It is no secret that yoga does indeed help in relieving stress and anxiety. When practiced for a prolonged period, yoga becomes more of a preventive measure and equips people to better deal with stress at the very onset. However, not a lot of people are aware of the acute power of yoga and how influential it can be when practiced correctly.
One of the best forms of yoga to help with stress and anxiety is Ashtanga yoga. This system of yoga has only recently gained publicity, and is more of a modern day take on the concept of yoga that dates back to various centuries. The reason why Ashtanga yoga is considered to be more effective over any other type of yoga is because it incorporates the eight limb parts, one of which being constructive breathing throughout the session.
The eight limbs are basically the eight parts of yoga, each symbolizing one requirement necessary to achieve healthful and fulfilling life. The notion is derived from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, which is the ancient text cited to be the source of the philosophy behind traditional and current interpretation of yoga.
Therefore, Ashtanga Yoga is a more holistic approach to not just eliminating stress from your life but to also help other core areas, which in turn improves the quality of your life. However, to do the session in entirety is a complex procedure and one for which you would need professional help.
The Ashtanga yoga series starts with Yoga Chikitsa. This step puts the focus on the realignment of your spine, detoxification of the body, and building of flexibility, strength and stamina. Yoga Chikitsa comprises of a set of 75 poses, commencing with surya namaskar or sun salutation and going through various backbends, standing and seated poses.
The second step in the Ashtanga Yoga series is known as Nadi Shodhana or in laymen terms- purification of the nervous system. Yoga places strong emphasis on the concept of energy chakra in the body, and this step is centered on the same concept. Nadi Shodhana helps in purifying and strengthening of the nervous system for better channelization of energy throughout the body.
Shitra Bhaga or the last step is sub-divided into a number of series, each concentrating on divine stability. Overall all the steps of Ashtanga yoga work in tandem to improve a person’s physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.
As far as stress is concerned, it has been studied and proven that since Ashtanga Yoga inculcates pranayama in every step (for each step you will have to pay special attention to your breathing pattern), it has a direct influence on calming your mind. In the long run, practicing Ashtanga Yoga has a profound influence on your health in entirety.
You must have heard of power yoga. The concept of power yoga is nothing but taking one major step of Ashtanga Yoga and following it rigorously. Although, it does help in improving a person’s health and reducing stress, it is better to perform all the eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga.