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Yoga And Meditation For Stress Management

Yoga holds the key to any stress-related disorder with asanas for the body, pranayama for the breath and meditation for the mind.

Stress is primarily a physical response to what is perceived as a danger to self. When stressed, the body thinks it is under attack and reflexively switches to ‘fight or flight’ mode. This produces a complex mix of hormones and chemicals that prepare the body for physical action. This causes a number of reactions where blood gets diverted to muscles and shutting down of unnecessary bodily functions such as digestion. Yoga holds the key to any stress-related disorder with asanas for the body, pranayama for the breath and meditation for the mind. Follow this simple yoga routine regularly for better control over your own body, mind and soul.

1. Vrikshasana

Formation of the posture:

· Stand with your feet together

· Keep your back straight

· Lift and place your right foot on your left inner thigh

· Bring palms together and join them in front of your chest

· Inhale and lift your Namaste up, exhale to return

· Repeat on the other side

· Hold for 5-10 seconds each side. Repeat 1-2 times

Breathing Methodology:

Softly inhale and exhale in the posture to gain your balance

2. Tadasana

Formation of the posture:

· Stand with your feet together

· Keep your back straight

· Bring your palms together and interlock them

· Inhale and lift your stretch your arms up, palms facing outward

· Look up and gently drop your head back on your shoulders

· Hold for 5-10 seconds. Repeat 1-2 times

Breathing Methodology:

Softly inhale as you lift up your arms

3. Hastha Uthanasana

Formation of the posture:

· Stand with your feet together

· Keep your back straight

· Lift both arms up, keeping them parallel and palms facing in

· Inhale and gently bend back, with your head in between your arms

· Keep your eyes open to avoid any dizziness

· Exhale and come back to the center

· Hold for 5-10 seconds. Repeat 1-2 times

Breathing Methodology:

Softly inhale while bending back and exhale to return to centre

Aakaash Ganga Dhyan: (Galaxy Meditation)

Aakash Ganga Dhyan is a type of meditation or visualization where you are required to imagine yourself to be an earthen pot. As you meditate and begin to observe yourself like a container, allow the entire universe to flow into you. Receive these energies into yourself and feel all that which is flowing within you.

Benefits:

· Makes you one with nature/existence

· Get the power of the galaxy

· Mind becomes strong

· Builds memory power

· Builds focus

· Enhances concentration

Udgeeth Pranayama

Method

· Sit in any comfortable pose (such as Sukhasan, Ardhapadmasan or Padmasana)

· Straighten your back and close your eyes

· Place your palms on your knees facing up (in Prapthi Mudra)

· Inhale deeply and fill your lungs with air

· While exhaling, form a circle with your lips and chant ‘Om’ for as long as you can

· Feel the vibration of the sound disseminate throughout your body

Duration: You may begin by practising this breathing technique for five minutes a day and gradually increase it with time.

Benefits

· Calms the mind, brings stability and decreases stress

· It relieves tension, anger and anxiety

· Effective to treat hypertension

· Corrects sleep disorders (such as insomnia)

· Improves memory

Khand Pranayama

Method

· Sit in any comfortable pose (such as Sukhasan, Ardhapadmasan or Padmasana)

· Straighten your back and close your eyes

· Place your palms on your knees facing up (in Prapthi Mudra)

· As you inhale, divide your breath into two equal parts

· Without retaining the breath in your lungs, exhale twice

Duration: You may begin by practising this breathing technique for five minutes a day and gradually increase it with time.

Benefits

· Increases lung’s capacity to take in Oxygen

· Builds stamina • Promotes excess fat loss

· Improves skin health

· Exclusively beneficial to sportsmen such as Athletes, Basketball players, etc.

Word of Advice:

People with these conditions must refrain from practising this pranayama at a fast pace (Theevr Gathi):

· Hypertension

· Back Pain

· Cardiac Diseases

At the end of yoga, asana practises, you will feel a mental calmness as the logical brain has quietened down the emotional function. Pranayama helps greatly ineffective breathing. When we are stressed, our tendency is to breathe in a rapid, shallow way, which can lead to more anxiety. Yoga gives you the opportunity to use the diaphragm fully and utilise the whole lung capacity. Meditation too is an incredibly powerful tool for relaxing and slowing down the mind as is any kind of breath awareness.



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