Yoga – mantra to transform life

Vaishnavi Ghugare,

St. Xavier's College (Autonomous),

Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

 

The term 'yoga' means union. It is a practice that links the body, mind, and spirit through different body postures, meditation, and controlled breathing. Yoga isn't just about bending or spinning the body and holding your breath. It is a mechanism by which you are taken into a state where you see and perceive truth just the way it is. Yoga aims to establish complete harmony with your mind, spirit, and body. Yoga as a practice has numerous advantages that positively affect you both physically and mentally.


Relationship Between Yoga and Psychology-

Yoga is the perfect balance between mind and body. It rather should be called a lifestyle. This involves many concepts of life, such as

  1. Niyama (self-discipline)

  2. Yama (moral code)

  3. Asanas (postures or poses)

  4. Pranayama (mindfulness of breathing)

  5. Pratyahara (detachment from senses)

  6. Dharana (concentration)

  7. Dhyana (meditation or positive, mindful focus on the present)

  8. Savasana (state of rest)

  9. Samadhi (ecstasy; Ivtzan & Papantoniou, 2014)

You can find that only asanas and savasana are based on interactions that are physical. The rest is about psychological, emotional , and spiritual experiences. An authentic practice of yoga includes introspection, contemplation, and earnest self-consideration.

It is a way of communicating with our own feelings, emotions, convictions, and core values, opening the door to our deeper and more authentic self. Viewed in this way, yoga and psychology are hard to see as different subjects! Great virtues could be attained by practicing yoga. This includes mindfulness, awareness, and concentration.


Some Mental health and wellness Yogic methods:

  • Psycho-physical harmony-inducing tools

Asana-s (static positions), kriya-s (systematic and logical movements), mudras(neuromuscular energy seals) and bandha-s (neuromuscular energy locks) gently stretch and healthily strengthens the musculoskeletal system. They enhance the mobility and flexibility of various joints and muscles. Systemic functions such as respiration, circulation, metabolism, digestion, and excretion are also improved simultaneously. Yoga helps to secret some of the healthy hormones for example endorphins and encephalins.

  • Tools to regulate the volatility of emotions:

Swadhyaya(intro sectional self-analysis), pranayama (breathing exercises for critical energy control), pratyahara(sensory withdrawal), Dharana (intense concentration), dhyana (meditational unity), and bhajans (devotional music) soften emotional disturbance and decreases mental fatigue and stress. They bring about an excellent sense of psychological equilibrium that is important for good health .

  • Contemplation, relaxation and meditation:

Raja yoga and Jnana yoga are some of the techniques to relax and visualize. Trataka, pranayam, pratyahara, Dharana, and dhyana are a few other techniques to practice the same. The body gets recharged all together and many stresses that hinder our system are relived example physical, mental, and emotional stresses When we are comfortable, we can facilitate our own healing. Actually, when we are stressed and uptight , we sometimes inadvertently retard our innate healing mechanisms.


Benefits of yoga:

Effect of yoga on the digestive system

Our digestive system gets affected due to improper diet, stress, and sedentary lifestyle. Because of all this, we may have to face many problems such as indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, gastritis, and colitis, but yoga can be our good trouble shooter in combatting the mentioned challenges. Yoga shows positive results on the digestive system because it is like an internal massage of the whole digestive tract which includes the stomach, pancreas, liver, small and large intestine. This massage increases the circulation of blood and oxygen throughout the gastrointestinal tract and it also helps in reinforcing the muscles of a number of organs as well. A large number of enzymes are released to increase nutrient absorption in the small intestine, while intestinal peristalsis is also improved. Excretory processes work much better because of practicing yoga daily.


The asanas that show a positive impact on the gastrointestinal tract are given below –

  • Twisting (Parivrtta Trikonasana, Marichyasana )

  • Stretching (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, Adho Mukha Svanasana, Utkatasana)

  • Compressing (Paschimottanasana, Balasana, Uttanasana, Apanasana)

Effects of yoga on the nervous system:

The level of gamma amino butyric acid or GABA proliferates by practicing yoga, a brain chemical that helps us to monitor the working of our nerves. This is primarily significant to individuals with anxiety disorder where GABA activity is less and yoga helps to improve GABA level. The experts and researchers found that the individual who participated in 1 hour of yoga practice 3 times a week for 12 weeks achieved Immense and laudable improvement in anxiety and personal mood compared with those who walked for a similar period which was connected to GABA99 level.


Yoga increases serotonin level:

Low serotonin levels are also linked with depression and one treatment for low mood is a medication that associates to cope up serotonin level while a diet containing carbohydrates that can also help to enhance the serotonin levels. This can lead to insulin resistance and weight gain and the development of diabetes in the long term. Thus, yoga provides a safer alternative to increasing serotonin levels.



Conclusion:

Yoga is the original medicine of the mind and is one of the greatest jewels of the unique cultural heritage of India. It has a great deal to offer humanity as both art and science in terms of an appreciation of both the human mind and all aspects of our multi-layered life. Yoga encourages us to take the right approach to our challenges and thereby solve them efficiently and effectively.


References:

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  2. A.R.P. (2017, September 4). News: US News, Top News to Cure Diabetes at Home. Retrieved October 17, 2020, from http://m.timesofindia.com/life-style/health-fitness/fitness/4-yoga-poses-for-diabetes/amp_articleshow/44924046.cms

  3. 2005, February ). Health Information and Medical Information - Harvard Health. Yoga – BenefitsBeyond the Mat - Harvard Health. Retrieved October 18, 2020, from http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/yoga-benefits-beyond-the-mat

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  7. J.D.F. (n.d.). Yoga Journal – Yoga Poses, Meditations, Sequences, and Free CJ.M. (2014, September 4). Homepage - The Columbia Centre for Integrative Medicine. YOGA THERAPY TO BALANCE BODY BIOCHEMISTRY - The Columbia Centre for integrative medicine. Retrieved October 17, 2020, from http://ccimhealth.com/yoga-therapy-to-balance-body-biochemistry/

  8. D.K. (2013, May 23). Psychology Today: Health, Help, Happiness + Find a Therapist. Take a Stand for Yoga Today | Psychology Today. Retrieved October 17, 2020, fromhttp://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/get-hardy/201305/take-stand-yoga-today

  9. E. (n.d.). PositivePsychology.com - Helping You Help Others. 60+ Belasses. 5 WaysYoga Benefits Your Mental Health | Yoga and Psychology - Yoga Journal. Retrieved April 17, 2018, from http://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/5-ways-yoga-is-good-for-your-mental-health

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