Natasha Roggi of Hartford Sweat on Yoga For Stress Relief

natasha-roggiWe talked to former clients about their top tips on how to take care of yourself during a divorce.  Their excellent advice, which you can read here, inspired us to do a series of blog posts expanding on their suggestions.  

Multiple people raved about the mental, physical, and spiritual benefits of yoga (plus, Kristen and Meghan are huge fans) — so it was a perfect place to begin our series.  We asked Natasha Roggi, yoga teacher, Hartford Sweat studio owner, and all around wonderful person to write a guest post about Yoga and Stress Relief.

Remember, one of our clients went so far as to tell us that “Everyone going through a divorce should be required by law to do yoga” — so listen to what Natasha has to say!

Yoga For Stress Relief

When Freed Marcroft asked me to write a special guest blog post about using Yoga for stress relief, my initial thought was, “How long can the post be?” Seriously though, take a browse through Amazon.com and you’ll notice there are books upon books about this topic (and for a good reason)!  Today, I’m giving you my personal gauge on the story of the century: How Yoga Works.

Here’s the hard truth for most Americans: Life is busy. We love to pile on the stress by working long days, eating on-the-go without exercising, and starting again everyday without having fully recharged our batteries overnight. Throw in a big deadline at the office, pursuing higher education goals, family, friends, finances, travel…and the pressure builds.

If this sounds familiar, you might also be in the same boat as most of the population who has decided that they don’t have time to exercise or do yoga.

I hear you.

hartford-sweatAt the same time, people want to feel good mentally and physically without having to take a prescription for it. We’ve hit the point where the “I don’t have time” excuse is simply not an option anymore. Instead, we ask: Can you afford to not have the time?

If you’re going through a challenging time in life and have more stress than you think you can handle, your body is taking that stress on for you, whether you like it or not. It might start out with achy shoulders or lower back tension. Maybe you won’t feel it, but your doctor will tell you about it at your next check-up when he or she measures your resting heart rate or puts you on the scale. You can run, but you can’t hide.

So that leads us to today, March 2016. Yoga studios are growing by leaps and bounds and it seems like everywhere you go, people have donned black stretchy pants as a go-to wardrobe staple. Here’s why: Yoga works. And it feels good.

I’ll keep it simple: Breathing deeply expands your lung capacity and increases your blood oxygenation levels. Stretching your body improves your circulation and pumps up your bone density. A few moments to yourself several times a week outside of your daily stressors in a peaceful environment will not only get you standing up straighter, but your improved posture will also free up more space in your cardiovascular system and lower your blood pressure.

The list goes on and on. When you start to feel better, you start to think more positively and react differently to life’s hurdles. With a balanced mind and body, the possibilities are endless. You may feel a million miles away from this place, but know that all it takes is the taking the first step and giving yourself a little time on the mat. The Yoga mat, that is. And if you don’t live near a studio, there are literally thousands of YouTube personalities and Instagrammers out there that can give you exercises to do at home. Whether you’ve got 5 minutes in the morning or 15 minutes at lunch, it will make a difference, this I can promise you. And if you don’t have time to find a yoga personality to follow online, here’s where to start:

Sit up tall.

Relax your shoulders.

Breathe as deeply and slowly as you can, in and out by your nose.

Stretch your arms over your head and lower them down to your sides.

Smile.

Do this on your hardest days and your best days.

I can tell you’re feeling better already.

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Written by Natasha Roggi