By Faye Martins
Why is it that we believe a little pill can change our minds from frazzled to content, but we ignore the fact that Yoga can improve our whole lives? The information has been around for thousands of years, but we continue to look for a quick fix. Just what would it take to create peace of mind?
The Yogic path, as taught in the “Sutras,” consists of the breathing techniques, poses, and meditation that we practice, but Yogic methodology and philosophy goes far beyond those three limbs. Yoga is a way of living that involves attitudes, habits, morals, and connection to the universe.
While our individual spiritual journeys may not allow us to fully embrace all Yogic teachings, we can draw from them to bring contentment into our daily routines. The great American author Ralph Waldo Emerson said: "What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us."
Could it be that peace comes from the way we look at our lives, not what happens in them? If so, we can find peace by changing our perspectives.
Simple Techniques that Calm the Mind
· Three Simple Poses
1. Lotus Pose is the classic, cross-legged pose frequently used for meditation. Yogis say it helps to open us up to the meditative process.
2. Standing Forward Bend expands the hamstrings with each inhalation, releasing tension from the body and soothing the mind.
3. Corpse Pose usually comes at the end of a Yoga session and involves lying on the back with the mind and body totally relaxed. It helps to relieve depression and restore energy.
· Benefits of Yogic Breathing
1. Yoga breathing is slow and deep and uses the full capacity of the lungs.
2. Controlled breathing gets rid of toxins and aids in digestion.
3. Yogic breathing improves concentration and synchronizes the left and right sides of the brain.
· Meditation Facts
1. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, research showed that meditation strengthens the immune system and increases electrical activity in the brain.
2. Other studies showed that the part of the brain associated with positive thinking becomes more active during meditation.
3. One of the most effective ways to calm the mind is to focus on the breath.
All of these exercises are simple, and each can be practiced alone or in conjunction with others. They all have one thing in common. They remove the focus from the busy mind, taking it from chaos to peace.