How Does Yoga Help To Beat OCD

By Patricia | January 12, 2009
Yoga For Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is an illness due to which people suffering from it keep experiencing unwanted fearful thoughts. To counter these feelings they keep on repeating certain behaviors which interfere with their normal daily lives. Obsessive thoughts keep on recurring in a person's mind making him/her nervous or afraid. In order to counter these, they make up certain rules for themselves which they feel compelled to follow.

There is no single proven cause for OCD. However, insufficient chemical serotonin in the brain may be one of the causes. Traumatic experience and illness may also cause OCD. It can affect any person, male or female, at any age.

Several methods are used in beating OCD. Some of them are, psychotherapeutic methods of cognitive behavioral therapy, medication, self-help, learning something new which requires a lot of concentration and yoga, which is found to be extremely effective.

Yoga is not just a set of physical exercises for fitness and techniques to calm the mind. It is a comprehensive life style which ensures not only physical but mental, psychological and spiritual well being as well. It also includes Ayurveda, the ancient Indian science of good health through diet, herbs, the practice of yoga techniques and spirituality. All components of yoga, that is, asanas (postures), pranayamas (regulation and control of breathe), meditation and Ayurveda are extremely effective in 'beating OCD'.

Asanas or physical postures/exercises help to relax a tense body, detoxify it, and burn off nervous energy. Pranayamas (regulation and control of breath) energize the body, help to calm the mind, enable it to focus better and thereby aid meditation. Meditation is one of the best methods to 'beat OCD'. It helps one to focus upon the problem and find means to solve it. It helps one to analyze one's thoughts, phobias, anxiety, and causes of panic by giving an insight into the tricks played by the mind. That in turn helps the patient to calm and control his/her mind. Some of the most effective methods of meditation that help beat OCD are Kundalini yoga, Transcendental Meditation, and Zen Meditation which lays emphasis on throwing away pessimistic and negative thoughts, and replacing them with pure, positive and powerful thoughts. Bhakti yoga, which involves prayers, worship, chanting of mantras, singing hymns and devotional songs and connecting with God that way, counters OCD through the power of faith. Sattvic (pure and healthy) diet and the use of herbs as described in Ayurveda, completes the process.

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