Yoga is widely recognized as a complementary healing system. People seeking relief from the stress and anxiety associated with the present-day fast track life often take refuge in yoga on their quest to bliss and happiness.
The key thing to understand here is that happiness does not involve external conditions and is not dependent on achievements and occurrences that are external to your essential selves. This may sound like a cliché, and yet it is a fact that all our efforts to find happiness outside ourselves are destined to meet with failure. Instead, the perfect state of bliss can only be achieved when we are at one with the true core of our being, which in turn helps us to be in perfect harmony with our surroundings and the outside world. What yoga does is to help us along in this inward quest.
Many yoga techniques are aimed at making our vital energy flow unimpeded and thus attain a true union with our body, which is also a way to transcend our ego. Managing anxiety, or finding states of bliss, or attaining a perfect emotional health – all of these are dependent on a perfect understanding of our own body and how the myriad bodily processes influence our mental states and our actions.
Different yogic techniques and practices such as meditation, quiet asana, guided imagery, slow breathing, etc. are essentially aimed at helping us form a real communion with our own inner self, and thus helping the practitioner resolve physical, mental, and emotional problems that he or she may face during the course of his/her daily life. One way how yoga performs this is by inculcating a practice of proper physical postures and alignment.
Proper posture and alignment is an important factor in maintaining a healthy body and keeping out of harm’s way. And yet, curiously enough, posture and alignment do not often summon the attention they deserve. Our posture directly influences our spinal health and a good spinal health is responsible for the creation of maximum vitality and unimpeded vital energy flows. And yoga practices can be tremendously effective in helping one gain a good spinal health.
Many of us, especially those who work at offices sitting for long hours, are being made to lead a more or less sedentary lifestyle. Sitting at a place for long periods, bad postures, such as slouching, cramped, or humped positions, etc. can result, over a period of time, in conditions like dowager’s hump or what is known in medical terminology as hyper kyphosis. Conditions like this create shortness of breath, restrict breathing flow, make us more vulnerable to fractures and loss of function and balance as we age and also result in increased depression and anxiety in older people. But conditions such as these can be minimized or prevented if one practices yoga regularly. Yogic practices will help you attain proper posture and will correct skeletal alignment, thereby reducing the risks of developing illnesses that flow from a bad posture.
Variously, yogic practices of stretches and deep breathing, etc. help to transform our perceptions of space– both the inner and the outer space. One feels like the space around him has extended and thus stress, which often seems to enclose us quite in a claustrophobic manner, seems to recede and dissolve. This leads to a more creative emotional health and managing anxiety and other stressful conditions become easier for us. Yogic practices also physiologically transform depression and apathy by increasing endorphin levels in our blood and by oxygenating our brain, thereby making it easier for us to achieve states of bliss and fulfillment.
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