Yoga and Meditation have become very popular worldwide for its therapeutic effect, both physically and mentally. There are millions of people who are getting benefited from it. Yoga and Meditation can also be an alternative to drugs if practiced consistently and under the guidance of an expert teacher.
According to Patanjali, there are eight limbs of Yoga, and asana(posture) is related to the physical aspect of Yoga. Purpose of asana is to have a steady and comfortable posture so that person can sit for a longer time with ease and do Meditation.
The main focus of Yoga is a steady posture and relaxation of the muscle. In Yoga, movements are controlled, slow and synchronised with the breath. On the other hand, in exercise, training is faster and more stress on the muscles.
Yoga helps in increasing the flexibility of the body because, through Yoga, muscles are developed evenly. During workout or exercise, the main focus is to increase muscle mass. And due to this, muscles length decreases and flexibility of muscles also decreases.
Yoga is beneficial in reducing the body’s stress level because by doing Yoga, cortisol levels in the body decrease. Increase of Cortisol hormone is responsible for increasing the stress level. On the other hand, by workout cortisol level rises in the body because the body feels exercise as added stress.
In Yoga, there is a lot of focus on synchronisation of breath which is not regular exercise. Focus on slow and deep breathing creates a soothing effect on the nervous system, and one feels more relaxed after a yoga session than an exercise session. Also, exercise creates more lactic acid in the body and which causes more exhaustion and fatigue.
Yoga And Meditation – Alternative To Drugs – A scientific Research.
Yoga and Meditation can serve as an alternative to drug use. They can also be accommodating in dealing with many other addictions because of its relaxing effect on body and mind.
Often, a person gets addicted to drugs because of going through a phase of mental anxiety and depression for a more extended period and not having any positive, trustworthy emotional support. They are very stressed out and don’t know how to relax properly.
GABA (gamma-aminobutyric) a primary neurotransmitter is widely distributed in our brain. It has a crucial role in controlling stress and anxiety in our life. Increase in GABA can help in making one less susceptible to stress and anxiety.
If a drug addict has increased GABA levels, that can help him cope better with negative emotions like depression, anxiety, stress, etc. Most of the time, these negative emotions trigger the drug addict to relapse.
“Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and McLean Hospital have found that practising Yoga may elevate brain gamma-aminobutyric (GABA) levels, the brain’s primary inhibitory neurotransmitter. The findings, which appear in the May issue of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, suggest that the practice of Yoga be explored as a possible treatment for depression and anxiety, disorders associated with low GABA levels …..…….According to the researchers, Yoga has shown promise in improving symptoms associated with depression, anxiety and epilepsy. “Our findings demonstrate that in experienced yoga practitioners, brain GABA levels increase after a session of yoga,” said lead author Chris Streeter, MD, an assistant professor of psychiatry and neurology at BUSM and a research associate at McLean Hospital.” (From Science Daily – Yoga May Elevate Brain GABA Levels, Suggesting Possible Treatment For Depression)
If one regularly practices Yoga and Meditation with sincerity and consistency, Yoga and Meditation can be an alternative to drugs because the person will feel more relaxed and less anxious. So the possibility to turn towards drugs will reduce a lot.