A very happy international yoga day…
Poor mental health is the new epidemic in recent era. Stress and anxiety have captured each brain in this earth. Recently the Covid-19 anxiety has added more weight to our existing stress. A sound mental health is the urgent need for everyone.
What is yoga
Yoga has originated in India over 5,000 years ago. The term is derived from Sanskrit, the term yoga means “to yoke” or “unite.” Through breathing, meditation, several physical movements, and relaxation, yoga can help in all around wellbeing of both our body and mind. Now a days it has become highly popular in both east and west. Many studies reveal importance of yoga for mind and body. June 21 is observed as international yoga day.
How yoga helps in stress and anxiety
Yoga is a mind-body practice. It’s a fantastic complementary non medical management of stress and anxiety. Yoga may help you achieve peacefulness of body and mind, leading to relaxation from stress and anxiety.
How anxiety and stress affect your life
There are many ways by which anxiety and stress can impact your life. It can affect your mind, body, and general well-being. Headache, sleeplessness, muscle pain, panic attacks, feeling of depression, abdominal discomfort, change in personality, substance abuse etc are the primary manifestations of stress and anxiety. It’s very difficult to manage. It lowers one’s quality of Life.(stress induced illness)
Yoga postures, known as asanas, help to ease the physical discomfort that is caused by anxiety. The breathing exercises, relaxation techniques and meditations help in cooling mind. The famous hatha yoga helps in countering all symptoms of anxiety and stress.
The yoga changes our neuro-hormonal coordination of body from sympathetic to parasympathetic predominant system. The sympathetic is for fight and flight response whereas parasympathetic is for rest and digest.
Several yogas for stress and anxiety
Several breathing exercises are there which help in regulating our autonomic nervous system to counter stress. Pranayam is also one type of regulated breathing exercise. Many new studies have proposed to include it in primary non-pharmacologic therapy of anxiety. (1)
Yogic poses or asanas (yogasanas for stress and anxiety)
Yoga postures, are a series of movements designed to increase strength and flexibility. Poses range from lying on the floor while completely relaxed to difficult postures that may have you stretching your physical limits. Surya namaskar is a very good practice for that in morning. Short exercise intervals increase efficiency and reduce stress. (2)
Meditation and relaxation
Mindfulness meditation may help you learn to be more mindful and aware of the present moment without judgment. It’s the Meditation practice which helps us to focus on present, our feelings, sensation, visualisation of thoughts etc. (3) (Meditation benifits)
Stress and anxiety can cause several neurological and psychiatric illness (stress induced illness). Stress reduction should be our primary motto. Daily yoga at least 15 minutes can help us in getting relief from stress and anxiety. So in the eve of international yoga day let’s promise ourselves to dedicate some time from our work schedule to do yoga and be happy.
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1:Jerath R, Crawford MW, Barnes VA, Harden K. Self-regulation of breathing as a primary treatment for anxiety. Applied psychophysiology and biofeedback. 2015 Jun 1;40(2):107-15.
2:Javnbakht M, Kenari RH, Ghasemi M. Effects of yoga on depression and anxiety of women. Complementary therapies in clinical practice. 2009 May 1;15(2):102-4.
3:Zeidan F, Martucci KT, Kraft RA, McHaffie JG, Coghill RC. Neural correlates of mindfulness meditation-related anxiety relief. Social cognitive and affective neuroscience. 2014 Jun 1;9(6):751-9.
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