Clairwil's Astrology Page

Home | Pagan News | Herbs | Spells | Tarot | Daily I-Ching | Daily Runes | Cafe Nation | Free Readings | Mike Nichols | Tarot for Beginners | Money Blessing | Playing Cards | Bad Readings | Ayurvedic Beauty | Ayurvedic Massage | Herbal Healing | Asanas for Health | Yoga & Stress | Yoga Module | Yoga-A Review | Ae Fond Kiss | Useful Links

Yoga Page Two

Yoga and Stress Management

Written by: Manoj Dash
Is stress a mental concept? The answer is no. People think that stress is purely psychological. Stress is both physical and psychological. Before elaborating on this concept let us see what is stress. In scientific circles, stress has elaborate definitions. For simplicity of thought, we can see stress as distress. Anything painful or disagreeable is stress. If we take this definition then would it not seem absurd to say that stress is not purely psychological? The answer to this question lies in the concept of body-mind dichotomy. According to this concept body and mind function independently. However, this is not the case. When we experience painful and disagreeable emotions, our body responds to it. Here also lies a problem. Most of us see the phenomena as a linear phenomenon. In other words, we think that mind affects the body and it stops there. Again that is not true. The fact is that body also affects the mind. Similarly this is true in case of extreme happiness as well. How do mind and body interact? This is a very fascinating question. Because better understanding of this phenomena can go a long way in changing concepts in medicine. A neurophysiological explanation: The limbic system is the part of the brain which controls emotions. The increased neural excitement in the limbic system causes changes in that part of the brain that controls muscle movement. This affects the tone of the muscles. The muscles of the body tend to be more rigid in a stressed individual. Increased tone of the muscles inhibits the individuals' ability to relax. Increased tone of the muscles itself becomes a stressor to the individual. Thus, it becomes a vicious circle. The limbic system affects the autonomic nervous system (ANS). ANS stimulation causes palpitation, dyspepsia cold hands etc. This also inhibits the person's ability to relax. Increased autonomic stimulation itself causes anxiety. When a person develops myocardial infarction, his autonomic system is over stimulated causing the person to develop anxiety. The limbic system affects Neuro-hormonal axis. During stress hormones like adrenaline, cortisol is released which causes increased BP, blood sugar. Cortisol increases serum cholesterol. Adrenaline causes vascular endothelial (inner covering of the arteries) damage. We will discuss about stress and diseases later in the section. Not only the above mentioned facts are related to the stress, there are various consequences of stress if it is not prevent at an early stage. YOGA which is an ancient Indian Science and a way of living has understood the concept of stress well. There are numerous techniques yoga offer to reduce stress because stress is individualistic in nature, thus yoga too has individual approach to manage stress. How does yoga work? We can divide this section into four parts-Yoga reduces stress: • through stretch exercises (Physical postures) • through breath control • through diet • through spiritual reorientation in life (understanding the level of 5 layer existence) Stretch exercises-we have already seen that in a stressed individual the general muscle tone will be increased. Yoga has elaborate stretch exercises that help in reducing the muscle tone. Increased muscle tone inhibit individuals ability to relax. Thus, yoga helps the individual to relax by decreasing his muscle tone. Breath control-yoga has elaborate breath control techniques that are called pranayamas. The Respiratory Centre in the brain has connections to the limbic system (which controls emotions) and the autonomic nervous system. Many must have noticed that when we experience powerful emotions like anger fear etc our breathing patterns change. Breathing tends to become shallow and rapid. Through breath awareness we can influence our conscious mind in a positive way and the excitement in the autonomic nervous system tends to be reduced. This has positive influence on the persons BP blood sugar levels. The individual also tends to feel relaxed. Diet-yogic diets advice low fat high fibre and low spicy foods. Low fat diet decreases chances of heart disease. High fibre diets help in decreasing carbohydrate absorption through the intestine which helps in lowering chances of developing diabetes mellitus and better sugar control in diabetics. High spicy diets interfere in the person's ability to relax therefore yoga advises low spicy diets. Spiritual reorientation in life-a good yoga practitioner knows that yoga is not about stretch exercises and breath control alone but it is way of life. Yoga teaches man to be compassionate to his fellow beings. A yogi always should be mindful of the welfare of others. Modern studies have shown that compassionate feelings are conducive to better health. Mindless selfishness results in development of emotions like anger, frustrations, and feeling of loss that are not conducive to health. Thus it becomes clear that Yoga can go a long way in improving the general health of the society by showing the way to a healthier, more compassionate way of life. This stress reduction program intends to introduce concept of yoga generally for the benefit of health and other aspects of personality. Especially this program is designed to introduce the concept of stress according to yoga and the management through yoga with simple techniques where every one can practice, tips for healthy living and diet for life style change.

Search Engine Optimization and Free Submission