,” says Beers.

In addition to relaxation, yoga keeps us flexible and helps prevent and manage age-related stiffness, another factor that can make us feel old,” says Tina Stroh, co-owner of Just Plain Yoga Studio.” I remember hearing one of my first yoga teachers say, ‘The flexibility of the spine is what determines your age, not your years.’ If that is true, then yoga certainly helps maintain that flexibility through the postures and breathing.”

Certain yoga poses are also incredibly effective for stress reduction. Susan Kiskis, owner of Barefoot Yoga & Wellness Studio, in Mechanicsburg, says her favorite stress-relieving yoga pose is balasana, or child’s pose. “Balasana does several things to alleviate stress. The fold helps to keep and grow our subtle energies. It brings the head past the knees, activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which slows the heart rate,” she explains. “Also, by folding in, we are activating that cellular memory of curling into ourselves, a form we all had in the womb, activating that memory of being warm and safe.” Beers and Stroh couldn’t agree more, as child’s pose is also their favorite stress-releasing pose.

these practitioners shared their personal stress-relieving tips

  • Spend quality time in nature
  • Develop a yoga practice
  • Meditate daily
  • Practice the child’s pose

Red Head Yoga is located at 1947 Fisher Rd., in Mechanicsburg. For more information, call 717-571-4610 or visit RedHeadYogi.com.

Just Plain Yoga is located at 1845 Market St., in Camp Hill. For more information, call 717-975-9642 or visit JustPlainYoga.com.

Barefoot Yoga & Wellness Studio is located at 130 Gettysburg Pike, Ste. A, in Mechanicsburg.  For more information, call 717-610-1200 or visit BarefootWellnessStudio.com.

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