Does Yoga Help Us Response Properly in Fight-or-Flight Situations?

Does Yoga Help Us Response Properly in Fight-or-Flight Situations?

The tension accumulated by excessive mental activity makes shoulders contracted, keeps preventing us from opening the chest, breathing broad, rhythmic and deeply, as it should. Therefore, we have lost our natural breathing, hence part of our life energy. The other part of the energy comes from the rest and foods, every time we eat in a less healthy way, which instead of giving us energy, it takes the energy away. This is the reason why yoga has a special diet, rich in nutrients and vital energy.

There is an additional factor that we have no conscious, the response of fight or flight. The demands and annoyances of everyday life to leave us exhausted in a single moment and the explanation is very interesting. Our brain has prepared a physiological response in times of danger, it has a reason to be when we have to protect our lives. It is what is known as the ‘fight or flight response’. We still are scheduled to save our life in extreme circumstances, as we would do in the life in a jungle, but the same answer comes at a time where there are no real dangers.

Our mind does not discern what the situation is like, it prepares the body to defend and it is prepared to fight, or rather sweat, it is stressed and hyperventilate at a social gathering as you would when encountering a hungry tiger. This is the escape response. We enter a state of alertness that generates in us angry outbursts or extreme and unnecessary anxiety and then leave us exhausted.

With so many external stimuli, coupled with recurrent states are programmed biologically to our survival, it is not surprising that we feel we do not have enough energy and focus to move forward with our tasks without the need to feel overwhelmed by anxiety or constant fatigue. Worse, as in fact, we do not fight and do not run, because situations do not require such extreme responses, this pent up energy makes a lot of damage to our body and we end up sick.

What can we do besides going to the countryside or become monks? All yoga techniques i.e. postures, breathing, meditation, among others, help that we are more relaxed with so many stimuli of today’s world and to the restless nature of the mind. Regular meditation reduces fight or flight response. Yoga also gives us guidelines to reduce these stimuli with a diet and lifestyle that brings us peace and energy.

Yoga teaches us to breathe better, with which we have more prana in our body and a calm mind, and to keep eyes always in the present to act rather than react i.e. live with consciousness. And even in this moment, yoga emphasizes relaxation as indispensable to our health and wellness practice.


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