Happiness is Our Natural State of Being
According to the Yoga Sutra’s, our quest for liberation is entirely natural. Our natural state of being longs for ‘freedom of suffering’, and the ability to find emotional balance.
This might seem like a difficult concept to grasp when your life has become a balancing act. Perhaps you’re investing all your efforts into not tumbling off the edge, and the concept of pure happiness seems beyond reach.
Recent studies have revealed that prolonged exposure to stress, trauma and heightened emotional states, not only influence our physical state of health but also neurologically, and psychosomatically (Van Der Kolk, 2014).The mind is very good at retaining experiences and emotions. Even when the event has passed, it can be hard to come back to an even keel, finding emotional balance. It is common to lapse back into past patterns of behaviour based on these experiences stored deep within the subconscious.
Under prolonged periods of stress the adrenal glands go into over drive. This may result in symptoms of adrenal fatigue and hormonal imbalances. For women, stress can begin to wreck havoc on our cycles, further contributing to emotional distress and anguish.
Finding Emotional Balance
Statistically women are more prone to depression and anxiety then men (The American Institute of Stress, 2014). It’s unclear why this occurs, but it may be as a result of hormonal differences. I’ve discussed previously how working primarily from the Masculine energy whilst ignoring our Feminine qualities, can result in chemical and hormonal imbalances. Learning to balance these two energy centres can help in finding emotional balance.
Balancing asanas in yoga, develop different functions of the cerebellum. The focus required to perform balancing asanas with steadiness improves concentration and balance at the emotional, mental and psychic levels.
It’s hard to remain focussed on emotions when you’re body needs to find physical balance!
Dekasana, Aeroplane Pose.
Aeroplane pose, Dekasana (featured above) is a recent modification to the common Warrior III pose. The focus required to steady and balance the body in this pose helps to also balance the central nervous system. In doing so, stress, anxiety and emotional tensions are alleviated.
Muscularly this asana strengthens and tones the arms, hips, leg muscles and lower back. Engaging both the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles whilst in the pose will invoke a sense of internal strength, security and stability.
If you feel like you’re dealing with a lot at this point in time, don’t be surprised if you initially find it hard to find balance in the pose.
Take your time with it, find your drishti (a focal point) and use this as an opportunity to come to a greater sense of awareness of your emotional health.
Practice balancing asanas regularly to not only tone the body and to develop coordination, but to help in finding emotional balance.