A neural pathway to peace

The Saltspring Centre

Your cell phone won’t stop ringing and those emails, each demanding an immediate response, keep piling up. You become an adrenaline and cortisol factory and that malevolent duo of stress hormones is further fuelled by that double-double you gulped in the car. “The brain is a wonderful organ,” wrote American poet Robert Frost. “It starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office.”

We live in hectic times. According to studies at the US National Institutes of Health, approximately 90 percent of all illnesses are caused or aggravated by stress. And stress annihilates brain cells. Little wonder we are increasingly turning to Eastern contemplative traditions to assuage the slings and arrows of anxiety. By a wide margin, yoga tops the list of Eastern meditative practices in North America. According to NAMASTA, the North American Studio Alliance, 1.4 million Canadians now practice yoga, an increase of 45.4 percent from 2003. Furthermore, the Print Measurement Bureau, a Canadian non-profit agency measuring consumer behaviour, reports that about 2.1 million Canadians say they intend to try yoga within the next 12 months.

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