Sunday, January 13, 2008
Yoga & Stress
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 asanas and 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 "sorrows".
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 unresolved.
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.
In yoga, experience of relaxation means moving from the outside to the inside, becoming aware of this introversion and maintaining balance and stability.
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 enduring stress.