By Sam Peterson
I have always heard that yoga can relieve stress, but like so many others I dismissed yoga’s restorative properties. I thought yoga might relieve stress for yoga practitioners but not for those who do not practice. Then I attended a class after a long stressful workweek. It was the type of stress that you think will dissipate after the work is done but it doesn’t, somehow the stress lingers in your body even when you are ready to unwind.
So after a long week, I found myself in a yoga class. It had been such a busy week I would have rather been at home trying to relax than at yoga class but I forced myself to attend. It was the beginning of class when it happened; I felt the stress begin to leave my body. It was not instant, but slow, it was as if the stress found a crack in the dam and it began to leak out of me. With each pose, somehow I felt better, like a weight was being lifted off me. As the class continued I could feel the change within my body, by the time the class was over and I heard “Namaste”, I felt 100% recharged, the only downside was the class was now over and I had to leave the serenity the yoga studio fostered. Driving home that night, I knew I had been wrong about yoga; I also knew that I was hooked, and will continue the practice for a long time to come.
Why was it the yoga studio had revitalized me? I can’t say. What I can say is that when you hear a friend recommend yoga for stress relief, don’t dismiss it. If you commit and do not let your preconceived notions hold you back, the results are undeniable.