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Using Yoga to Improve Your Relationships

Thursday, November 21, 2013

For thousands of years yoga has been used to calm and relax the mind and body. As it has been adapted over years and years of practice, many additional benefits to yoga have been discovered. The same qualities of yoga that help release stress and anxiety, can also help you with your relationships. Be it with a sibling, spouse, or even colleague  the strategies and ideologies that yoga represents can help any relationship flourish.  

Yoga and meditation can be utilized to instill certain practices, specifically resisting the urge to react. One study suggests that those who are less likely to be reactive, or give into temptations are better equipped in life to have healthier, happier relationships. It's easy to imagine that if we're more thoughtful rather than reactive, that we could improve how we communicate and interact with those people we spend time with on a daily basis. 

Before reacting or responding, take a deep, cleansing breath. We've all heard "take a deep breath" when we're upset, but the purpose of this exercise is more than what it seems. When we take the time to focus on our breath, it not only gives us a minute to think about our response, a deep cleansing breath also resets our brains and bodies. Breathing exercises are one of the best ways to decompress in the moment. If you feel an uncomfortable conversation coming, try deeply breathing through your nose from the diaphragm, making sure to exhale for as long as you inhaled. This cleansing breath is likely to instantly calm whatever emotions you are feeling and it will also allow you to respond with clear judgement and without emotion. 

When you're at your busiest and most stressed point, take 20 minutes and do nothing. Though many of us find it difficult to sit and "do nothing" with such a stimulating world around us, it's at our busiest point that we need to take a moment for ourselves. At the heart of meditation lies stillness, calm, and relaxation, and at its core, meditation is a lot about quietly sitting with yourself while focusing on nothing. If you find you cannot get your brain to slow to the pace of your meditation, try repeating a mantra to yourself, or positive affirmation. Positive thought has been proven to breed positivity and happiness.

Though you may find it difficult to meditate during your busy work day, there are plenty of yoga poses that can be done just about anywhere, even at work. When you find yourself in a particularly hectic week, try a pose like chest expansion. To get into chest expansion reach arms behind you with palms facing in. Bring hands together while expanding through your chest and lifting your heart center. This pose can be done while sitting or standing.

use these tips when you find yourself at odds with a colleague, classmate, spouse or friend, they're sure to calm you down and allow you to respond thoughtfully, which can often prevent an argument or disagreement from elevating.

For more yoga and meditation tips visit YogaFit.com 

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