Yoga in Stress Management
Facts and Myths
Yoga is not confined to attire
Yoga is not renunciation of worldly life
Yoga is not inactivity
Yoga is not torturing oneself
Yoga is not magic
Yoga is not an exhibition
Yoga is not a competition
Yoga is not merely difficult posture
Yoga is not mysticism
Yoga is not one’s inherited domain
Who, Where, When and How?
- Yoga is recommended to everyone.
- One must have patience and faith in the Guru (teacher).
- One can start yoga and meditation at any time in their life after understanding the basic fundamentals.
- As yoga and meditation facilitates to control kama (lust), lobha (greed), moha (attachment) and control indriyas (senses), hence, one should have good level of motivation and sincerity.
Experience of the self is the first stage which is followed by the second stage that is one of complete visualization and transcendence.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is the yogic technique that enables us to experience “self”. Experience of the self is the first stage which is followed by the second stage that is one of complete visualization and transcendence.
During these stages one would experience:
- Emergence of consciousness
- Enlargement of consciousness
- Merging of consciousness with cosmic consciousness.
The meditation approach is based on understanding of total personality and cure and not the symptoms alone.
Biologically and physiologically, the subconscious human brain is similar to the animal brain. It runs on preset patterns. The higher layer of brain tissue available to humans is the conscious brain, which provides the realization to free will and choice. If this higher faculty is not used to become more conscious of the higher aspects of life, it is taken away in the next lifetime.
Karmically, to have animals killed en mass in slaughterhouses creates such heavy Karma that it is paid by having humans slaughtered en mass in wars. Killing plants/vegetables also is an act creating Karma. The protection from the reaction comes by offering those vegetables to the Supreme Person with love. Then the reaction (karmic) to the act is eliminated.
Yoga has been found to be efficacious in: Smoking and Alcohol dependence: Substance Dependence (Bowen et.al 2007), Anxiety and Tension / Stress (Burkett et al, 2006, Lee, 2007, Lindberg, 2005), Insomnia and Epilepsy (Yardi, 2001). Psoriasis, Chronic low back pain (LBP) (Williams, 2005). Immunity (Lindberg, 2005, Roggia, 2001), Cardiac diseases, Asthma/ COPD, Eating Disorders, Depression/ Dysthymia (Lindberg, 2005;Galantino, 2003, Pilkington,2005). Adjunct to Infertility Treatment (Khalsa, 2003; Khalsa, 2004). Chronic Fatigue syndrome, Psychosomatic disorders (Galantino, 2003). Perimenopause/ Menopause (Cohen et al.2007), Prostrate cancer, Carpal-tunnel syndrome (Garfinkel, 1998), ect..
The most important rationale is the growing acceptance of utilizing the human self-regulatory capabilities for the treatment of psychosomatic diseases. Yogic approaches are the prime example of such human self-regulatory capacities (Singh, 2006).
The individual consciousness (jiva) falls victim to the desires, wishes, fears, doubts, convictions, pattern formations and drives which in turn lead to disturbance in the psychic energy and gives rise to suffering and disorders. Meditation helps in relaxation and uplifts a person spiritually. Meditation like Kundalini Yoga regulates the neurotransmitters, hormones and enhances coherence between the two brain hemispheres. Chanting mantras, meditation, rhythmic movements have a positive effect on our emotions. The parasympathetic system is activated which facilitates relaxation (Aftanas 2002; Kjaer, 2002).
In the last two decades of research in meditation, scientific evidence suggest that meditation has improved immune response, decreased response to sympathetic nervous system, in modification of cardiac symptoms, reduction of pain, reversal of heart symptoms and slowing of the aging process.
Emotional and spiritual benefits through meditation are far more efficacious and early response is noticed as compared to cognitive restructuring and psychotherapy. It enhances self esteem and cultivates self dependence (Aftanas, 2002; Infant, 2001; Travis, 2001).
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