According to the latest studies, an estimated 33% of people are feeling extreme stress. Around the world, 77% suffer from poor physical health because of stress and 73% of people have stress that impacts their mental health. Stress leads to numerous lifestyle diseases such as hypertension, depression and diabetes among others. Globally, 48% of people suffer from insomnia due to stress.
It is important that we find effective solutions to help overcome stress to live in a satisfactory manner. When we suffer from stressful situations, it hampers our ability to function properly whether at work or in personal relationships. Yoga is a holistic science which offers us practices such as meditation and physical flows and asanas which allows us to relax and take the mind off stress.
THE POWER OF YOGA
Yoga consists of many powerful techniques which can be used by anybody to heal the mind, body, and spirit. The practise of meditation is a powerful weapon that allows us to stay grounded and fully present in the current moment. There are techniques such as Sthithi Dhyan which builds up our observation powers and help us to stay aware of our surrounding environment. Meditation techniques allow us to remain detached from our thoughts which could cause confusion and mental chaos. With the help of regular meditation practise, we can make the mind free of clutter which is caused by mental chatter and enjoy focused thinking. Yoga makes us more positive overall helping us to face life’s challenges without getting too overwhelmed or flustered. Due to the mental clarity that we achieve through meditation and yoga, we are able to focus our energies towards building ourselves towards growth.
SURYA NAMASKAR AND CHANDRA NAMASKAR
The body is a reflection of the mind and the mind too is a reflection of the body. If we are able to keep our bodies fit and active, then we can be assured of a mentally sound mind as well. Yoga has the practice of sun and moon salutations which are offerings to the divine energies of the sun and moon. We can practice this early in the morning or in the evening starting with five cycles and slowly increasing the number with time. Not only will we cultivate a better body in terms of physical strength, flexibility, stamina, and better immunity but we can also enjoy a peaceful mind.
• Sit in a comfortable posture (such as Sukhasana, Ardha Padmasana or Padmasana)
• Place your palms on your knees facing up (Prapthi Mudra)
• Straighten your back and close your eyes
• The time you take to inhale and exhale should be in a ratio of 6:6, i.e., if you inhale in six counts, you need to exhale in six counts
• Focus on your breath entering and then leaving your nostrils as you inhale and exhale.
Be an observer of your flow of thoughts by not resisting them initially and letting them flow. Gradually, keep shifting your awareness to your breathing until you reach a point where your complete focus is on your inhalation and exhalation with your mind almost completely devoid of thoughts.
Disha/direction: Face towards East
MINDFULNESS AND POSITIVITY
The biggest advantage of practising meditation regularly is developing the habit of mindfulness. Mindfulness is a process where we are non-judgemental towards our thoughts and towards others’ behaviour. Mindfulness allows us to respond to any given situation rather than react to it impulsively. Through the process of yoga and meditation, we are able to respond to life better in a more positive way that helps us towards our goals. We can increase our vibration through yoga and meditation and enjoy a better quality of life without stress, anxiety, depression etc.
The writer is an internationally acclaimed spiritual yogic master, author and TEDx speaker.