STRESSBUSTING THROUGH CHANTING YOGA
What is stress?
"Stress" (a term coined by Hans Seyle) is
defined as non specific response of the body and mind
to any demand, and adaptation to challenge. We all know
what it feels like and how it inhibits our happiness
Stress is one of the biggest threats to our wellbeing
at work and in the home. It may be sue to the constant
hassles of daily living and work in the form of ongoing
interpersonal difficulties, persistent threat to security,
financial deprivation, and other life events.
Stress may play a part in many illnesses. (Eustress,
dystress) have acted as triggering effect on the illness.
This has precipitated the illness at an early age, a
concept known as "brought forward time". The
"crisis theory" by Lindermann and Sating which
states that stress produces disequilibrium (crisis)
resulting to either adaptive changes or maladaptive
changes (emotional and physical illness). The cybernetic
model of Kagan and Levi which states that there is a
two way interaction between psychosocial stress and
psychobiological programme which determines the physiological
and psychological reaction leading to precursor of disease.
Yoga can resolve stress by enhancing our internal power,
rather than banking on the chemical agents. It delays
the expression of illness. It must be emphasised here
that yoga is not a substitute to pharmacological intervention
in acute cases, rather has an augmenting and supplementing
therapeutic effect with pharmacotherapy in illness.
Signs of stress
Anxiety, panic or phobias
Negative feelings of fear, anger,
sadness, guilt, frustration, jealousy, hurt, and resentment
Beating stress with Chanting Yoga
Yoga and meditation help a person to cope in stressful
situations, facilitating a healthy life. Yoga works
by creating a homeostasis in accordance to the law of
Some people try to overcome stress with various gadgets
for physical comforts, sensual enjoyment and assorted
medication which are all widely available. However,
use of these interventions really doesn't resolve the
pressure and burden of anxiety and frustration arising
Practising yoga addresses these issues and facilitates
a broader outlook towards life with which one can conquer
The idea of a body-mind connection as suggested in
yoga is not a new one. The recent concept of illness
is based in these basic fundamental principles. George
Engel proposed the bio-psycho-social model for understanding
the aetiology of illness. It emphasizes that understanding
and treating illness requires attending to the three
levels of human function biological, psychological,
and social, as well as to their systematic interrelations.
Common systems are subatomic particles, atoms, molecules,
organelles, cells, tissues, organs, organ systems, central
nervous system, individual, dyad, family, community,
culture and subculture, society and nation, and biosphere.
In understanding health and disease, all systems are
relevant. Each system of this model has a functional
structure, one of its purposes being the reduction of
complexity and randomness to protect that system's integrity.
Daily stressful events are critical in determining
the magnitude of subsequent physiological effects on
human body. This chronic stress translates into disease,
as a result of failure or inability to adapt to life
In a study by National Health Interview
Survey (NHIS) in the US, of non-institutionalized
population the reported use of meditation is increased
by 7.6% and that of yoga by 5.1% in the general population.
A study by Lee (2007) examined
the effectiveness of meditation in stress management
programme in patients with anxiety disorder. Patients
were randomly assigned to either a meditation-based
stress management program or an anxiety disorder education
program. There was a significant reduction in the
Hamilton anxiety rating scores (HAM-A). This training
programme included exercise, stretching, muscle build
up and relaxation. The group received audio CDs to
practice at home.
Pranayam (breathing exercises)
and meditation exercises (savassana) have been shown
to improve and reach higher level of relaxation in
a short period of time.
Influence others towards agreements
Achieve success at the highest
Reduce anxiety, work stress, insomnia
Reduced cigarette smoking and alcohol
Increased job satisfaction