Cure for Modern Day Stresses
Yoga is a 3,000-year-old, Hindu discipline of mind and body that beca
me known in Western society with the hippie generation of the Sixties
and early Seventies. Its image as a mystic practice is disappearing
as fast as the stressful aspects of the Eighties are appearing.
As an effective method of stress management, yoga is spreading into
the business world, the helping professions, nursing and old age hom
es, and is used in the treatment of alcoholics, hyperactive children
and youngsters with learning disabilities. Yoga centers are getting
stiff competition from adult education classes of community college
s, boards of education and parks and recreation departments.
The meaning of yoga is union of the body, mind and spirit with truth.
There are many kinds of yoga to study, and there can be endless years
of practice for the willing student.
Hatha Yoga is among the most popular forms in the west. It emphasizes
the practice of postures, which stretch and strengthen the body, hel
p develop a sense of balance and flexibility, as well as body awarene
ss and mental concentration. All forms of yoga incorporate the practi
ce of proper breathing techniques for relaxation, to rest the mind fr
om its constant chatter, to experience an internal calm, and to energ
ize and purify the body.
As stress levels in society reach new heights, Raja Yoga, the yoga of
meditation, is growing in popularity in Western society, while other
s, such as Krya Yoga, the yoga of cleansing, and Mantra Yoga, the yog
a of chanting, not surprisingly, have little appeal for newcomers.
Stretching and toning, though beneficial, aren't the primary reasons
people turn to yoga. Newcomers are hoping that yoga will provide th
em with a means for handling stress and diffusing tension. The diffe
rence between exercise and yoga is that yoga has a meditative qualit
A lot of people are exercising for the psychological benefits and tryi
ng many of the Eastern activities, like yoga and tai c