What Is The Mind-Body Connection?

The terms ‘mind-body connection’ and ‘mind-body medicine’ are commonly used in the context that our thoughts influence the functioning of our body. When it comes to yoga, this notion carries a lot of weight but is considered only a small fraction of what the mind-body connection actually entails.

How Mind Affects your Body

Yoga teachers describe this mind-body connection as something abstract;  this is a connection that we forge with our yoga practice but in reality, this mind-body link is present all the time whether we are aware of it or not.

One of the most common examples of the mind-affecting body is the watering of the mouth when we think about our favorite dish or the feeling of butterflies in our stomach before a big presentation.  We can feel how thoughts can affect the functioning of our physical responses.

Another example is that of an athlete who ‘chokes’ at a crucial moment in competition and ending up performing poorly.  This is a good example of mind-body coordination when the apprehensive state of mind leads to in-coordination and a decrease in muscle activity.

The basic way in which the mind-body medicine works is by breaking the connection for a short period of time. Students of this practice are taught techniques like pratyahara (withdrawal of senses) and dhyana ( Penultimate stage of meditation). Without the intervention of the anxious and limiting thoughts in their mind, the stress response system can relax and the body can heal itself back into a more natural state. So we can say that the therapy for the mind-body connection-based problems is by severing the mind from the body for a period of time.  

There are many yoga practices that focus on quieting the mind – all of which have related health benefits.

  • Pranayama ( Control of prana through breaths)

    • Several researchers have reported that pranayama techniques are beneficial in treating a range of stress related disorders.

    • Develops a steady mind, strong will-power, and sound judgement.

    • Sustained practice extends life and enhances perception.

  • Ujjayi (victorious breath, sometimes called the ocean breath)

    • Balancing and calming breath which increases oxygenation and builds internal body heat.

    • Helps build energy, while clearing toxins out of the bodily system.

  • Bhramari ( Buzzing Bee Breath)

    • Immediate relaxing effect on the brain.

    • It is beneficial in mental tension, agitation, high blood pressure, heart disease.

What is the Mind-Body Connection?

How Your Body Affects Your Mind

When someone is angry or anxious, to calm them down we use injunctions like ‘Take a deep breath’ and ‘Inhale, Exhale’ etc. This acknowledges the body-mind connection.

This principle actually takes advantage of the in asana practices. Yogis have specific postures that relax and stimulate the mind, for example, backbends and sideways stretches stimulate the mind, while others like forward bending and inverts, quiet the brain.

In the light of this information, it can almost be taken for granted that a strong connection between the mind and the body does exist and there are many day-to-day examples that illustrate this phenomenon. It is to be kept in mind at all times that mind and body affect each other at an equal frequency.

By using this constantly evolving knowledge as a fresh approach when dealing with the common problem of stress and anxiety in modern life you will gain a strong advantage and develop a positive perspective from your mind to your body.

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Kelly Stiles

I love publishing topics on meditation and mindset development. While providing you with the tools and resources to live vibrantly and consciously, Mind Body Vortex is your modern guide to an exhilarating lifestyle of personal growth.

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