This is how meditation and yoga teacher training works against stress
Mindfulness courses, yoga teacher training in India and meditation: Relaxation techniques are popular and in-demand among more and more people because they need to pause, have time for themselves and reduce stress is growing for many.
Our body's reactions to stress are based on evolutionary biology, they are supposed to prepare people for a fight or flight reaction. If we feel stressed, the adrenal glands release the stress hormones adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol. Blood pressure and pulse increase, breathing becomes faster, the muscles contract. The result: we can react faster and better.
What symptoms trigger stress?
If we are constantly under stress, the stress hormones become a problem. A permanently high cortisol level damages, among other things, nerve cells in the hippocampus - a part of the brain that is responsible for learning, memory and feelings. Constantly too much adrenaline can lead to heart failure and an excessive blood sugar level. Symptoms of permanent stress can include irritability, nightmares, sleep disorders, gastrointestinal problems and high blood pressure. In addition, permanent stress weakens the immune system and promotes back pain.
This is how mental relaxation techniques work in yoga teacher training
Mental exercises such as mindfulness training, meditation and yoga work via various messenger systems in the body, but also via the vegetative nervous system, which is a kind of control centre in the central nervous system and controls vital processes such as breathing, heartbeat and blood pressure. The training specifically activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which plays the role of the "resting nerve" in the autonomic nervous system. This means that it dampens certain body processes such as breathing, heartbeat and muscle tension and ensures that we relax and recover.
Mental techniques for everyday relaxation
- Meditation is a mental training that should help you to become calmer and more relaxed internally - not only during practice but also during everyday stressful situations. The commonality of all meditation methods is that the practitioner directs his concentration on one thing. Many exercises focus on conscious breathing.
- Yoga is Indian teaching that includes mental and physical exercises.
- MBSR stands for "Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction". The method combines traditional meditation exercises with breathing exercises and yoga.
- Autogenic training: Like meditation, autogenic training is a mental relaxation technique. With this light form of self-hypnosis, the body is switched to relaxation, heartbeat, blood pressure and breathing can be influenced in a targeted manner.
- Just as the body responds to stress with the typical fight or flight reaction, i.e. increases heartbeat and blood pressure, mental exercises can consciously do the opposite:
The release of the stress hormone adrenaline is reduced.
- The cortisol level drops - in some meditation exercises even 50 per cent, like Studies by the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig show.
- After just eight weeks of training with 45 minutes of daily practice, scientists were able to get one to observe significant densification of the grey matter in the hippocampus.
- Relaxation methods such as yoga training and meditation can also help with cardiological complaints such as cardiac arrhythmia and high blood pressure.
- It has been scientifically proven that regular meditation can lower the heart rate in a way that is otherwise only observed in endurance athletes.
Improve concentration with meditation
Meditation can not only lower the release of stress hormones but also positively influence the ability to concentrate and the sensation of pain:
MRI images show that during a mindfulness meditation the area of the brain is particularly active, the so-called prefrontal cortex, which controls the ability to concentrate. The more active he is, the better attention can be focused on one thing. At the same time, the area in the brain that repeatedly initiates the carousel of thoughts shuts down. Those who meditate regularly are not easily carried away by distracting thoughts in everyday life.
Meditation changes the sensation of pain, as brain researchers found: sufferers perceive pure pain more intensely, but the suffering or the negative evaluation of pain can be reduced by meditation.
Meditate properly with the app and in the yoga class
We can learn to meditate - in a course, in individual lessons, but also on the Internet via podcast or meditation app. An example of mindfulness meditation isBody scan: meditators practice lying down, keeping their attention fully with themselves and gradually feeling the whole body - from feet to head.
Anyone who needs movement to let go is in good hands in the yoga class: meditative movements and breathing exercises make it easier to switch off your thoughts and concentrate entirely on your own breathing, for example.
With sport and exercise for mental relaxation
Those who regularly relax in everyday life learn to generally calm down and react more relaxed in stressful situations. With various body techniques, physical relaxation can also bring about mental relaxation. Examples of these techniques are:
- Tai-Chi: In the so-called inner martial art from China, the body builds up tension in various styles and exercises and releases it again.
- Qigong: Flowing movements and calm breathing should make the practitioner feel more vital and balanced in the 3,000-year-old Chinese technique.
- Pilates: Similar to yoga course in Rishikesh, Pilates is a whole-body workout that primarily strengthens the deep trunk muscles. Deliberately letting go is supposed to help track down and release tension.
- Progressive muscle relaxation according to Jacobsen: The practitioner tightens various large muscle groups in the body and releases them after a short time. Due to the constant alternation of tension and letting go, the feeling of relaxation is perceived more and more intensely.
- Exercise: In general, exercise and moderate exercise - preferably in the fresh air - is an effective way to reduce stress and, for example, to counteract high blood pressure.
Get in Touch: YTTI Rishikesh, Tapovan