By Faye Martins
How does yoga help the body and mind? Living in a fast-paced, stress-filled society, most people find that they are anxious even while trying to rest and sleep. Anxiety and stress have become an accepted part of life, although they can both be unhealthy for the mind and body. Yoga can help a person eliminate or reduce the chronic stress and anxiety that one feels so that he or she can begin a journey toward complete holistic health.
The postures practiced in Hatha Yoga, as well as the controlled breathing exercises (pranayama) and meditation employed in its practice, are perfect for helping the body eliminate anxiety and stress. Yoga works both the mind and the body, seeking balance and peacefulness in both. Yoga poses help to increase flexibility and strength while teaching the body to push to its limits and relax at the same time. As a Yoga practitioner follows a series of poses, this is a form of teaching the body to expel all tension and relax.
Controlled breathing teaches the practitioner to control the internal energy, since breath and energy are intimately tied together. When a person has control of the breathing, one also has control of the mind and body, making it easy to fall into a relaxed, meditative state.
How Does Yoga Help Clarity?
Since the goal of meditation is to clear the mind so that it can become alert and present in the moment, one of the things a person must do during meditation is to identify the thoughts that are causing worry, fear, and concern. At this point one learns to let go of these thoughts. As a person learns to empty the mind of these thoughts and to turn negative thoughts into positive ones, he or she begins to relax and fall into a deeper meditative state.
Practicing Yoga helps to eliminate the constant stress and anxiety most people experience because the Yoga poses demand complete focus and concentration. To achieve each pose correctly and hold it, a person needs to stop thinking and worrying about outside things. For the moment, the only thing that matters is the balance of the pose.
How Does Yoga Help One Find Inner Peace?
The meditative aspect of Yoga training is also vital in providing relief from stress and anxiety. A mind that is struggling with anxiety and stressful ideas cannot be fully at rest. Since meditation seeks to clear the mind of all negative ideas, the person who is successful at this practice achieves inner peace during relaxation. This inner peace, however, is not limited to the moments set aside for meditation. It actually affects the person’s whole life, since one becomes able to deal with worrisome situations in a calm manner. That balanced, peaceful mind allows each of us to remain still and quiet within – even during emotional situations that might usually be upsetting.
How Does Yoga Help Awareness?
Yoga allows us to become aware of the way thoughts and feelings impact us on a mental, emotional, and physical level. Yoga drains the stress away from the mind, and it also eases the tension resulting from stress from the body. Breathing meditations performed three times a day will help the practitioner maintain inner balance and peacefulness.
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