New Trends in Psychology, Vol 2, No 1 (2020)

Yoga – A Holistic Healing Dimension



Ștefania Ciucur (Frigioiu)1



Abstract: Even if they are not aware, or do not name it, people are constantly in the process of searching for their soul. We seek our soul because we live the feeling that we have lost fragments of it in the experiences that led our lives and made us feel empty. Thus, we want to feel whole again, or to make sure that we rise to the height of the potential of our soul. When we set out to heal and raise our souls, to fulfill our purpose in life, we begin to look for methods, practices, books, listen to inspirational speakers, ask the advice of our loved ones, call psychologists, doctors.

Keywords: soul; healing; mind; stress; body discipline; anxiety



The components of the human being are the soul, the heart and the spirit. The soul represents the first component and refers to the consciousness of the person, here are stored the hopes and faith that keep the human being on the right path, also the soul resides in the brain, the place where experiences and memories are stored. Although our soul should remain intact, throughout our lives, we go through all kinds of challenges and difficulties, which fracture our soul, leaving deep traces, difficult to erase. This is due to traumatic events, such as the death of a loved one, the betrayal of a friend or even the betrayal of oneself.

The injuries from the soul level lead to a loss of vitality and energy, which is why it is necessary to be aware of them, because, often, the real problem is not of a physical nature, but of a spiritual nature. We all know that a person with a broken soul is vulnerable, engages in relationships, for example, only after he has healed his soul, also, the moment of a great turn in life, a great loss, is the one in which, instinctively we are looking for ways to reintegrate our fragmented soul, becoming thirsty for spiritual knowledge, in whatever form it may be: religion, books and personal development courses, we seek a spiritual master, meditation camps, etc. This would also seem to be our purpose on earth, that at the end of our lives our souls will be sufficiently whole to be able to face our journey back to God.

The second component of the human being is the place where love, kindness, compassion, gratitude reside, that is, the heart. It is not enough to have a healthy soul to feel like complete people. Even if we have an intact soul, we can have an injured heart. Why is the heart so important? Because it represents our safety net, it is the one who guides our steps, when we feel lost, when we have the confused and suffering soul, the one who can dress the wounds of the soul and who supports us until its healing. Therefore, it is possible to have the soul affected but a good and a loving heart. In fact, often the traumatic, painful experiences we have to go through lead us to a deeper understanding, increasing our capacity for love, compassion, generosity.

The third component of the human being is the spirit, which, in my opinion, refers to the will and physical power of the person. Spirit is that inner force that allows you to fight, to climb mountains, to run, to overcome soul pain, illness, loss. That is why, when you have a broken heart, a broken soul, it is the spirit that helps and sustains you to total healingStudies have shown that to have a healthy mind we need a healthy soul. In order to be able to discover our inner wisdom, we need to learn how to use all four dimensions (physical, mental, spiritual and social). That way we will be able to make the best decisions.

As for the physical dimension, we need a healthy body, for a healthy mind. Studies have shown that fatigue and illness have a negative effect on decision making, as we tend to act abusively. Because it is the mind that guides us to make the best decisions, periodic renewal gives us the opportunity to go beyond the limitations of those around us and to have the security of the best decisions, because success will always be influenced by the personality we have. And spiritual renewal helps us in this direction.

People who have this orientation will always be the happiest and most willing to help. And last but not least, if we refer to the social dimension, we refer to the relationships with others. They actually reflect our relationship with ourselves. Each of us lives as our conscience dictates, but if we risk doing things differently, we may tend to blame others for our mistakes as a result of the inner imbalance. We allow weaknesses to control our actions, become self-centered and unjustifiably impose ourselves in front of others. And this does not make us happy or fulfilled, but on the contrary, drained of energy, fragmented or drained.

