Yoga for Stress and Tension
Stress is a major factor behind raising the LDL cholesterol levels, so learn to relax. Here we describe two Pranayams and two relaxation therapies for releasing harmful stress.
1. Suryabhedi Pranayama: The technique is as follows:
(a)Sit comfortably in a cross-legged position, with eyes closed. Perform the pranayama mudra with your right hand and close your left nostril with thumb.
(b)Exhale slowly from your right nostril (called the ‘surya nadi’); and then inhale as deeply as you can, making a sound, with the same nostril.
(c)Now do jalandhar bandh and mulbandh, and press your stomach inside. Exhale very slowly through the left nostril after releasing the bandh (‘chander nari’).This is one round of suryabhedi pranayama.
(d)Repeat 8 to 10 times. Beginners should do this pranayama without holding the breath.
Caution: High blood pressure patients should not do this pranayama because it increases heat in the body.
2. Ujjayi Pranayama: The technique is as follows:
(a)Sit comfortably in padmasana, inhale deeply, and then exhale while keeping your eyes closed.
(b)Let your neck muscles be tightened and make a sound with your closed mouth while inhaling.
(c)When lungs are full, do jalandhar bandh, mulbandh and uddiayan bandh. (Mulbandh: rectum is held upward.Uddiyan Bandh: Stomach held inward.Jalandhar Bandh: put pressure on neck muscles and bend chin forward).
(d)Release bandh and make pranayama mudra with your right hand and close your right nostril.Now, use your left nostril to exhale. This is one round.
(e)Repeat 8-10 times. Beginners should do this Pranayama without holding the breath.
Benefits: Clears the throat, removes cough, and cures snoring and thyroid problems. It strengthens heart muscles. It also improves mental health.
Caution: Heart patient needs to practise it without holding the breath.
3. Mediatation Therapy: Sit in any comfortable asana or lie in Shavasana.Now relax the body, very slowly from head to toe. This relaxation will give the feeling of pleasure to the mind and body.
Try to keep both hands in Mritsanjavini Mudra.As the body relaxes, the respiration will become slower. Now bring your whole consciousness on your breath. Try to concentrate on the breathing procedure. Do not try to control the breathing, just focus on it. Try to visualise the breath- how air is going in and coming out of the body.
Now concentrate on the Cardiac Chakra and meditate on green colour in the centre of the chest region.
Take a deep breath and start chanting ‘Om’ and feel the vibration of this ‘shabda’ in the chest region. Continue to focus your awareness on your Cardiac Chakra for five minutes or as long as you wish. As the body relaxes further and the breathing becomes slower, the mind will also achieve a level of calm. Try to remain this state for a few minutes.
When you want to come back to yourself, become aware of your body step by step. First bring awareness towards the breath, and then the body parts, right from head to toe. Now slowly open your eyes and with slow movements of body parts return to the normal position.
4. Laughter Therapy: Laughter is as good as a relaxation therapy to overcome the problem of cholesterol. All of us should laugh out loud at least thrice a day. Each person should consider laughing as a key to health and releasing tension, restraint and worries. Studies show that laughter decreases adrenaline and cortisol production. If you are frustrated, unhappy or angry, just laugh and find yourself relaxing. It is one effective medicine you always have with you, without any expenses involved.