How many different articles, TV specials, or books have you read on stress and the havoc it can cause your body? I know I’ve been exposed to a plethora of media discussing the consequences of too much stress, not to mention my own personal experience with the disarray stress has caused my health. Recently, I discovered Yoga. I am an absolute beginner and I am only starting to take classes regularly, however, do you know what I’ve learned? For that hour that I’m breathing, stretching, and strengthening my body on that yoga mat, my stress is significantly decreased. That pain that I have in my shoulder from using a computer for hours a day, it starts to lessen. All those racing thoughts that I have from waking up to when I close my eyes at night? They are less, in fact they are almost non-existent as I focus on myself and what I’m doing in the moment in my Yoga class. Taking just one hour (even if it’s only once a week right now) to just breathe, and remember that it’s ok to take some time and just let yourself be, is starting to change how I view stress. The days that I take the time to participate in a yoga class, everything seems more manageable. That crazy workload that I’m experiencing becomes a little less daunting. That headache that I had earlier in the day? It’s gone. I’m slowly becoming a convert. That stigma that I had toward yoga being for people who just were into everything natural and spiritual, is being proven wrong. I’m starting to realize that I’m jealous of the people who take Yoga on a daily basis. They have learned how to take away the craziness that is life today, they have learned to just breathe. I think in a world where the every day work load becomes more demanding and the expectations that are put upon people (whether by themselves or others) are increasing, the stress on our bodies continues to increase. Building techniques to help deal with the stress can be nothing but beneficial. The sooner you learn to let go even if it’s just for an hour the better you will feel, and the more you will be able to step into the world feeling like you can accomplish anything.