That is why we want to feel whole again, and for this we need to find those resources and mechanisms that make this possible. Often, this process of searching for our soul or completing it, brings us closer to ourselves , sometimes, on the other hand, it can make us feel even more lost and that is because, unfortunately, we are sometimes misled by the theories that we attract negative events through our wrong thoughts. We need to understand that no one deserves to be unhappy and that we all have the right to heal, to be happy, to feel fulfilled.

The purpose of this article is to help you understand what is going on with your soul when you face a problem and how you can heal it yourself, find answers to revitalize your soul and spirit, find yourself peace and spiritual integrity. The human being represents a complex ecosystem, as I said before, any imbalance that occurs in one of its components leads to stress, anxiety.

The good news is that every ecosystem is constantly rebalancing, and the principles and practices of the holistic yoga therapy help us reach the best level of this ecosystem. Lately, this therapy is increasingly recognized as a valid scientific approach to physical and mental health, which seeks to identify problems and helps you reflect on your own, which will bring major and lasting changes in your life. The tools used are diverse, and their role is to look for the source of stress and anxiety and to transform them from the root, from the deep level of consciousness.

Among these tools are yoga postures, but the real power lies in mastering emotions and mind, which produces changes at a deeper level. A fundamental principle says that healing begins at the level of the mind, so in addition to the suite of physical postures, breathing and relaxation exercises, and meditation techniques are also used in yoga therapy.

Therefore, yoga therapy for healing anxiety addresses all areas of life, teaching us how to become masters of our own lives and connect to ourselves. Thus, as we gain a better understanding of things, the level of anxiety will diminish and be replaced by a state of trust and balance. This therapy based on creating balance, is applied in everyday life, and practices focus on aspects of all areas of life, such as relationships with others, the need for self-realization, the attitude towards work, the belief system of each. Also, yoga offers ways to ease this search of the being to bring harmony to the body, vital energy, mind, emotions, breathing, spirit or higher self.

In today’s society, with access to many resources, most people are healthy, but stressed, and stress will eventually lead to imbalances in health. A healthy but stressed man will not be motivated to change something in his life because he has no pain or a particular illness. Therefore, yoga therapy offers a concept of prevention, by which to acquire the necessary force to have control over the factors that predispose to the illness, as well as personalized tools that lead to a state of physical, energetic, mental, intellectual and spiritual health.

All people are, from time to time, stressed to a greater or lesser extent, some being more sensitive to stress than others. When stress is constant and accentuated, it turns into anxiety, the symptom of which presents itself as a state of permanent tension or worry, in which people expect to be worse. This anxiety transforms us into the captives of an alienating future and disconnects us from the possibilities and joys of the present moment, from the life lived here and now, as well as from our inner resources. Through the practice of yoga, we learn to relax our body, to control our mind and intellect, thus changing our patterns of thinking and thus reducing stress and anxiety. The philosophies, principles, which are related to the science of modern psychology, but which are repackaged for the modern world, will help us, although their roots and results remain the same.

Yoga therapy applies philosophy, breathing techniques, physical postures, meditation, life discipline, relaxation, as well as personal attitude. In fact, science is getting closer to yoga and awareness practices. Currently, with the help of non-invasive imaging techniques, one can study how the structure of the brain changes under the action of stress, or, conversely, under the action of meditation. Numerous well-documented studies have shown that forms of meditation that integrate multiple elements, such as breathing, sound, movement, can effectively reduce stress, high blood pressure, anxiety, and other health problems, while increasing alertness and cognitive functioning.

In other recent studies, it has been shown that meditations based on breathing techniques have a positive effect on immunity, aging and cellular oxygenation. Even from a scientific perspective, any form of movement or repetitive sounds, like mantras, helps maintain a concentrated mind. As a confirmation of the above, the neuronal deterioration caused by aging often affects the muscular coordination and verbalization skills. Other studies show changes in the functioning of the brain after only eight weeks of meditation practice, revealing a significant increase in neuronal activity in the prefrontal cortex, an area used by humans to maintain a clear focus, focused on a task. There was also activated a structure involved in emotional regulation, learning and memory and which is very vulnerable to the aging process, called the previous cingulate. It plays an important role in decreasing anxiety and irritability and enhances social awareness, a feature that decreases with aging. Other studies on meditation have shown that not only does activation of the prefrontal lobe and anterior cingulate improve cognition and memory, but it significantly reduces the effects of depression, a common symptom in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s patients.

