This article is graciously provided for republication by the author, Dr. Dinesh Sharma, an Ayurvedacharya, consultant Vastu Master, Vedic Astrologer and Ayurvedic Physician and teacher in the Himalayan Tradition of Yoga and Meditation for more than 30 years.
In a country where even school going kids have become so stressed that they end up committing suicide, what to say about the rest of the society. The mindless rat race has consumed us so much that without us being even aware, stress has become our nature. It reflects in our behaviour when we deal with our family and friends, go to work, wait at a traffic signal, go for vacations, return home after a hectic day, cook or sit to eat and so on. Even while sleeping we are not stress free and this is the reason that most of us suffer either from disturbed sleep or insomnia.
Pregnant mothers do not realize that during pregnancy their stress affects yet to be born child's personality in a serious way. Scientific researches have proved that pregnant mother's emotional state significantly influences unborn child's behaviour.
Continuous onslaught of electromagnetic waves emanating from satellites, radio, television and mobile towers make our mind even more vulnerable to stress.
We should know that that our stress does affect others too around us. Our stress can make the whole environment stressed without our even being aware of it. Similarly if we are relaxed and peaceful we can help others to become stress free. Stress is a serious problem as it leads to both emotional as well physical disorders of different kinds.
Under stress our breath becomes shallow, rapid, arrhythmic and irregular and triggers our heart to work more by sending panic signals. It kick starts the release of different harmful toxins and other negative chain reactions in the body. To control stress we need to reverse this process and understand the importance of breath, which controls and enhances the prana-shakti or the life force.
More the breath is deep, slow and regular, the mind becomes calm, stable and stress free. When following practice is done punctually and regularly then breath starts becoming deep, regular and rhythmic and mind starts developing a habit of remaining stress free.
Find a quiet and secluded place in your home or office. Telephones are a major source of stress these days so keep them away. Sit in an easy and comfortable posture either on a chair or on the floor with neck and back in a straight line and hands gently resting on the knees. Close eyes and bring awareness to the body and the place where you are sitting. Now gradually start relaxing your whole body starting from the forehead. It's very important that the forehead is slowly relaxed as much possible. Relax the eye brows, eye lids, eyes and facial muscles. Relax the corners of the mouth, tongue, palate and voice box. Now relax the neck, shoulders, arms, forearms, hands, fingers and finger tips. Again relax the finger tips, fingers, finger joints, hands, forearms, arms, shoulders and neck. Relax the voice box, palate, tongue, corners of the mouth, facial muscles and eyes.
Now bring the awareness to the breath. Feel the flow of breath in the nostrils. Feel how the breath is touching nostrils while inhaling and exhaling. Do not control or force the breathing. Just observe it. Slowly feel the breath becoming deeper in abdomen rather in lungs. The breath should be even, regular and deep and should flow in a single stream. As soon as one breath cycle finishes, the next breath cycle should start without a gap.
In the beginning of the practice if the breath is irregular, arrhythmic, shallow and jerky - it's ok. One needs to be patient initially for a couple of weeks. Eventually the breath will become regular, deep and smooth with practice.
When breath gets sort of stabilized, bring the name of any form of God or deity or any sound and repeat that in mind while exhaling and inhaling. Even repeating any number while breathing in and out is also fine. Remain in this breath and name awareness as much possible. It's better to practice twenty minutes twice a day.
Regularly and punctually doing this practice definitely helps the mind to become stress free and peaceful.