We all know what stress feels like on an emotional level. What does it feel like on the physical level?
This Sunday, March 10, I’ll be teaching an acupressure self massage workshop at Radiant Yoga in Milwaukie. As I was thinking about how to get yogis interested in self-massage, I began pondering how stress becomes manifest in our physical bodies. This can be felt as soreness, aches, low energy, or a sense of being unable to rest even when we are exhausted. Some great ways to relieve psychological stress include therapy, journaling, or other reflective activities. In fact, I’ve done therapy for a number of years now, and it’s helped me to unpack my emotional responses and reduce stress in ways that I’m consciously aware of.
But then there is the stress that’s stored in the body, in connective tissue, that manifests in our posture, in shallow breathing, and in exhaustion. How do you access healing on this physical, unconscious level? That’s what this workshop is all about. We will combine the modern with the ancient. In this self-care workshop, we will use cutting edge science on fascia (connective tissue) as well as millennia old traditions of Chinese Medicine and Yoga Nidra to help you release the physical experience of stress.
Register through Radiant Yoga. (Foam roller and massage balls will be provided).
I am honored to be featured as a teacher in Mantra Yoga + Health Magazine!
Yoga is just as helpful for lowering your chances of heart attack as aerobic exercise. Check out this study written by my friend and PhD candidate at Harvard School of Public Health, Paula Chu.
How is this achievable when yoga does not burn as many calories per minute as running? My theory is that it creates a closer mind-body awareness, which enables you to make healthier choices in all things - such as how you eat, sleep, and deal with stress.
Yoga also decreases inflammation in the body. Inflammation is the basis for so many diseases in our modern day life, including heart disease. This study by Pullen, et al, looked at high sensitivity CRP, which is a lab test that gauges the overall level of inflammation in your body. The higher your C-reactive protein, the higher your risk of heart attack. They found a significant decrease in CRP after doing yoga for just 8 weeks. There were only 19 people studied, but hey, you gotta start somewhere. And let's be honest - these studies will never be funded the way that big pharma can fund research to find the next blockbuster, profit-stacking new drug. But this doesn't mean that they aren't important.