Article contributed by Kasi Adikaramge
In our modern world, everything around us at present are demanding. Yet, we forget to live in the present, creating unnecessary anxiety about the past or future, end up getting mentally and physically sick. By now we are aware that psychological stress could lead to various physiological implications starting from gastritis, liver diseases, diabetes to hypertension and more. Is there a way to arrest this situation? Can popping pills alone help us to cure life threatening deceases caused by stress? For a million dollar medicine industry cashing in on human stress, what if there is a way to kill this at inception?
I was invited to a Yoga session organised by Workout.lk, conducted by Rekha Krishnamoorthy which focused on Angamardana Yoga. Angamardana Yoga focuses on breathing techniques while performing numerous standing and seated yoga postures. This allows the body to gain primal strength, flexibility and mobility to graduate in to advanced Hatha Yoga practices. According to instructor Rekha, Angamardana is an easy way to enter into Yoga. I, being a novice would vouch for it as I did not find much difficulty in performing the postures, despite having an unfit body. I would personally recommend this style of Yoga for those who are new to Yoga or working out. It is also a nice way to warm up, stretch, tone muscles and relax your body after a strenuous workout.
Like most other genres of Yoga, the focus of Angamardhana was also centered around breathing. It focuses your concentration on the behavior of your breath when performing different types of postures to enhance the stretch reflex. This also helps to bring about a relaxation that conditions the nerves to increase muscle and joint flexibility, while increasing mindfulness of one’s own body and inner behavior.
Coming back to the topic I would like to discuss about – anxiety and stress. With mindfulness practices such as this, you gradually learn to ‘live in the present moment’. The perception of a “moment” may vary from a split second to seconds, and for those with higher mental focus, it could feel much longer. Living in a moment means simply to live in present – a mental stage away from both anxiety and regret. Our thoughts are rigorously in pendulum motion between the past and the future. The only method capable of breaking the pendulum momentum is ‘living in present’ and Yoga comes as a tool for first line of support to make this happen within you.
Now you may wonder, isn’t meditation what disciplines the thought of ‘living in present’? Yes, it is exactly that. However, when I say, first line of support is Yoga, it is due to the fact that it readies your body and breath for a long duration of seating which is vital to meditation. By the time one needs to meditate, Yoga has already flexed the muscles of both upper and lower body, corrected the posture, strengthened the spine, and given you the capacity to hold breathing which are vital physiological improvements required for the foundations of meditation. Angamardhana will also help people who are leading sedentary desk jobs to relieve posture related pains and be more productive at work!
Therefore, my verdict is that if you’re new to Yoga, giving this discipline a try may enhance your mental and physical well-being in many directions. It would no doubt help you to get back in shape. Two birds with one stone, most certainly.
Disclaimer: Author wishes to state that contents in this article are shared based on his personal experience and perceived knowledge. Author advises all readers to consult professionals related to fitness/medicine to chart-out their respective fitness regime for their well-being.