It is widely-accepted that stress and tension can lead to health problems – high blood pressure and heart rate, high cortisol (stress hormone) levels, fatigue, muscle aches, headaches, anxiety, depression, memory loss, irritability, confusion, abnormal weight flucuations, poor sleep, decreased libido, and poor concentration are among many conditions that can be attributed to physical and mental tension and stress. Relaxation that aims to eliminate this stress and tension can also reduce/eliminate the incidence of these illnesses.
In terms of yoga, relaxation allows the restless and distracted mind to slow down, and in doing this, relaxation facilitates the practice of asana (poses), pranayama (awareness and control of the breath), pratyahara (awareness and control of the senses), dharana (meditative practice), and dhyana (focused awareness).
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