In a global survey, it was discovered that an average of 42% of women and 35% of men suffered from consistent burnout. Burnout can hit you no matter what you’re doing in life. Some people suffer from work-related exhaustion, whilst others are tired and stressed from raising kids. Even traveling can cause burnout, with constant social interaction and the stress of getting from A to B in foreign countries leading to fatigue, irritability, and stress. So, what can you do to tackle it? One method that’s gaining in popularity is yoga, and we’ve got everything you need to know about how to use yoga for burnout to feel better.
Can Yoga Help Fight Burnout?
When you’re experiencing burnout, your first thought may not be to roll out the yoga mat. But there’s increasing evidence that it should be!
Yoga is all about enhancing mindfulness and peace in your life, bringing about a sense of pure calm. The feelings that you’re striving for when practicing yoga are the exact opposite of what causes burnout. Burnout thrives on sensory overload and stress, as well as:
- A lack of fulfillment
- A lack of control over your life
- Not enough rest
- Not enough perceived progress
But when you pop on your workout gear and start to stretch and breathe, all of those causes of burnout start to disappear. You’re turning off your mind to the chaos of the world and using yoga for burnout to bring control back to yourself, and practicing self-care.
How Does Yoga Help Fight Burnout?
There are a number of specific ways using yoga for burnout can help you feel more refreshed and happier in day-to-day life. The first is by reducing stress.
There’s countless evidence that yoga can actively reduce stress levels, including one study that found a significant reduction in stress and anxiety in participants after 16 weeks of regularly practicing yoga. If you can reduce stress levels and manage stressful situations better, your burnout should begin to decrease.
Yoga also promotes better rest. A bedtime yoga routine could help you get better sleep, fight fatigue, and ensure you feel energized for the day ahead. The act of yoga itself is also restful, encouraging you to take time out from your daily tasks to breathe, stretch, and refocus your mind.
This mindful practice brings you back to the present, too, and can give you better control over your mind. As a form of meditation, you’re training your brain to be quieter and stop focusing on a million different things at once. You’re not worrying about a work assignment or your daily to-do list, but simply enjoying the movement of your body and the stillness of the moment.
Yoga Can Also Prevent Burnout
All the ways in which yoga helps fight the burnout you’re currently experiencing can also prevent future episodes. It’s a win-win! Once you’ve taken the time to recuperate from your current overwhelmed state, continuing a yoga routine should keep the same symptoms at bay. After all, the benefits mentioned above don’t just disappear when burnout does.
Over time, a yoga routine and meditation can build your mental resilience. You’ll be better able to handle stress, give yourself time to wind down, and be able to focus your mind. All of this is crucial for living a happy, healthy life no matter what you’re doing.
Yoga Self-Care Rituals For Preventing Burnout
Getting started with yoga using an online course is a great way to instantly develop your practice and start boosting your mental resilience. However, there are also some practices that can help with stress relief and burnout in particular, that you can do from home right now. Here are some of our favorites!
This is an incredibly easy practice, but one that can help you enter the peaceful, mindful headspace you want to be in throughout your yoga routine. Begin in an easy pose, with your spine straight, and your body relaxed. Simply let your head naturally fall to your chest before rolling it to the right three or four times and then to the left three or four times. Breathe deeply whilst doing this, and focus on letting go of tension and stressful thoughts.
This practice is perfect for slowing your breathing and your mind, helping you reduce stress or anxious thoughts. Start in the Vajrasana position with your hands relaxed on your thighs and your upper body straight and relaxed. Raise your arms above your head as you inhale, and fold forward toward your legs as you exhale. Rest your arms and head on the floor, keeping your buttocks on your heels and breathing deeply. Relax and move back into Vajrasana without curving your spine, returning to the starting position.
Balasana (Child’s Pose)
Balasana is an excellent yoga pose for encouraging inward focus and forgetting the outside world. Relax your mind and restore your energy, starting in a kneeling position and resting back on your heels. Fold forward at the hips until you’re resting your forehead on your mat, and stretch your arms out alongside your legs. Your torso should feel as though it’s sinking into your thighs as you breathe deeply, holding the pose for as long as you feel comfortable.
Not everyone practices meditation within their yoga routine, though it is very common. If you’re experiencing burnout, we’d highly recommend giving it a go. To try it, sit or lay down in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Focus on your breathing or repeat a mantra in your head. Every time your thoughts start to wander, pull them back to the moment and train your mind to be still, calm, and present.
There’s no doubt that yoga is highly beneficial for those suffering from burnout – all the evidence and research are there to say so! Hopefully, these tips will give you the inspiration to begin your own yoga journey, but if you need some help then we’re here for you. With a library of tutorials from experienced yoga instructors, we make getting into the world of yoga easy.
By Sophie Bishop
Sophie Bishop is a medical journalist. Sophie aims to spread awareness through her writing around issues to do with healthcare, wellbeing and sustainability and is looking to connect with an engaged audience.
Find Sophie on her social media accounts:
Featured photo by Eneko Uruñuela on Unsplash