Modern life in today's environment usually means that we are busy doing multiple things at a time. We are working, maintaining a social life, keeping up with current affairs and trends, raising families, and if you enjoy a bit of entertainment like I do, you are probably eagerly awaiting for that new Beyonce drop.
While we glamourize being busy, it does take a toll on our body, mind and soul. A stressful situation can trigger a cascade of stress hormones, making the heart pound, the breath heavy, the muscles tense, offering you a rainfall of sweat. This is our "fight or flight" response taking over as our survival mechanism.
Stress can result from non-life threatening situations. We do not need to be faced with danger for us to trigger stress hormones. Traffic jams, work pressures and family issues may trigger stress hormones just as bad. It is important that we learn how to manage stress in our day to day lives.
Meditation and yoga have been instrumental in equipping us with some of the tools we need today to survive modern day pressures. Knowing how to pay attention to our breath, our body movements and how we feel emotionally can tremendously elevate pressures and help us perform in a more aware and productive manner.
Recent research conducted in the US on 52 women with depression and anxiety has shown that their symptoms decreased dramatically after 12 sessions of hatha yoga.
300 million people do yoga all over the world.
But how does yoga actually work? Yoga postures (asanas), consisting of stretching, lengthening, and muscle balancing, work towards relieving the physical discomforts induced by anxiety. Breath work (pranayama), whether cooling or energizing, helps alleviate stress, keeping us mindful and aware of the present moment.
You do not have to be spiritual or an athlete to do yoga. Yoga is for everyone no matter the belief or age.
Pranayama is the control of Breath. "Prana" is Breath or vital energy in the body. Prana represents the pranic energy responsible for life or life force, and "ayama" means control.
Here are a few Pranayama techniques that help us balance our breath and keep us calm:
Ujjayi breath Ujjayi breathing is a technique that allows us to calm our mind by focusing on our breath.