Yoga helps against anxiety and stress, relieves symptoms during menopause, supports the treatment of eating disorders, and has many other positive effects on our health. So it is high time to start.
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What is yoga?: The meaning and effect of the ancient teaching
Yoga, a teaching that is several thousand years old, has long been very popular and, especially now during the pandemic, a great way to feel more comfortable in your own skin. The origin of yoga is in India and more than 5000 years ago and has addressed many people in the past, from hippies, yuppies, new agers to millennials to stars like Madonna, who won "Yoga Sutrani" at the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards sang, Lady Gaga, Adam Levine, Gwyneth Paltrow, and many others.
Eye yoga is a trend in medicine that has now also attracted the attention of science. In fact, yoga is increasingly the subject of major studies at prestigious universities and clinics around the world, and the results seem absolutely logical to yoga practitioners.
Francis McNeil Bacon III doing yoga on the beach, 1932 © Getty Images
According to Cynthia Landa, yogi and co-founder of the Sādhak Yoga Institute, yoga has a positive effect on our psyche and emotional well-being, alleviates complaints (for example with cancer and multiple sclerosis, during menopause, etc.), and increases the depth of sensitivity in older people, improves mood, strengthens self-esteem and interpersonal relationships and promotes sleep - especially through Yoga Nidra.
"I learned from my teachers in India, Jayashree, and Narasimhan, that the foundation of this practice is to live in the here and now. This is something that has been lost in our fast-paced world. It is important to be mindful of the simplest of things To experience and enjoy, like life itself with every single breath. That sounds simple, but how do you start? How can you find peace in the middle of chaos and uncertainty? Can yoga really help us to regain our inner balance "What is certain is that it is not magic, nor does it happen overnight, but requires practice and perseverance," says Cynthia Landa?
The pandemic has brought about many changes in all aspects of our lives. It is all the more urgent that we need tools that support us physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually and help us focus on our holistic wellbeing. The new living conditions - from homeschooling to home office to a predominantly sedentary lifestyle - have led to more people suffering from depression and anxiety, but official figures are not yet available.
For body, mind, and soul: Yoga is so good for our physical and mental health. © Getty Images
The World Health Organization has made depression the leading cause of incapacity for work in the world and emphasizes that severe cases can lead to suicide. More than 300 million people are affected. Depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy more than $ 1 trillion each year.
Yoga has proven to be one of the most effective methods of combating both depression and anxiety by focusing on receiving, identifying, and directing thoughts, an exercise also known as the "inner observer" and supplemented with elements that ground us, such as breathing, different postures, etc.
Why is it important to observe your own thoughts? In fact, it's the only way to change it (if you want to), question it, or strengthen it. Our minds are programmed in such a way that we can quickly perceive risks and dangerous situations, which is why we are more prone to negative thoughts. However, when we feed these thoughts over and over again, the body releases stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, which lead to tunnel vision and a fight-or-flight response. The increased cortisol and adrenaline levels eventually lead to sleep problems as well.
Einstein is reported to have said: "If you want to get different results in your life, you have to generate different thoughts. If you want to have new habits, feelings, a new personality, you have to start observing and changing your thoughts." Yes, everything arises with our thoughts. Imagine you want to plant a tree. You have fertile soil and water, but no matter how much you water, if there is no seed there will be no tree. So if we want to achieve a goal, we shouldn't rashly go straight to the action, otherwise, we might get a short-term result, but not a permanent one.
It doesn't matter whether we want to learn a new language, meditate daily or eat healthily, if we don't change our minds, we won't achieve our goals. So watch recurring thoughts. How many of these did you have yesterday, last week, or in recent years? Do they refer to the distant or near future? Which of them are based on fear and which are based on love?
Most of the negative thoughts we have are thoughts of past painful experiences that we cannot change, and yet we spend a lot of time dealing with them. The constant brooding in psychology is also known as rumination. If you find yourself in the pondering trap, take a break, take 5 conscious breaths, and focus on nice, positive thoughts that will calm you down.
With all the benefits, it's no surprise that yoga and meditation are becoming increasingly popular around the world. And you don't need anything to begin with except the will to make a difference.