21 November 2017 Last updated at 03:25 GMT

Find your Balance

shutterstock 52561231Yoga as a practice serves to unite the mind, body and spirit leaving you feeling fitter, more energetic, balanced and peaceful.

Are you stressed out?

Stress is the second most common cause of workplace compensation claims in Australia, after manual handling*. Do you crave more harmony in your daily life? Despite what you may think, your body knows if you are stressed, even though you may not realise it.

Today, the options for balancing work and leisure are vast and widely available. Thinking holistically and particularly focusing on the activity’s ability to reduce both the causes and symptoms of stress, there is one solution that stands the test of time. Yoga is a science that has been practiced for centuries, with observations and principles of the mind and body connection now being proven by modern medicine.

Over the past decade, yoga has become accepted as one of the most effective, convenient and safest tools for dealing with stress. As a practice, yoga serves to unite the mind, body and spirit leaving you feeling fitter, more energetic, balanced and peaceful.

The practice is versatile, with classes or teachers focusing on a host of approaches. The variations of yoga range from dynamic, deep physical activity and postures, to gentle or restorative practices or techniques, predominantly converging on meditation and relaxation.

Through utilising simple practices that include the use of the breath, body and mind, yoga addresses many of life’s common ‘modern’ maladies. Regular yoga practice increases flexibility while decreasing stress levels, including lowering blood pressure and alleviating cardiovascular health concerns. In turn, the sense of inner balance contributes to an improved immune response, healthier sleep patterns and enhanced recovery from physical activities.

Yoga is practiced either in group classes or on a one-on-one basis. An individual class may be most suitable if you travel often or find it difficult to commit to a regular class. A specialist yoga instructor will develop a personalised program based on your particular needs, with a series of positions taking only a few minutes to complete each day.

A group class is an ideal way to ‘time-out’ away from the daily grind, usually involving movements or comfortable stretches, designed to release physical tensions or energy blocks. These movements are combined with breathing practices that alleviate stress, improve energy and assist mental balance. The class then concludes with a period of relaxation and/or meditation, which provides immediate relief from physical and mental tension.

In order to ensure that you get the most from your yoga practice, in a safe and relaxed environment, seek out a class under the instruction of an accredited Yoga Australia member. Yoga Australia fosters the development and advancement of Yoga, through maintaining rigorous standards and codes of practice for Yoga instructors.

“We have set the bar high and work with our members to support the advancement of yoga, seeking to spread awareness of the benefits of regular yoga practice," Yoga Australia president Leigh Blashki said.

"By ensuring that your yoga teacher is a Yoga Australia member, you can be confident that your class with be based on industry best practice, which means that you will benefit and grow through your yoga practice."

A little effort and commitment to yoga is repaid almost instantly with greatly increased feelings of wellbeing and balance. Through regular practice, you will quickly notice your body feeling more alert, energetic and limber. Wipe out stress; balance your body, mind and soul by seeking out the Yoga class that is right for you today.

If you are interested in Yoga Australia's updates, follow them on Twitter, Facebook or visit their website at www.yogaaustralia.org.au

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