Stress Management Through Yoga Mrs. Madhavi Singh1 Research Scholar Dr. Sudhinta Sinha2 Clinical Psychologist& Associate Professor Dept. of Psychology S.S.L.N.T.M. Mahavidyalya Dhanbad, Jharkhand India Abstract: In the modern world we face stress in every sphere and every step of our life, whether we are in school, college, office etc. students face stress due to exam , serviceman face stress due to huge pile of pending work etc. As a result people often practice medications like taking sedatives, narcotics and tranquilizers (medicines to cure anxiety).Which calms the mind but in future it creates serious other maladies. But still there is a therapy which is purely natural and is considered to be the best weapon against stress and that is “YOGA”. Yoga is the ancient mantra for sound health. It has been practiced by several „Rishi-Munis‟ in ancient India and now has become a major concern among the modern era too. Virtually everyone can see physical benefits from yoga, and its practice can also give psychological benefits such as stress reduction and a sense of well-being, and spiritual benefits, such as feeling of connectedness with God or spirit, or a feeling of transcendence. In this paper nature of yoga and its importance in reducing stress have been discussed.
Introduction: First of all, to understand the benefits of „yoga‟ in reducing stress, we must understand the nature and causes of stress. Oxford concise medical dictionary (stress management through yoga, 13 June 2012) defines stress as “Any factor that threatens the health of the body or has adverse effects on its functioning, such as injury, disease, or worry. The existence of one form of stress tends to diminish resistance to other forms. Constant stress brings about changes in the balance of hormones in the body.” Stress is the “wear and www.ijellh.com
tear” our bodies experience as we adjust to our continually changing environment. It has physical and emotional effect on us and can create positive or negative feelings. As a positive influence stress can compel us to action. As a negative influence it can result in feeling of disruption, rejection, anger and depression which in turn can lead to health problem such as headache, upset stomach, rashes, insomnia, ulcer, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. By Ellen serber, stress is a common condition, a response to physical threat or psychological distress, that generates a host of chemical and hormonal reactions in the body. In essence the body prepares to fight or flee, pumping more blood to the heart and more muscles and shutting down all non-essential functions. As a temporary state this reaction serves the body well to defend however when the stress reaction is attenuated the normal physical functions that have been either exaggerated or shut down in response become dysfunctional in this extreme state.
The Nature & Benefits of Yoga: Many have noted the benefits of exercise in diminishing the stress response. Yoga too has been recommended and studied in its relationship to stress, several researchers claim highly beneficial result from yoga practice in alleviating stress and its effects. A two day interactive session was held on “stress management through yoga”, organised by education and agriculture department of Jammu University. The main focus of this interactive session was on healthy life style, yoga asana, pranayama, meditation and various other aspects and dimensions to cope up with the stress of the individual. According to Ann Pize „Yoga‟ has long been known to be a great antidote to stress. Yoga combines much popular stress reducing technique, including exercise and learning to control the breath, clear the mind, and relax the body. As yoga becomes increasingly popular more and more people are discovering the benefits this ancient practice and bring to their stressful lives. According to Elizabeth Scott, Yoga which derives its name from the word, “Yoke”-to bring together the mind, body and spirit. But whether we use yoga for spiritual transformation or for stress management and physical well-being, the benefits are numerous. Dating back over 5000 years, yoga is the oldest defined practice of self-development. The method of classical yoga includes ethical disciplines, physical postures, breathing control and meditation. Traditionally an Eastern practice, it‟s now becoming popular in the west. In fact, many www.ijellh.com
companies, especially in Britain are seeing the benefits of yoga, recognizing that relaxed workers are healthier and more creative, and are sponsoring yoga fitness programs.
Yoga’s effects on the Body: The following is only a partial list of yoga‟s benefits: • Reduced stress • Sound sleep • Reduced creosol levels • Improvement of many medical condition • Allergy and asthma symptom relief • Lower blood pressure • Lower heart rate • Spiritual growth • Sense of well-being • Reduced anxiety and muscle tension • Increased strength and flexibility • Slowed aging process
Types of Yoga: There are different types of yoga, which helps to reduce the psychological, economical or physical stress etc. According to Eat right (Healthy habits, Healthy life, Healthy India) there are many process of yoga for stress management, can be done either lying down or sitting posture to ensure rhythmic breathing in and out. It may be practiced for joint relaxing exercise and instant whole body relaxation techniques with deep breathing. • Shavasan • Makarasan • Bhujangasan • Suptavajrasan • Shalabhasan • Vakrasan www.ijellh.com
These are very useful in reducing stress. Apart from this some other yoga techniques which act as a miracles top yoga technique for a healthy life : Bhaktiyoga: Bhakti yoga involves devotion, attachment and love for god. Bhakti yoga history stretches back to before the origin of hatha yogi. It is not known exactly when it started, but it has been around since before the fifth century BC. There are nine forms of Bhakti yoga. Sravana(Hearing about God) Kirtana(singing of the glory of God) Smarana(Remembering God‟s name and presence) Papasevana(Service of God) Archana(worship of God) Vandana(Prostration) Dasya(Cultivating the bhava of a servant) Sakhya(Cultivating of the friend-Bhava) Atmanivendana(surrender of the self) Karma yoga: Karma yoga means action or dead and the result of that action. By practicing Karma people try to do those actions that bring the most amounts of God and the least amount of evil. Karma yoga dedicates action to God. It is the performance of action in union with the divine. Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga: Ashtanga yoga started around 5000 years Scand was began by Patanjali‟s yoga sutra. So what is ashtanga yoga? It is the eight limbs or eight fold path formulated by Patanjali.The Ashtanga yoga basics include paying attention to each of the eight limbs, which are • Yama(Principles or moral code) • Niyama(Personal disciplines) • Asana(Ashtanga yoga posture) • Pranayama(Yoga breathing) www.ijellh.com
• Prayahara(Withdrawal of sense) • Dharana(Concentration on object) • Dhyan(Meditation) • Samadhi(salvation) Jnana yoga: Jnana yoga is yoga that focuses on knowledge. There are seven stages to Janna, involving study, self-realization, desire, protection of the mind, developing indifference to object. It lets the world appear like a dream, on-attachment to the world, bliss and knowledge of truth.
