Yoga and Emotional Health for Longevity

Paul Jerard

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How can Yoga have a positive impact on your emotional health? How does your emotional health affect your heart? What can Yoga do for the health of your heart? Let’s look at taming our emotions for a more holistic and peaceful approach to a quality life.

How can Yoga have a real positive impact on your emotional health? Have you ever noticed that your heart, and the area around your solar plexus, feel terrible during times of severe anxiety? Medical and scientific experts often say, “Your heart cannot think, " and we know this must be true. Yet, how do we explain that “gut wrenching" feeling, we have, when we feel stress, anguish, or remorse?

Let’s look at the sequence of events, which create extreme anxiety, and learn how Yoga can help your emotional health. Firstly, you receive a thought, which creates images, within your mind. If they are good, your heart feels fine, but if they are not, you feel a “heart ache. "

It is the mind’s perception, which creates imagery, but how can we control that? Let’s look at an extreme situation – instant grief. There is hardly anything worse than the death of a friend or family member. We have no control over death. We are helpless, and we mourn, because we will not see that person again in this life.

It has been said, “Time heals, " but does it really? No, time goes by, filling your mind with chatter over weeks, months, and years. If you do manage to get over your grief, it was mind chatter that might have saved you.

There are cases where people carry loss around with them for the rest of their lives. Some people seek professional counseling for grief or loss because they cannot “get past it;" while some people may even die from a “broken heart. "

How could Yoga help in this “worst case scenario?" When my mother passed away, at 50 years of age, it was a shock. She had one heart attack and she was gone. I was at the hospital, that night, and did not believe the doctor, who told me, “She has expired. " I dashed into the room to see for myself, but he was right.

Did Yoga change my grief? Could I meditate the heart ache away? No, but I did practice Pranayama, focused on positive memories, and quit smoking cigarettes, that day. Yes, once upon a time, I was a smoking Yogi.

Many of you have far worse stories to tell, but we have to take back control of our minds, or we will perish from the resulting damage to our hearts.

Consider this: If your heart is aching over something you know is “small stuff" - you know you need Pranayama right now, positive affirmations, and a Yoga session soon. Why waste time in negative thought? None of us will “win a medal" for it.

© Copyright 2007 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, is a co-owner and the director of Yoga teacher training at: Aura Wellness Center, in Attleboro, MA. He has been a certified Master Yoga teacher since 1995. To receive a Free e-Book: “Yoga in Practice, " and a Free Yoga Newsletter, please visit:


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