By Amruta Kulkarni, CYT 500
With all of the different types of yoga teacher trainings going on it’s amazing how little attention humans pay to their mental health. Maybe one’s state of mind isn’t seen as important until we lose our sanity. Therefore, we can easily make the case that mental health is often taken for granted and mind exercises are not considered important. How many of us give thanks for our mental health every morning?
Yogic philosophy celebrates the union of the mind, body and spirit. Ancient sages recognized the powerful influence of these teachings on cognitive ability, but it has taken thousands of years for the scientific world to agree, especially in the West.
Since researchers have made a recent discovery that the brain has the capacity to form new neural connections throughout life, however, traditional medicine has become more open to the idea that the mind can be trained to react in positive ways to changes or trauma. There are now many programs that offer “brain training,” but Yoga is the oldest and most proven.
Yoga for the Mind
• “In The Heart and Science of Yoga,” Leonard Perlmutter compares Yogic methodology for the mind to software for a computer and explains how a comprehensive Yoga training session can be used to reprogram its thought processes and reactions. Among these concepts are clean living, meditation, pranayama, and asanas. While the author acknowledges that many styles of Yoga can achieve similar goals, he emphasizes the importance of a consistent and regular practice that includes all aspects of the philosophy.
• SuperBrain Yoga, a new model for training the brain developed by Master Chao Kok Sui, a pioneer in pranic healing, is now being used by educators and medical professionals to improve thinking skills and increase focus in children. Proponents claim the practice, which balances the brain’s hemispheres and increases its mental capacity, has been successful in the treatment of young children with various neurological disorders.
• Another new program, Yoga of the Mind, says its primary goal is the discovery of healing energy through inner awareness. The program teaches breathing, visualization and meditation techniques for grounding and personal development.
All of these programs, and many others like them, share an emphasis of balancing the left and right sides of the brain. While traditional practices emphasize controlled breathing, meditation and postures, more contemporary forms, such as those developed for use with children, concentrate on releasing blocked energy through fast-paced, simple activities centered on acupuncture points.
In the end, all true Yogic practices improve emotional health and contribute to clear thinking. Perhaps consistency is more important than method when it comes to a grounded mind.
© Copyright 2012 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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