“Stress is a transaction between a person and his / her environment that is appraised as taxing or exceeding resources”.  R. Lazarus 

“Stress is the perception of a physical or psychological threat coupled with the belief that we do not have the resources to cope.”

From these definitions and our experience, we see that it is not the potential stressor itself but how we perceive it and how we relate to it that will determine how much stress we will experience.  Stress is a natural part of life and cannot be avoided.

We have no chance of changing our relationship to stress and ultimately improving our health and happiness without first seeing clearly the way things are. 

It is essential to learn to gently turn toward what is actually here in our present-moment experience – with kindness, receptivity, willingness, curiosity – honouring what is actually here and thereby getting to know ourselves better.

Our yoga practice gives us ample opportunity to turn towards edges of discomfort and pain and learn how to “befriend” ourselves.

Turning toward and investigating discomforts and beginning to inquire into how we experience unpleasantness in the body and mind – whether it is painful sensations in the body, difficult emotions, habitual thought patterns or limiting beliefs – is a powerful tool.  

As we dip our toes in, as we inquire in this way, with non-judgmental, kind and curious attention, we are growing our awareness, our mindfulness, our confidence and our capacity to harness our innate wisdom and resources to skillfully respond rather than react to stress.   

Sometimes though we are experiencing so much anxiety it seems impossible to be still and be present. At times like this we can begin a practice with postures that flow from one to another. We focus on the breath and the body, it is like a windshield wiper for the mind.

For a short video example of this: Click Here