While one of the commonest of human ailments, nervous tension is not only one of the most baffling to cope with, but one of the most difficult to overcome. Its effects upon the body and mind are almost endless in variety and scope, being the primary cause of many disorders, whether directly or indirectly. Strain on the muscles and a nerve is one of the great destroyers. Nervous tension is capable of disorganizing the entire digestive system to an alarming degree and frequently inhibits both assimilation and elimination. It affects the brain, the spine and the various nerve plexes. Repressed or restricted forces are bottled up only to explode later in some sort of emotional outburst, sex debauch, disease, or, worse still, mental unbalance.
Nervous tension immediately tightens every muscle and nerve in the body and restricts the normal action and free and rhythmic flow of the various circulations. It holds the poisons in the body preventing their free exudation and by their presence creates more poisons. It prevents the free flow of any kind of force or energy to or from the body. It prohibits by constriction the circulation of fluids, ethers, air or gases through the tiny conduits so delicately and marvelously constructed to convey these forceful elements. An agitated nervous system fails to receive the Spirit's guidance, just as a warped antenna cannot receive television signals properly. The nervous system feels joy and sorrow, initiates laughter and tears. However, when under stress, it fumbles through its job, and so do we. In our yoga practice and in life, we must protect our nervous system and ensure that it lives in a state of equanimity.
Yoga and Nervous Tension
During your yoga practice, regularly pause and feel what you are doing, both while you are practicing the pose and after your body creates a mind-body connection, calming your nervous system and fostering peace. Doing is the state of moving toward the future. Feeling is the state of being in the moment. Peace reveals itself only when we are completely present, feeling what is happening in the now. The physical building blocks of yoga are the posture (asana) and the breath. Bundles of fibres together form the large nerves, which are stretched and purified by yoga asanas. By clearing toxins from the tissues, the asanas benefit neurotransmissions at the fine nerve endings, and at synapses between nerves. Yoga has been shown to stabilize the response of the nervous system to stress, removing the constant muscular tension produced by the repeated alerts from the central nervous system, and calming the involuntary symptoms of threat - racing heart, sweating, and anxiety - roused by the sympathetic nervous system.
YOGA POSES FOR NERVOUS TENSION
Legs up the Wall Pose
Legs-Up-The-Wall pose (Viparita Karani) is a wonderful yoga position that few of us take the time to do and most of us need. Much of the yoga currently practiced here in the US is active and often very vigorous. Yoga stresses the Importance of balancing these yang (active) poses with yin (passive) poses. Legs-Up-The-Wall pose fits the bill perfectly. It is a gentle inversion that helps to relieve the effects of stress by soothing the nervous system, increasing circulation and allowing the mind to calm. It is especially great for people who spend too much time sitting and standing since it relieves swelling and fatigue in the legs and feet by reversing the effects of gravity.
Shoulder Stand Pose
The Shoulder Stand stimulates and rejuvenates your entire body. In this exercise, you build up both power and a new structure in your back and you relax tension in well-known stress areas like the neck and the lower back. The muscles of your lower back get stronger, the chest and shoulders can move more freely and the back gets straighter.
The Sanskrit word Hala means plow, as in a traditional plow that is drawn by a horse or oxen. When performing this posture your body resembles a plow. This pose is often one of the first inversions to be practiced after Adho Mukha Svanasana (the downward facing dog pose) and Prasarita Padottanasana (the wide-legged standing forward bend).Inversions bring fresh blood and oxygen to the brain which is revitalizing and refreshing.
The Downward Facing Dog
This pose is named as such as it resembles the shape of a Dog stretching itself out. This pose helps to strengthen, stretch and reduce stiffness in the legs while strengthening and shaping the upper body. Holding this pose for a minute or longer will stimulate and restore energy levels if you are tired. Regular practice of this pose rejuvenates the entire body and gently stimulates your nervous system.
Reclining Hero Pose
The reclining hero pose in yoga is a great way to improve and enhance your flexibility.Vira means a hero, warrior or champion; Supta is to lie down. This is a deep stretch for the front of the thighs, lower legs and feet. It also stretches the abdominal muscles, the spine and the shoulders. Make sure that your lower back isnít too arched when holding this pose.
