In all the years I’ve been practicing yoga asana, frankly, I cannot think of a reason not to.  Often, I’ll toss this question out to my students and be inundated with as many responses as people in class.  Lets face it, we all have our reasons even, “I’m not sure, it just makes me feel good.”

How about a common tag line in yoga advertising or news articles concerning yoga, “Reduces stress and tension.”  Great line, good marketing shtick.  Have you ever thought it through?  If we reduce too much tension and stress in our bodies we start to malfunction, reduce completely and we expire.  Not the result we aspire to in our yoga asana practice.  Perhaps we should revamp the line to, “Teaches us how to adjust the tension in our bodies such that the stresses are evenly distributed throughout and therefore lead to a healthier, happier and more productive life.”  Probably loses something as an advertising tag line.

Of course we think of stress and tension as situations “imposed” on us and how we respond to them.  What helps is to have tools that allow us to maintain a healthy perspective in demanding times and this is the gift of yoga asana practice.  Practice yoga asana regularly, introduce poses that challenge you, and constantly refine your poses.  When you step on the mat immerse yourself, even if it is only a ten minute practice, and never perform the poses mechanically.  A vigorous yoga practice will keep you focused in the present moment and it is there that the ability to deal with stress and tension will emerge.


Eric has been studying and teaching yoga asana for over twenty years. His approach, in practice and teaching, is to constantly refine the practice of asana so as to use the body as a vehicle and tool for creating greater awareness of one’s self and surroundings. Eric has studied with many nationally known yoga instructors whose primary focus is Iyengar style yoga. Eric offers a once a month workshop, Friday evenings, Refining Your Yoga Practice & a weekly yoga class, Thursday’s from 9:30-11am.