In yoga research, the most common research designs is to compare pre and post measures of a group of people completing a yoga programme. The second most favourite design is to compare a yoga group to an inactive group. Both these designs are unreliable. The first one usually fails to produce similar results, thereby causing serious issues for generalisation of those results. And the second one carries the potential to exaggerate the results in favour of yoga and ignore the fact that other types of exercise have similar benefits.Continue reading
The first post of this series ends with the following sentence:
Once you have decided that the state of emergency and alarm is not something that you want to live with, there are things that you can to manage and take your stress reaction under control. This begins from within, because the only thing that we can ever truly control is how we react to a situation or a person, and how we behave and in turn how we feel about it. All other things in life are beyond our control to varying degrees.
This is a very useful way of seeing things, and potentially everything in life. It is neither too dismissive of the world around us, nor too engaging that we get lost in it. I think it encourages us to carefully identify that fine border between ourselves (which we can control) and the rest of the world (which we cannot control). If stress is unmanaged for too long, this border gets blurred, and then we lose sight of what we can and cannot control in our lives. The longer we live like this, the more difficult it gets to undo our confusion and straighten things out.Continue reading
It is that time in the semester! As the exams and deadlines for hand-ins approach, many have already started to feel the pressure.
Stress is pressure. It is neither good nor bad. It is just that: pressure. How we feel under stress/pressure depends on our expectations regarding the consequences of the origin of stress. Stress is anything that influences our homeostasis, that is our balanced and content state. This could be as insignificant as a quick summer drizzle that cools your skin down for a minute or as significant as the death of a loved one, a loud noise in the middle of the night, an exam at the end of the semester, falling in love, a youtube video of very cute kittens, exercising, watching a favourite programme on the telly etc… anything that gets your heart beating up and creates even a quantum of excitement or surprise.Continue reading
This programme was on BBC World Service radio this morning. It explores the benefits of mindfulness and how it can and is used in modern life to treat issues of anxiety, depression and stress.
“Mindfulness therapies – based on ancient practices of meditation – are increasingly being taken up as the means of dealing with the pressures of modern living. Supporters believe they provide an evidence-based therapy for dealing with some of the most intractable conditions of mental illness, but some critics say they are a commodification of ancient practices. Mike Greenwood investigates.”
Traditionally, yoga practitioners are recommended to start meditation after they have achieved some sort of physical fitness through asana (i.e. the poses) and pranayama (i.e. breathing) practice. This hierarchical method prepares the body (the muscles, joints and lungs) to sit without aches and pains for extended periods during meditation.Continue reading