How much Stress is good Stress ?

Stress is usually something we aim to avoid at all costs. If you’re like me, you probably work hard to create a life free from unwanted stressors. But did you know, when it comes to life we all need an appropriate amount of stress.  Not too much nor too little. In fact, the right amount of healthy stress can actually allow your natural defenses to kick in, improving cognitive function, improving your well being.  If stressing the tissues was a bad thing, every massage therapist would be out of a job.

In your regular fitness routine, be it lifting weights, or weight bearing exercises, we train the body to become stronger so our body gets better at what it does.   If we take stress away our bones atrophy.   ( proven with astronauts in space who experience no stress on their bones and lose Calcium, leading to atrophy and not walking upon returning to earth.)  In our longer held postures in Yin yoga, stressing the tissues safely is how we create adaptation, which makes our tissues stronger.  We see positive results in our bones, joints, ligaments, tissues, and our ability to move freely in your day. Whether you’re working out in one of our personal training sessions or attending our movement or yin yoga offerings, learning about a safe amount of stress, and creating good stress is a part of what we offer you.

Let’s dive in to our Yin yoga practice.

  • Tension in your tissues
  • Compressing your tissues
  • Twisting your tissues

All three variations are needed and, with this in mind, we create a series of intentional movements that focus on these kinds of stress – poses that invite deep, long holds, that are gentle, yet safe. When we consider our joints, ligaments and tissues, this kind of slow, mindful stress actually activates these parts of your physical body, keeping them strong, healthy and agile. We need to apply stress in order to keep our joints and ligaments active.  The same can be said for our bones. With bone density declining as we age, it’s important to choose movement that supports healthy bone strength. Furthering this, the more positive stress we undergo, the more our bones are encouraged to grow thicker and stronger, carrying us throughout our day. This is why weight lifting, when done within your limits, can be such an amazing practice to add to your fitness routine.

But how much stress is too much? Too much of anything can become repetitive movement and this is why we need to be aware of how much stress we’re choosing in our fitness practices. Anything too repetitive can cause wear and tear on your muscles, tissues and joints and anything too far outside of your physical capacity can cause injury. Together we can discuss and define your goals and work within your own limits and avoid movements that invite pain or discomfort, working within your capabilities that day. Tune in and listen to your inner voice. You’ll know when too much is too much. The right amount of stress should challenge you, but ultimately leave you feeling good once completed.

The best way to truly create a movement and fitness routine with the right amount of stress to garner positive results, is to join a yoga class or a personalized one-on-one training session with me. This is where I tailor the workout to meet you exactly where you’re at, so you are always experiencing the right amount of stress for you, in each workout.


For more information on our yoga class offerings or personal training sessions, please reach out to me or click this link here and I’d be happy to recommend a fitness and movement routine that fits you best.


See you in class!