How Yoga Heals

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We all know that stress is the most common root cause of most of our diseases, ailments and psychological problems. We also know that most of the modern medicines can reduce stress but is unable to eliminate stress. This is where Yoga has comes in. It eliminates stress through physical exercises, known as ‘asanas’ and through quiet meditation. However, to understand how Yoga heals you first need to understand how stress works.

Stress is basically your minds and bodys defense mechanism that comes into play when an individual overreaches himself. This can happen almost anywhere. In a business meeting, at an emotionally charged social gathering, during tiresome and excessive traveling or at home on account of uncontrollable emotions.

When your mind feels stressed, it automatically produces a ‘flight or fight reaction’. Some people prefer the easy option – they try to run away; the others fight back. The individuals who fight back benefit more in the short term because their body learns how to cope with the stress that they may be put under from ime to time.

However, in the long run, over exposure to stress and anxiety, starts impacting on the immune system. A great amount of pressure is exerted on the internal organs; the heart rate soars suddenly, blood pressure is raised, there is excessive sweating and muscles can become tense without the indivdual realising. Even the digestion system cam be affected, and the body becomes more susceptible to illness and disease.

Fortunately for us the human body has yet another in-built mechanism -- the parasympathetic nervous system or the “relaxation response.” And this is where the great healing art of Yoga comes in. Through Yoga, especially through the deep breathing exercises and meditation, an individual can relax the muscles of the skeleton, which in turn activate the parasympathetic nervous system. This then lowers the blood pressure, heart rate and respiration rate slow down, and calms the body and mind.

Since deep breathing is at the core of Yoga, continuous practice restores and revitalizes the energy reserves of the body. The individuals feel stronger, and their minds and body accept stress as just another challenge that has to be met. The challenges are met, however in a calm and relaxed manner.

This is why Yoga is considered so useful. It does not depend on medicines that may produce harmful side-effects or without which an individual may feel helpless in dealing with day-to-day problems. There is no feeling of being unable to cope as the body and mind learn that staying calm is the way to deal with even the most stressful of situations. It strengthens the body’s natural stress fighting mechanism. It also makes an individual more calm and composed. His reactions become measured, in keeping with the needs of the situation.

The pressure on body’s organs, both mind and heart, are reduced; the body can function normally; and the individual can live from crisis to crisis without straining his physical or mental resources. The practise of yoga is indeed and great stress buster.

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