No human being can claim a non-exposure to stress of some form or another, during his life. Various factors including physical threat or mental distress put into motion a chain of hormonal and chemical reactions in the body that trigger stress. At this stage, adrenaline pumps into the heart and the body and shuts down all unnecessary body functions to cope with this aggressive phenomenon. Further, if the stress levels increase, the shut down body functions will turn ineffective. The experts opine that you can easily counter such extreme reactions to stress with regular exercise.
Among the various exercises recommended for prevention or later alleviation of stress, yoga plays an extremely meaningful and important role. However, scientific investigation results are not available for substantiating this point but, several great researchers have claimed the success of yoga in stress reduction. The experts recommend a blend of easy to moderate Asanas along with pranayama and meditation for the best results. The moral of the story is that the process of performing the yoga Asanas is as or more important than the Asana itself. Yoga, fostering a feeling of self-awareness, is an ideal response to stress problems.
Today, our fast way of life is contributing heavily to increased stress levels, leading not only to uncomfortable symptoms like back pain, headaches, and insomnia, but also, to more serious ailments like osteoporosis and cardiovascular problems.
Among the eight limbs described by Patanjali in his “Yoga Sutras,” Pratyahara is the fifth inward limb, which can greatly promote stress reduction. Some people feel that the audio and visual excesses in our lives in this modern world are prime contributors to our being stressed out. Only a conscious and continuous inward look will stop the audio/video and other outside factors from taking control. Practicing meditation, pranayama and certain other Hatha Yogas, keep the external forces at bay, and prevent our becoming slaves to stress related problems.
Fortunately, the practice of any form of Yoga is an antidote against the assault of stress related forces. Improve your practice of yoga a little by little every day, and include exercises in breathing and relaxation to make your immunity to stress even stronger. Those who claim they are busy must find a way to do their part of yoga every day.
Yoga’s rise to popularity is primarily due to the sense of well-being that it imparts to the yoga practitioner. Through regular practice, we find a fusion in the harmony between body and soul and our increase in levels of awareness.