In 2007, at Emory University, researchers discovered that Zen meditation has “neuroprotective effects and reduces the cognitive decline associated with normal aging.” In other news, the evidence clearly demonstrates that most forms of contemplative meditation and yoga practice the brain through techniques that maintain and promote the health of the cognitive circuits of the brain that govern different activities involved in consciousness, clarity of mind, reality formation, error of detection, empathy, compassion, emotion control, anger and fear control. It seems that it takes less than two months to alter the overall neuronal functioning of the brain.

In addition to the fact that yoga therapy stimulates the prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate, it has also been shown to significantly increase activity in the cerebellum, which plays an important role in integrating the conscious movements of the body, but also the activity in the basal ganglia, which is located deep in the center of the brain, which helps control voluntary movements, posture and motor sequencing.

In conclusion, abnormal functioning in these areas will lead to premature aging, movement disorders, diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Tourette’s. These studies suggest that practices that include techniques of meditation, movement, awareness, will strengthen the neuronal functioning of those parts of the body responsible for diseases of the age.

The most important thing to be emphasized is the remarkable ability of the brain to heal itself and to make changes, especially in the areas that make us specifically human: the frontal lobes. This is where the imagination, creativity, the ability to reason, interact with others and the desire to become better, more compassionate, more motivated are at the root. In other words, the more we exercise the brain, mentally, physically, socially and contemplatively, the healthier it becomes. And then, why not apply this strategy in our life to achieve a healthy and fulfilling life?

The key elements are simple: we need to impose a relaxed state of consciousness, a calm and deep breathing and to perform simple or complex movements with any part of the body. During these movements, we listen to concentrated sounds, or sing, or repeat phrases with meaning to us. The most important thing is to keep in mind the purpose that we have set ourselves to achieve. When we exercise consciously and resolutely, we use our imagination and the power of consciousness that will send vital force to different parts of the body, which will heal and charge them with energy.

The secret lies in the fact that the small ends of the nerves that pass through all the tissues of the body are heavily loaded by the conscious will. During training or meditation, these small tanks are filled with an amount of energy for the muscles to grow not only during exercise, but also afterwards, even in sleep, listening to our will and purpose.

As a result of mental influence, self-suggestion and concentration, these exercises are much more useful to the body than the sport done mechanically, without awareness. Therefore, the first step begins with the conscious desire for change, which must be maintained with exercise and focused attention that will build new neural circuits, which will automatically activate those parts of the brain responsible for motivation. Thus, the more we repeat, the more powerful these neural circuits will be. Desire and concentration are enough to change our brains, improve our physical and spiritual health.

May the light of inward revelation pave the way for happiness, through the regular practice of integral yoga therapy techniques, for which we need patience, trust, a dash of will and a heart full of joy and love.

Bibliography

Anthony, W. (2016). Medium Medical. Brașov: Adevăr Divin Publishing.

Andrew, N. (2018). How God Changes our brain. Bucharest: Curtea Veche Publishing.

Robert, B. (2019). Terapia prin Yoga pentru combaterea anxietății. Bucharest: Litera Publishing.

Selvarajan Y. & Elisabeth H. (2017). Yoha and Health. Brașov: Mix Cristian Publishing House.

1 Student, 3nd year, Faculty of Communication and International Relations, specialization Psychology, University Danubius of Galati, Romania, Adress: 3 Galati Blvd., 800654 Romania, Tel.: +40372361102; Fax: +40372361290, Corresponding author: stefaniafrigioiu@yahoo.com.

New Trends in Psychology, Vol. 2, no 1/2020, pp. 25-30

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.