We treat our body like a black box that we are afraid to look into. It is common to drown out all the clues that the body gives us – instead of reaching the source of our somatic states, we use ready-made painkillers, sleep pills, stimulants, exciting drugs.

Deprived of body awareness, we can not take care of ourselves and it leads to energetic burnout. Psychotherapist and writer Wojciech Eichelberger argues that the body is the foundation for us. If it is unconscious, we lose our support in ourselves, we become an enemy to ourselves, we cannot rely on ourselves. It is only when we are grounded in the body that we can draw peace and strength from it – to feel physically present. It gives us a sense of standing firmly on the ground.

Krystyna Nobilec, an experienced Yoga teacher, says that we enter the path of self-development when we practice Yoga in a mindful way, we use the will to accept the pain and joy that exist side by side resulting from the release of limitations in the body and, consequently, in the mind. Increasingly, Yoga adepts approach the practice in a demanding and task-oriented (physical) way – ”it’s supposed to help – and right away”. But expectation arouses disappointment, and closes us off from what may appear in life. Practice is joy, but also work, looking for a way to get inside, opening up to reality and accepting it – says Nobilec.

Between Body and Mind

Yoga says that the body and mind are interconnected and interact with each other. The state of mind affects the state of the body and is reflected in it. At the same time, the state of the body affects the state of mind. You cannot directly influence the mind, but you can influence it indirectly by practicing Asana, Pranayama and Meditation. If the problem of the mind is reflected in the body, for example, in the form of a contraction under the knee, then by working through this problem, we also work on the problem of our psyche.

Advantages of Yoga

More and more doctors indicate that regular Yoga practice helps fight headaches and joint pains, facilitates a smooth transition through menopause, supports the treatment of depression, insomnia and helps to lose excess weight, as well as supports the therapy and treatment of many other diseases and ailments.

Asanas increase the strength and performance of muscles, tendons, circulatory system, nervous system, also have a beneficial effect on the mind and psyche; require focus on the breath, which has a positive effect on the work of the heart and lungs, and this helps to oxygenate the cells of the body and accelerates metabolic processes. Recently, it is increasingly recommended to practice Yoga for pregnant women. It has been shown that it improves the well-being of pregnant women, and in particular – brings relief from back pain accompanying advanced pregnancy.

Scientifically about Yoga

Neurophysiologist Professor Sat Bir Khalsa of Harvard University’s Medical School has published six scientific papers on the effects of Yoga on a variety of ailments: from depression to insomnia and addiction. He also showed that Yoga and Meditation techniques can reduce the stage fright of musicians.

Khalsa’s research has shown that Yoga dominates gymnastic exercise when it comes to staying fit and fighting stress. According to Khalsa, “because Yoga focuses on the integration of the breath, the development of mindfulness and concentration, it far surpasses regular exercise as a complete experience and a way to reduce the effects of stress.”

We are constantly looking for technologically advanced solutions – new magic pills and new surgical procedures. But what if we instead reach for simpler solutions, giving people yogic strategies? This could be a “big bang” having a great impact on the world. In Professor Khalsa’s vision, Yoga will be routinely offered in schools or hospitals in the future.

Since the Western health care system relies on scientifically proven medical facts to make Yoga credible and incorporate it into the state health care system, research is needed to provide this evidence. “My goal is to provide evidence that Yoga has its place in everyday life as well as in therapy, and I will do so by gathering evidence and showing that it works,” says Professor Khalsa.
Maciej Wielobób, a specialist in Yoga therapy, believes that doctors are increasingly open to Yoga and similar methods, regardless of their age. “I know, for example, that several students came to me from orthopedists who learned from their patients that I or someone from my team helped them. Increasingly, gynecologists also recommend pregnant women to take Yoga Asana classes. When I conducted Yoga therapy seminars in the 2009/2010 school year, doctors and physiotherapists also participated in them – says Wielobób. – I use the knowledge of doctors in the field of X-ray analysis from time to time, but I also sometimes ask for an explanation of the patho-mechanism of a given disease in order to be able to offer someone a suitable practice based on its understanding. Certainly, even closer cooperation is possible, but for this you would have to create a team working together – he adds.

In almost every city you can find yoga schools, offering classes for both beginners and advanced. It is worth trying your hand and seeing how great benefits yoga can bring us.

Key Therms

Yoga – The term “Yoga” has many meanings. Two of them most fully reflect the essence of this system: subjugation and unification. Subjugation of our own body, senses, whims, drives – it is not about denial or suppression, but about controlling them so that they serve us and help us in physical, mental and spiritual development. The second meaning of the term “Yoga” is the unification of the physical, mental and spiritual, the synchronization at the highest possible level. Such surrender so that the best of us can manifest itself.

Asanas – Part of Yoga is to perform certain exercises called Asanas (Sanskrit: “sitting”) or yogic poses. Asanas serve to strengthen and heal the body and have a harmonizing effect on emotions. The purpose of these practices is to achieve inner harmony and strengthen the body. A rigid and tense body should be stretched and relaxed, a body that is too relaxed should be strengthened.
Pranayama – The task of Pranayama, or breathing exercises, is to cleanse the nervous system and the rest of the body of toxins. Control over the breath is closely related to controlling emotions, calming down, turning the senses inward and listening to the work of one’s own body.

Meditation – The basis of most varieties of meditation is to work with the mind. There are two main ways to do this work: inward-facing meditations and outward-facing meditations. The former are usually aimed at delving into one’s personality, in order to make changes, calm down or strengthen its various aspects, obtain certain answers, or find communion of various elements of the personality. This group of Meditation includes, for example, all Trance, Hypnotic, Visualisation Techniques; Mantras; Chinese Martial Arts, Tai Chi, Yoga). The second type of meditation is designed to increase alertness and improve concentration and increase spontaneity. This group includes, for example, most Zen techniques; they are generally performed with open eyes. Many of the meditations in this group can be done during daily activities.

Source – Na Zdrowie Magazine


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