Varying levels of stress is pretty well an unavoidable part of modern life. We all suffer from mild anxiety from time to time, but when stress becomes chronic, it has tremendous side-effects on our health and immune system. The impact of constantly draining energy resources (such as the adrenal glands) and keeping the body in a constant state of stress (with associated elevated cortisol levels) leads inevitably to the progression of disease. The effects of anxiety are magnified when the body is not mobilised into appropriate action, and the tension is constantly held in areas susceptible to capture and transform stress.
The areas of the body most commonly affected include the following:
- intercostal muscles
- lower back and
Stress, Breath, Mind and Body
In prolonged states of mild or exacerbated anxiety, the breath remains constricted for much of the time. This causes breathing difficulties by decreasing lung capacity, which in turn leads to a disharmony in the body – and so too in the mind.
The stress and stress-induced disorders like hypertension and angina are fast growing epidemics and the bane of modern society. The holistic science of yoga is the best method for prevention as well as management of stress and stress-induced disorders. Numerous studies have shown yoga to have an immediate down-regulating effect on both the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis (HPA) axis responses to stress. The effectiveness of yoga for stress management is well established.
The proven benefits of yoga have led to its inclusion as an integral component in the medical management of numerous disorders.