Yoga Teachers = Stress Management Specialists?
The above caption is not what I made up but came from Dr. Dean Ornish’s materials, i.e., a job, a position description with his heart health institute – love it. Yoga teachers may put on different caps but one of which may be that – we help with preventing regular stress to morph into chronic stress. Everybody has stress and some aspects of stress is good – yes, it’s good. It allows us to harness more action, hopefully a positive version to achieve and be at peak performance BUT we know how chronic stress can give the nerves and the entire system the wear and tear … and if not managed well or us become more resilient, stress can chip away at our whole sense of well-being.
I really believe that we recognize the benefits of yoga when we practice it, repeatedly. In fact, in my evening classes, if I see someone yawn or give that deep delicious Hahhh sigh in the last 30% of the class, I feel I’ve succeeded in eliciting a relaxation response so vital to our overall health. Some student said he may fall asleep in savasana and I was like – yes! GOOD ! No, it’s not about being a sloth vs. athletic – Being chiseled and sculpted vs a lump of flab. It’s about calming down the over-active sympathetic nervous system to balance with the down regulated para-sympathetic nervous system for better rest and digestion – a complete wellness as there are many studies that show how our gut health and our brain health dictates our overall health. To strengthen our immune system and fight any inflammations and detox by eliminating toxins. As for Variable Heart Rate – We need not spike it up but have a bell curve up the heart rate but then … it has to come down, really down to slow down the heart rate – it’s a fluctuation like rhythmic flow and ebb waves. All this – It’s no longer a hippie woo woo stuff (and what’s wrong with that), but so much more.
Think about it: Heart disease and diabetes, which account for more deaths in the U.S. and worldwide than everything else combined,
are completely preventable by making comprehensive lifestyle changes. Without drugs or surgery.
– Dean Ornish MD
Yoga is shared to prevent awesome people in prime of their lives from departing from this life too early. It’s crazy to hear of someone in their 40’s, even 30’s expiring – from an unexpected heart disease. (Sleeping less, drinking tons of coffee, agitated and running miles on a treadmill sometimes “runs” counter to that health we all seek.) It’s too young – it’s preventable. Please take care. Here’s another study results to validate your REGULAR practice.