Today, Rosanne Harvey of the wonderful blog, It's All Yoga, Baby, posted this news story from Denver. It seems that Yoga teachers and studios in the Denver area actually see an increase in attendance at their studios when the economy is unstable. While many Yoga studios charge upwards of $100 for a monthly pass, students find the stress relief worth paying for. Here's the news story.
I tend to fall back on Restorative Yoga and a Yin-like practice when I'm going through stress. I find that slow, mindful movement calms me and restores my energy. When I'm paying close attention to my movements, I don't "leak" energy in the ways I do while running through my normal, everyday life.
Coincidentally, elephant journal posted an article today from the July issue of Yin Yoga Insights Newsletter. I love the first paragraph of the editor's introduction. In particular, these sentences resonate: “Life in the West is so yang-like, it is hard to even realize just how much we have become unbalanced. Our culture is based on constant movement and improvement; doing at the expense of being.” Take a look at Yin Yoga Insights Newsletter.
Yoga, especially Yin- and Restorative-type styles, gives us a chance to slow down and witness the ways in which we are generating stress or leaking energy. It's telling that our Yoga classes are the last thing many of us let go of when the economy is failing. Yoga can't change a stressful environment, but it can help us meet stressful times with a greater measure of grace.
Of course, even if classes are out of your financial reach, home practice can be your mainstay. Home practice gives us the opportunity to internalize our Yoga practice, to slow down and really explore what is actually happening in each pose. There's no substitute for committed home practice when times are stressful. Even one or two poses a day, done with mindfulness and care, change us in powerful ways.