YOGA ASANAS FOR NERVOUS TENSION
This asana is also called, The Locust. Here the focal points of concentration are the legs. Lift the legs only as much as you can. Feel the pull exerted along the muscles in the back and in the legs. Be aware of the body movements and stretching. The muscles will release and relax after stretching for a specific time period in a tense position. Mentally, yogic exercises help to gather attention and help to develop a peaceful state of mind.
- Lie down on your abdomen with the chin resting on the floor.
- With arms on both sides of the body and with fists even with the pelvic girdle inhale, lifting both legs 5 to15 inches above the floor.
- Hold this position till you feel a pull on the bottom of the spinal cord and retain this position while taking several deep breaths.
Naukasana is an Indian translation for Boat Pose. Stimulates the muscular, digestive, circulatory, nervous and hormonal systems. This asana also tones up all the organs and removes lethargy and restrains nervous tension and brings up deep relaxation.
- Get in the primary position of Shavasana.Relax and remain conscious of easy and natural breathing.
- Close your eyes and contemplate about the shape of a boat.
- Open your eyes with ease. Keep the legs and knees together. This is the initial position.
- Place both hands on the thighs and hold the elbows straight. Breathe deep and raise both the legs about one and half feet above the floor.
- Raise your neck and shoulder also about a foot. Hold the breath inside for a while.
- Straighten both of your arms with palms down. Let this appear as if you want to touch the toe fingers. Continue for a while in this pose. This is the final stage of the exercise.
- Generate tension in the whole body particularly on the shoulders and the back area in this pose. The balance of your entire body should be on the lower waist area. Remain conscious towards your body balance.
- Exhale slowly. Place both the legs and shoulder back on the floor.
- Finally come back in the original position, keeping both the hands on thighs.
No yoga session is complete without the final pose Ė Savasana. The body needs this time to understand the new information it has received through practicing yoga. Even though Savasana is a resting pose, itís not the same a sleeping! You should stay present and aware during the five to ten minute duration of final relaxation
- Come to lie down on the back.
- Let the feet fall out to either side.
- Bring the arms alongside the body, but slightly separated from the body, and turn the palms to face upwards.
- Relax the whole body, including the face. Let the body feel heavy.
- Let the breath occur naturally.
- To come out, first begin to the deepen the breath. Then move the fingers and toes, awakening the body.
- Bring the knees into the chest and roll over to one side, keep the eyes closed.
- Slowly bring yourself back up into a sitting position.
The bow works all parts of the back ,simultaneously increasing strength and suppleness in the spine and the hips .It increase backward bending , flexibility in your spinal column and release tension and Gives strength to penis and vagina to keep sexual organs in good condition.
- Lie on your stomach.
- Keep the arms on either side of the body with the chin on the ground.
- Bend the legs backward at the keens and place the heel close to the buttock, the abdomen should remain touch the ground when backward. ( 15-25) secs.
Bhramri Pranayama is one of the easiest Pranayama to perform and is very beneficial for curing stress and nervous tension. Bhramri means humming sound of bee or wasp. While practicing this humming sound is produced, hence this pranayama is known as Bhramri Pranayama. Usually it is performed at the end of the yoga session.
- Sit in any asana where in you spine is straight, like Padmasana, Ardh Padmasana, Vajrasana etc.
- Using both hands close ears with thumbs, put the index fingers on forehead, middle fingers are placed gently on the closed eyes making sure not to press them. Rest remaining two fingers on base of nose nearer to the eyes.
- Breathe in slowly and to your full capacity.
- Concentrate your mind on Ajna Chakra (between eye-brows) and try to imagine a ball of light, or any spiritual symbol, or any god/goddess whom you worship. Close your mouth. Start making humming sound of a bee from the throat. Do not make any conscious effort to exhale, just concentrate on the humming sound. This way you will automatically lengthen the exhalation.
- Once exhalation is complete, again inhale deeply and follow step 4. Repeat the exercise upto 7 times and then gradually increase to 11 and then to 21 times according to your capacity.
- After you finish the desired number of rounds sit quietly while hands are placed on your knees. You will experience that the vibrations lasts for minutes after the pranayama is completed and you can feel the bliss.
- After few minutes of sitting quietly, perform palming by rubbing you palms vigorously and heating them up. Then cup the eyes with palms placed gently on your eyes, taking care not to press the eyes.