Yoga and health, yoga and meditation, yoga and elixirs can all be synonyms if you consider them closely. Because yoga has potentially brain-altering capabilities. Sounds far-fetched? Not really, if you look at several studies highlighting this stunning capability of yoga.
For long, yoga has been advocated as the stress buster, anxiety-alleviating, calming, mood booster. The key lies in the meditational aspect of yoga. Stress-inducing situations lead to elevated heart and breathing rates and increased levels of stress hormones such as cortisol. Yoga is all about stretching your body into diverse postures while focusing on your breathing. When you’re focusing on your breathing to regulate it, you’re compelled to live in the moment. You learn to appreciate the present moment. The cluttered mind calms down.
The yogic breathing techniques activate the parasympathetic nervous system which is known to have tranquilising effects. The activity of sympathetic nervous system, known to generate stress response, is reduced. Consequently, your blood pressure and heart rate comes down. With a relaxed brain, the general physiological well-being is enhanced.
GABA, as complex as it sounds, is simply the gamma-aminobutyric acid. It’s the neurotransmitter that inhibits neural signals creating a calming effect. The anti-anxiety pills make the body release more GABA. You can do this naturally by practising yoga. It increases your brain’s GABA levels helping you fight anxiety the natural way without any side-effects. An hour of yoga can reportedly increase the GABA levels by 27%.
Yoga is a combination of controlled breathing, stretching and meditation. Its underlying principle is union. It integrates the mind, body and spirit. One of the advanced effects of yoga is the experience of transcendental energy.
For those who have experienced this spiritual awakening, they need no studies to back their personal experiences. The awakening and self-realisation teaches us self-love and love for everything around us. It makes us feel one with the universe. It develops mindful behaviour generating positive energy around us.
Happiness mightn’t be that elusive after all. Yoga and meditation could be one step towards it. When do you plan to take it?
Esha Yoga in Santa Clara has just the right schedule and kind of yoga suited to your needs.