Hatha yoga: Hatha yoga is one of the most popular forms of yoga in the western world. It is the use of yoga postures or asana. Many people practice Hatha yoga solely for its physical benefits. However, the aim of Hatha yoga is meant to be to condition the body. So that, the mind can be prepare for its spiritual path. It is thought that when the body is in good physical condition, then the mind is free to concentrate on spiritual matters.
Kundalini yoga: Kundalini yoga is considered to be the most powerful yoga. It focuses on awakening the energy which is found at the base of the spine. Kundalini yoga involves classic poses, chanting and meditation. There is an emphasis on breathing.
Swara yoga: Swara yoga focuses on controlling and manipulating the flow of breath in the nostrils. It involves studying the nostril‟s breath flow at all times of the day and sessions. Swara yoga has existed for over ten years. At first it was only available to special people, like king.
Raja yoga: Raja yoga focuses on directing one‟s life force to bring mind and emotions into balance. The aim is to focus on an object of meditation or the Lord. The life force is directed
to move up and down the spine, until it reaches a position where the mind is content. Then awareness is directed to a point in the lower forehead.
Kriya yoga: Kriya yoga consists of meditation technique that helps with a person‟s spiritual growth. The goal of Kriya yoga is union with the Divine. It works with the spiritual energy deep in the spines. Kriya yoga involves mentally drawing this energy up and down the spine.
Mantra yoga: Mantra yoga involves chanting a world or phrases repeatedly until the mind and emotions are transcended and the super conscious is revealed. Repeating a mantra helps to prevent the mind from wondering and keep it focused on the object of meditation. The most popular form of yoga practiced in the west world is Hatha yoga which focuses on yoga postures or asanas.so back to stress management yoga provides a unique way of managing stress through many types of yoga. Most popular Pranayama in this technique is an individual do slow and steady breathing, like inhaling through his one nostril and exhaling through other. Besides there are fast breathing movement like intake of air through nostrils and exhaling through mouth at fast pace, this way air is passed properly through blood capillaries and the person feels himself/herself in light mode. He she feels that there is no burden over their mind and soul. Dhyana(meditation) is also a good method of controlling stress, in this part of yoga a person sits in a posture (usually in relaxing mode) and concentrate his her mind over one point with eyes closed. The mind is concentrate up to an extent, when and individual feels the he/she has no interaction with the surroundings,infact the mind reaches in a neutral stage thereby relieving mental exhaustion. Hence yoga provides the best cure to this serious ailment which is disrupting the life of millions of people daily. The American council of exercise (ACE) recently studied the physical benefits of yoga and found that “The regular practice of Hatha yoga significantly improved the subject flexibility, muscular strength and endurance and balance. After eight week the average flexibility of the yoga group, improved by 13% to 35%..........., similarly the yoga group‟s muscular strength and endurance was also boosted by regular Hatha yoga.”
Yoga‟s emphasis breathing and the mind /body/spirit connection also yields strong emotional benefits. People who practice yoga frequently report that they sleep better and feel less stressed.
Conclusion: As we know that stress has become a common catchword in our society to indicate a host of difficulties, both as cause and effect .The American academy of family physicians has noted that stress related symptoms prompt two-thirds of the office visit to family physicians. Exercise and alternative therapies are now commonly prescribed for stressrelated complaints and illness. Even a recent issue of consumer reports suggest YOGA for stress relief. Many books and articles claim, as doe‟s Dr. Susan lark, that practicing yoga will “provide effective relief of anxiety and stress”. Finally yoga has and is proving it as “Stress management tools”, and nowadays it is being used in western world too as a major alternative to the offensive allopathic drugs.
References: 1. Pizer, A. (2012). Yoga for stress management and relaxation.yoga.about.com >Health >Yoga > Health cached. 2. Scott, E. & M.S. (2011). The benefits of yoga for stress management. Yoga and stress-the benefits of yoga for stress management. Stress .about .com >…>Tension Tamers > yoga cached. 3. Serber, E. (2000). International journal of yoga therapy. www.mydailyyoga.com/yoga/_and _stress html. 4. Singh, S. (2007) Stress management through yoga. . Stress management through yoga , ezinearticles . com > Self improvement > management cached. 5. Seliger, S. Yoga -for- stress- management. .www.webmd.com/fitness…/yoga for- stress- management. 6. The two days interactive session on „stress management through yoga‟ was organized in the University of Jammu under the course supervision of Manu kapoor.29 Aug 2012. www.jammuuniversity.in/newsdetails.asp?id=235 7. Top yoga technique for a healthy life, 2011.Yogamiracles.com.