Yoga & Stress
has been described over or lack of stimuli. Too little can lead to
depression, lethargy, feelings of being devalued
and lack of focus. Conversely, too much stress can lead to exhaustion "burn out"
or even "nervous breakdown". Yoga, on the other hand minimizes impact of stress
on the individual. Yogic science believes that the regular practice of
pranayama strengthens the
nervous system and helps people face stressful situations positively. Tension,
is not a modern phenomenon. In the centuries-old yoga Sutras, the sage Patanjali
attributed the causes of mental affliction to the ego, spiritual ignorance,
desire, hatred of others, and attachment to life. He called these kleshas or
Cause of Stress
Through advances in science and technology, modern civilization has been
able to conquer ignorance in many fields, but its pride in technological
achievement is excessive and misplaced. It has triggered widespread feelings of
competitiveness and envy. Financial tensions, emotional upheavals, environmental
pollution and, above all, a sense of being overtaken by the speed of events,
have all increased the stress of daily life.
All these factors strain the body, causing nervous tension, and adversely
affecting mind. This is when feelings of isolation and loneliness take over.
To deal with this, people turn to artificial solutions to cope with the
pressures of daily life. Substance abuse,
eating disorders, and
destructive relationships are some of the substitutes people grasp at in their
desperate search for consolation. But while these measures may provide temporary
distraction or oblivion, the root cause of unhappiness - stress - remains
Yoga is not a miracle cure that can free a person from all
stress, but it can
help to minimize it. The worries of modern life deplete our reserves of bio -
energy, because we draw on our vital on our vital energy from the storehouse -
the nerve cell. This can, ultimately, exhaust our energy reserves and lead to
the collapse of mental and physical equilibrium.
experience of relaxation means moving from the outside to the
inside, becoming aware of this introversion and maintaining balance
Yogic science believes that the nerves control the unconscious mind, and that
when the nervous system is strong, a person faces stressful situations more
positively. Asanas improve blood flow to all the cells of the body, revitalizing
the nerve cells. This flow strengthens the nervous system and its capacity for
diaphragm, according to yogic science, is the seat of the intelligence of the
heart and the window to the soul. During stressful situations, however, when you
inhale and exhale, the diaphragm becomes too taut to
alter its shape. Yogic exercises address this problem by developing
elasticity in the diaphragm, so that, when stretched, it can handle any
amount of stress, whether intellectual, emotional, or physical.
The muscles also accumulate stress because when there is no movement of the body
then a chemical accumulates called lactic acid. At night when you sleep your
body generates lactic acid which causes the feeling of stiffness when you wake
up in the morning. When there is a movement for some time then that stiffness
slowly fades away. The toxins which accumulate in the joints prevent free
movement. The adjoining muscles also have minute spaces in which circulation
stagnates. So yogic postures stretch the muscles and expand the joints. As a
result circulation improves and toxins are drained away. Some useful
practices which take only a short time are the
Yoga has been found to be an effective therapy to increase the
immunity, the stamina and the strength of the
different systems within the body.
Yoga also does not
consider the mind as everything, but it accepts that by developing
awareness and concentration you can awaken the dormant potential
which can be used to develop and attain success in your life.
The practice of asanas and pranayama helps to integrates the body, breath,
mind, and intellect. Slow, effortless exhalation during practice of an asana
brings serenity to the body cells, relaxes the facial muscles, and releases all
tension from the organs of perception: the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin.
A good starting
point and a difficult one, is to be sober and clean, living a life
free from drug use or drink.
this happens, the brain, which is in constant communication with the organs of
action, becomes shunya, or void, and all thoughts are stilled. Then, invading
fears and anxieties cannot penetrate to the brain. When you develop this
ability, you perform your daily activities with efficiency and economy. You do
not dissipate your valuable bio-energy. You enter the state of true clarity of
intellect. Your mind is free of stress and is filled with calm and
The importance of relaxation in our society is vital to health and well being
and body "ease". A body in a constant state of arousal eventually becomes
exhausted and "dis-eased".
Dated 05 April 2012