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Can yoga help cure Jonathon Trott's stress-related mental health issues?

jonathon trottEngland batsman Jonathan Trott has pulled out of the Ashes tour citing a 'long term stress-related illness' and is taking an indefinite break from cricket to grapple with the issue. 'I don't feel it is right that I'm playing knowing that I'm not 100 per cent and I cannot currently operate at the level I have done in the past,' the 32-year-old said in a statement. 'My priority now is to take a break from cricket so that I can focus on my recovery. I want to wish my teammates all the very best for the remainder of the tour.' The South African-born batsman was already on the plane home by the time managing director Hugh Morris and head coach Andy Flower were explaining the reasons for Trott's abrupt withdrawal from the tour to the media Monday evening.

Stress is one of the byproduct of the present day competitive work environment and affects almost all spheres of life such as health, energy level, work related performance.

Stress when persists over a period of time become the most dangerous factor behind most of the psychosomatic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, migraine, digestive disorders, ulcer and even cancer, etc.

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Subodh Gupta, the author of the book Stress Management a Holistic Approachsaid, 'Modern medicine can't provide effective treatment to the stress because the real problem doesn't lie inside the physical body. It originates from the mind, and then disturbs our energy level and finally appears on our physical level in the form of an illness.'

He added 'Scientific yoga system positively affect parts of the brain that deal with anxiety and emotions. Any illness is a sign of imbalance and scientific yoga system bring balance in the body and mind system.'

The sympathetic nervous system becomes more active when we are under constant stress, causing our breath rate to quicken, blood pressure to rise and stress hormones to flood into our body.

Through practice of yoga we can bring equilibrium into our body and mind i.e. balance between sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system and as a result stress and depression can also be effectively reduced.

If you are suffering from stress related illness then take action now for your own good health. If we don't take care about our own health then who will? (Read: Jonathan Trott pulls out of Ashes tour citing 'long term stress-related illness')

Here are some yoga poses that can help you deal with stress effectively.

Pose # 1 Marjaryasana: Also known as the cat pose, this is a really good way to get rid of all that pent-up tension at the back of your neck. It stretches the back, torso and neck providing a gentle massage to the spine and the organs of the stomach.

How to do the pose:

marjaryasanaPosition yourself on your hands and your knees. Make sure your legs are directly below your pelvis and your hands are directly below your shoulders. Keep your head in a neutral position with your eyes looking at the floor. Now exhale and round your spine towards the ceiling. Make sure you do not change the position of your hands or raise your hips. Lower your head at the neck gently (leave it loose). You should feel a stretch in your back. If you feel pain, stop. Hold this position for about five counts.

Now, inhale and come back to the starting position. Next, bend your back in the opposite direction, driving your navel to the floor. Point your head gently upwards. You will feel a stretch in your spine. Hold this position for a few counts, and come back to the starting position. You can do this as many times as you feel comfortable. About five times should help you feel better.

Tip: Do not do this pose if you have a spine or knee injury.

Pose # 2 Balasana: Known quite aptly as the child's pose this is a great stress buster. It gently stretches the hips, thighs, ankles, calms the mind and helps relieve stress and fatigue. It is also a great remedy for that lower back pain you might have from long hours of sitting.

How to do the pose:

balasanaSit on the floor with your weight on your knees. Now flatten your feet onto the floor and sit on your heels. Spread your thighs apart a little. Exhale and bend forward from your waist. Let your stomach rest on your thighs and extend your back. Now stretch out your arms in front of you to elongate the back. You can also rest your forehead on the floor. This may require flexibility, so don't push your body beyond its permissible limit. It will get better with time.

This is a resting pose so you should ideally breath at a normal pace. You can stay in this pose for as long as three minutes and as little as five counts.

Tip: If you are pregnant, have a knee injury or have diarrhoea do not do this pose. (Read more: Stressed out? Try these yoga poses)

Image sources: yinyangyogis.com, thefitindian.com, stylecraze.com, kristinmcgee.com, littlepalmtree.co.za

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