The human condition is part of life—there’s no getting around that.
It is the aspect of our existence which separates us from animals. It allows us to feel the deepest of emotions, to be creative and to make connections with the souls of other human beings. However, there is the dark side to us—the selfish side to us that ravages us with endless feelings of guilt and insecurity.
The World Transformation Movement‘s work on the human condition attempts to explain and defend humans, but this is the part that drives us, often in a manic, emotionally fueled way, to constantly push our limits, work ourselves until we can’t go any further and endlessly try to prove that we are not deserving of the guilt we feel. It is a constant and relentless addiction.
The saying “mind over matter” has led to a lot of great achievements in human history, but it is simply not a sustainable thought pattern. It is important to find balance in your life, seeking rest and mental recuperation just as much as you are seeking success and productivity. It is often difficult for a person to incorporate both of these components into their life, because we tend to divert away from that balance. Nevertheless, it is possible to relieve stress and recover from the difficulty of everyday life through the practice of yoga.
I am only recently on this journey, and what follows is just my early (simplistic?) appreciation of yoga—and I trust you will correct me if necessary. One of the main principles of yoga is centering oneself. During the practice, whether it is half an hour or an hour and a half, you have to completely let the stresses and duties of the day melt away. The movements and meditation of yoga allow you to have “self-talks,” and objectively look at where you are in your life. During the practice you are free from distractions, allowing you to have mental stillness.
The most powerful stress-relieving component of yoga is the way an individual is expected to breathe.
In yoga, breathing is an integral part of the process. Yoga incorporates breath, or prana into all of its poses, or asanas. Breathing in and out of your nostrils endows you with the strength and discipline to make it through the difficult asanas. If you apply the same principles in life to stressful situations, it is easier to concentrate and control your thoughts, instead of having them overwhelm you.
Regulated breathing is not just a mental trick; it actually has physical benefits. By increasing the amount of air you intake, you ensure that your brain has enough oxygen to perform at its maximum capacity. Consequently, you will see improvement in a number of areas in your life including memory, sleep, and even your mood.
Although the human condition greatly contributes to stress and insecurity in your life, you cannot overlook stressful biological factors. According to the American Psychological Association, yoga is a fantastic compliment to therapy for people who are under duress. In fact, there have been many studies which have shown that yoga can actually take the place of anti-anxiety and anti-depression medications.
Practicing yoga is good for your body, your mind and your spirit. It is an inexpensive way to improve every aspect of your life. Moreover, it teaches you to find balance against the hectic human condition.