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Friday, June 19, 2009

Natural Treatment For Stress & Anxiety - Yoga

By Ian J Spencer

You would have definitely heard of yoga, which is one of the hot favorites in the USA today. The Western world is gradually looking into the secrets of youth and health that ancient civilization of the East followed. The Indian civilization is one of the oldest and extremely rich in scientific applications not only in medicine but also in engineering, physics, mathematics, astrology and astronomy among others.

Yoga has four branches that cover the journey of any human being who wishes to attain oneness with the Universe and enlightenment. Walking on this path would also ensure that your body stays free of diseases and human weaknesses without any dependency on food and basic life-supporting comforts. Yoga not only diseases-proofs your body but also tunes your mind to find and understand the Eternal Truth.

1. Kriya yoga or karma yoga - this covers the free will of a human being whereby they make their choices in life and the consequences of these choices on his or her life
2. Bhakti yoga - or attaining liberation through prayer and worship of God
3. Gyana yoga - or enlightenment through learning and acquiring of knowledge, and
4. Raja yoga - or achieving enlightenment with the exclusive help of your mind, ignoring the body completely

You do not need to adopt the austerity of yoga in its complete form. The beauty of yoga is that you can use the exercises this science prescribes without worrying about the rest of the doctrine and still profit from it. Two things are extremely important when you learn yoga:

(i) you need to learn yoga from an accredited and recognized guru or yoga practitioner, and
(ii) you need to do it at the dawn, on an empty stomach, or at bedtime daily - if you want it to really work for you

Yoga can help fight any disease whatsoever that plagues human beings, even cancer. It is excellent for controlling and reversing anxiety. It is also exceptionally potent in treating depression. I am not giving you the asanas (postures) that are prescribed for controlling and treating anxiety and depression because I do not want you to try these exercises on your own. Do not be tempted to buy the much-advertised DVDs from the market unless you have learnt the postures from a guru.

The danger of initiating yoga on your own is that a mistake in getting the right posture might not only be useless, but also might harm you. Every asana is meant to touch, massage and coax into optimal functioning some organ or system in the body. No matter how clear is the DVD or instruction given in a book, you would not be able to see yourself performing the asana; nor would you be able to see whether you are doing it correctly or not. This is where a proficient yoga practitioner and teacher would be able to guide you. Once you learn the asanas correctly and you are confident about it, you can practice it at home alone without anyone's help.

Yoga when combined with meditation can be an exceptional tool to defuse anxiety and depression. It is also extremely beneficial for people who suffer from sleep disorders due to anxiety or depression. You can however, go for yoga without the meditations component and you would be profited nonetheless.