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YO R K C O M E D S O C . O R G

FEATURE:

Yoga and

The Stress Connection
by Bobbi Billman, Owner, Ignite Yoga & Wellness

"The greatest wealth is health,"
according to the Roman poet Virgil.
So why are so many of us squandering
it, instead of making an investment in
healthy living?
Despite the presence of technology designed
to make our lives easier, stress and anxiety remain
constant companions. While the plethora of apps
and software facilitate the daily grind, tight deadlines,
increased workloads, and the challenges of balancing
work and home life increases our stress load.
Societal pressures (both real and perceived)
keep us plugged in to a constant pulse. We are
overstimulated with text messages, emails, and
notifications that bombard us one alert tone to the
next. The impact is evident in the overall decline of
our health and mental wellness.
A decrease in sleep quality, coupled with the
inability to relax, has led to a reduction in our ability
to be resilient in difficult times. The impact of shorter fuses,
intolerance of others, and a lack of patience is ever-present and can
be seen everywhere from the nightly news to the latest research on
the health of our global population.
As a long time yoga practitioner and teacher, I see the impact
of stress on people's lives every day, and not just in the yoga
studio. And in my role as a Director of Human Resources for a
multi-million dollar business, I frequently get an up-close look
at the greatest effects of stress and anxiety on individuals in the
workplace. Lack of resilience leads to a laundry list of symptoms,
including increases in absenteeism, stress-related FMLA requests
due to anxiety, upturns in disciplinary issues (a result of shorter
fuses), and in more severe cases, termination of employment.
From all angles, the statistics and research paint a grim picture.
So, how do we recover and rejuvenate in order to reinvest in
ourselves and our health? From prescriptions to trainings, we
are familiar with a variety of ways to detox ourselves from stress.
Most have proven ineffective, so I offer up a very powerful, but
overlooked tool-the time-honored tradition of yoga. Simple,
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York County Medicine | SUMMER 2019

practical, and effective.

Why Yoga?
As the owner of Ignite Yoga & Wellness, I may
be a little biased on the subject, but consider the
following:
1. Yoga means union, specifically union of the
mind and body. It combines movement of the body
with breathwork. This combination of physical
and mental disciplines helps you to achieve a level
of peacefulness, allowing participants to more
successfully manage feelings of stress and anxiety.
2. Yoga is assessable to everyone, regardless
of overall health and any physical limitations.
Certified Yoga instructors are knowledgeable in
modifying the practice as needed to accommodate
preexisting conditions, prior injuries, surgeries, or
other limitations.
3. Yoga can be done pretty much anywhere.
You can practice at home on your own, in your
office, at a studio or gym, with your friends in the back yard, etc.
It is incredibly portable.
4. There are a variety of yoga styles, and while not all of them
may resonate with you, there's bound to be at least one that does.
It is important to try different types of yoga to find the one that
works best for you and, and more importantly, your body. Some
studios even offer your first class for free and/or special new student
packages, making it even more convenient to test out an array of
class styles so that you can find what works best for you.


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York County Medicine Summer 2019

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