Understanding Stress – Yogic perspective
Stress plays an important role in the onset and management of many non- communicable disorders.
According to the Yoga text – Yoga Vasista, the concept of ‘Adhija vyadhi’ explains about the diseases originating from stress and ‘Anadhija Vyadhi’ explains about the diseases which are not due to stress. The duality of likes – dislikes, love – hatred etc. which govern human emotions start creating imbalance at the level of manomaya kosha and when intensify cause “Adhi’s”. These conflicts bring about the speed in mind and are termed ‘stress’. The repetition brings in the response of anxiety, depression, anger and affects the various systems.
Acharya Patanjali has provided the most comprehensive description of the five stress producing factors called Kleshas. They are: Avidya, Asmita, Raga, Dwesha and Abhiniveshaha. Ignorance, ego, desire, dislike and fear of change are the five stress producing factors. The fivefold kleshas are responsible for the onset of dukha (pain) which may be physical or mental. Diseases are considered as dukha and can be overcome through cittavritti nirodha (regulation of mental modifications). We could overcome the fivefold klesha by practicing kriyayoga [tapas (austerity), swadhyaya (self study), ishwarapranidhana (surrendering to the divine)] and by ashtanga yoga (Eight limbs of Yoga).
Acharya Patanjali also mentions about cittavikshepa (obstacles) as the impediments in the path of achieving the control of mind. We could understand in a simple manner that keeping a positive attitude, practicing breathing techniques and meditation upon various objects help one to get rid of the vikshepa or the Obstacles and therefore manage Stress and its impact on the body.
Article By :
Dr. Vasudha M Sharma