Is Yoga Good for Everyone as a Stress Reliever?

It works to relieve anxiety, but not if you don't enjoy it.

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Yoga can absolutely be a great way to reduce stress and anxiety, and no—it is not necessarily for everyone. Forcing yourself to do something because "it is supposed to be good for you" is almost certain to fail in the long run and can actually increase your stress and anxiety in the short term. There are many paths to stress reduction, including other forms of exercise; myriad mind-body techniques such as meditation, prayer, and visualization; and other forms of expression such as journaling, art, music, and talking to a friend.

I have two pieces of advice for you: 1) Be open to new approaches. Do not assume something new to you would not work for you. Often, approaches that you are unfamiliar with are the most interesting, and most surprising. 2) Pay attention to what you love. If you try yoga and give it a fair shot (a month or two), and you find yourself dreading the class, try something else. Self care should be fun and nurturing, not something you dread—especially when your goal is to reduce stress and anxiety. One of the best ways to do this is to find something you love, and enjoy it. You will also be much more likely to sustain these activities across time. So relax, and enjoy the exploration.

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