I said I would explain how one can alleviate some of the problems with the nine distractions spoken of in the former newsletter. First though I would like to repeat myself as there are many new people who join this site every day. If you have missed newsletters, my Webmaster has made easy access to all the former ones, and he adds to them all the time. Just link to:
These newsletters are important as they are running lessons in Yoga and the Philosophy of Yoga.
There has been a rather large testing done on stress. The test covers a wide range of all the things in life which affect us - from changing jobs to going on vacation. Yes, even going on vacation adds to the stress in ones life.
It is scored in such a way that the most stressful occurrences are those of losing a loved one, which may score a very high mark of say 75, while losing a job will be about 45 and the change of taking a vacation may have a stress level of 20.
There are hundreds of events - all changes - which release stress hormones. So no matter what change you are undergoing, from stubbing your toe to moving to another home, you must begin to be alert to the stress it cause within you.
Stress happens without you knowing - in most cases - and these can be the most deadly as when they are scored in totality, you may within that year have scored a very high mark indeed. This high mark they have found in the experiment will develop into an inevitable and serious illness. Low marks for the year that you look for the changes you underwent, may bring on something as minor as a cold or the flu. So it isn't just the major stresses in life one should watch out for, but all the minor ones. Did you get a job advancement? Stress! Did you lose your job? Stress!
In this test they even score as stressful , arguing MORE or LESS with your spouse. Anything in fact which is outside the norm for you is stress making.
In small minor ways stress hormones are released, the breathing is speeded up, and as the breath is speeded up it rises higher and higher into the chest cavity. You may have noticed yourself when you are agitated your breathing becomes heavy , quickened and uneven. Our breathing and digestion etc are controlled by the autonomic nervous system and when stress occurs, these stress hormones spring into action to force the breathing to become rapid and high in the chest.
Well, much like the Yogis have always known, they discovered that the greatest way to alleviate and reverse this pent up stress was to get into operation the para-autonomic system of breath, which would release the ANT-STRESS HORMONES.
This breath is very simple. Just breathe in the abdomen without taking air into the upper lungs. Just let it go in and out for about 15 minutes. Just watch it. Just be watchful of it that it is only being drawn into the abdomen. You can practice this by placing one hand on the chest and one hand on the abdomen and when you breath watch which hand rises and falls. Consciously take the breath in low so that only your abdomen hand raises and falls. Now you have it.
Whenever any change - ANY change happens in your life, stop - take a moment - and breath. You will reverse the order of stress hormones released and find you have little or no illness which would otherwise be stress induced.
Yogis have been doing this with the Haung Sau breath for centuries. If you do not have this breath you can write to me for the Pranayama lessons. It is in there.
When your life is cleared of stress you make wiser decisions. Your purpose in life is more easily held onto. Effort becomes a cinch. Discipline is seen as a joy, and when the purpose of Yoga is foremost, things of the world do not take up all your time. Even the delusion of thinking you attain samadhi by just thinking about it, or doing a few minutes of meditation.
Without stress we are able to hone in to our birthright - Bliss.
With stress we constantly think how do we get rid of the thing which is causing it. How do we get rid of the anger over being demoted - or how do we keep our equanimity after winning the lotto or some large prize.
Try and look at ALL change as stress, and you will be surprised if you do, and if you do the breathing exercise, how much more unified your life will become.