Yoga For Stress

 Today in the age of technology and computers, the humans and machines are alike . Right from waking up in the morning to the night we behave, eat, drink and think as if the whole world will be under fire without us. The stress of daily routine, tension of workplace, relations, EMI’s, children & spouse have converted their thoughts like that of a machine. Added stress in each job contributes to completion rivalry. Knowing very well that body health pays this short duration  unnecessary stress. When we have a discussion about whole life this does not work. Our body & mind cripples & production of various hormones leads to the unbalanced state. The net outcome is the blend of ailment of body & mind related to Heart diseases, Blood pressure, Diabetes, Kidney diseases, Cancer, Thyroid disorders, Depression, Anxiety, Sleeplessness & early Aging. Our science being very humble in need created safe and relaxing technique called yoga. There are few simple techniques in yoga by which we can combat stress & come out as a winner in the life. Each & every person, healthy or diseased can be benefited from three basic relaxing techniques. Rhythmic Breathing, Anuloma- Viloma &  Shavasana. Rhythmic Breathing: This exercise is performed back upright, sitting either in a meditation posture or crossed legged. Close the eyes & perform complete yogic breathing, i.e. abdominal, middle & upper chest, and  clavicular. Breathe deeply & consciously, ensuring that the breathing rhythm respects an equal time for inhalation and expiration. Instead of using numerals to count i.e. one, two, three, four, five….. regulate the  breathing with the help of words suggesting positive things as  ‘calm & peace’. Repeat them to yourself rhythmically & harmoniously during inhalation & exhalation, so that in the end you are  identified with them. Whenever we breathe in & out, we should think of peace, and concentrating on it, we attain perfect joy & inner peace. Anuloma-Viloma: Breathing Through Alternate Nostrils Like all the ‘Pranayama’ exercise, this breathing technique generally include a period of inhalation- ‘Puraka’, a period of retention- ‘Kumbhaka’ & a period of exhalation-  ‘Rechaka’.  To begin with the time spent on inhalation is the half of retention & exhalation period. As four seconds of inhalation followed by eight seconds of retention & eight seconds of exhalation.  

According to Swami Vivekananda, there are three kinds of Pranayama exercises: simple, intermediate and advanced. The second and third are not at all easy & are only practiced in India by monks who follow highly strict rules regarding diet & their physical, moral & spritual discipline. Without these rules pranayama are not only useless but dangerous. As they involve extremely long breathing &  retention periods can  permanently damage the heart, nerves & lungs, especially if the lungs are not first strengthened & purified of all impurities. In the words of ‘Swami Kuvalayananda’ a yoga master & medical practitioner, those who practices unique yoga for health reasons should not perform retention of breath, for in this instance it serves no purpose.
While practicing ‘Anuloma Viloma’ performed in a meditation posture or sitting with the leg crossed its recommended not to involve retention of breathe. The exercise is to be performed three times a day- morning, noon & evening- before meals. During the first week , one should begin with three respiration per sessions. The number can be increased to five in second week  thereafter provided one performs the exercise everyday the number can reach a total of seven respirations (actually fourteen respirations through alternate nostrils).
When practiced regularly, Anuloma  Viloma is one of the best exercise to purify the nervous system & brings peace to the mind, particularly recommended to those who suffer from anxiety or depression, thyroid dysfunctions, cancer, liver diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, heart diseases, brain diseases only under expert supervision.
Pranayama exercises regulate the secretions of hormones, revitalize the nervous system, oxygenate body & ensure the correct functioning of the entire organ system. They not only calm the emotions but also a therapy of the physical damage caused by them. Thus, help to control the sensory & mental activity.
Savasana: Complete Yogic Relaxation Posture
Lie in supine position & relax different parts of body one after the other until all stress disappear e.g. if someone lifts an arm, it should fall back as if completely inert. While relaxing one should leave aside the problems of the remote world & daily life.
A particular feature of the posture is that one is completely capable without actually dozing off. To  detach oneself from the surrounding environment & to remain aware of one’s deep physical & mental relaxation. In order to achieve this, regular breathing is required.
Persistent practice is needed to master this exercise and to attain correct coordination between the relaxation of body & mind.
A perfectly relaxed body & mind is one of the best remedies against anxiety & all forms of nervous & emotional stress.
It is always better to get a guideline from an expert before practicing so that there are not any harmful effects but, only maximum benefits.
Further, one should keep in his mind that work is worship only if stress of worship is not attached to the work. Try to be positive and make our environment the same. Of course, there are few situations in the life which are not in our hands but stress is related that goes on & on in our mind. The best thing in those situation is to think about the best effort we can do for that problem and leave it to the God as he is the only supreme soul who care about all of us.
So, take a deep breath go for rhythmic breathing, Anuloma Viloma & Savasana for at least 30 minutes a day to keep ourselves fresh & full of energy throughout our life. 
Associate Proff Depatment of Swathvritta,
Dayanand Ayurvedic College, Jalandhar.