Regular practice of Yoga and its asanas helps us in living a healthy lifestyle. Get details on Yoga and its health benefits.
Yoga in India
Yoga - Yoga is an ancient science, an extensive body of knowledge that has been revived and refined over centuries. For those who rely on foolproof evidence, some of the earliest evidences of yoga practices can be seen in prehistoric stone seals found at Mohen-jo-Daro. Haven't we all, at some point in time, heard someone citing Sage Patanjali's yoga sutras or suggesting yoga practices? Yoga provides a scientific basis for our physical, mental and spiritual existence.
Yoga advocates four distinct paths - Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Raja Yoga and Jnana Yoga. However, it is Raja Yoga that centers on the practice of meditation. The eight limbs propounded by Sage Patanjali Maharishi in the Yoga Sutras are yama and niyama (the ten ethics) asana (posture), pranayama (breath-control), pratyahara (sense-withdrawal), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (oneness).
Meaning of Yoga
Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word 'yuj' meaning 'union'. This union implies the complete union of body and mind through breath control methods, scientific asanas and postures. The yoga teachings comprise all spiritual soul-liberating traditions of ancient India including yogic path and meditation. The second sutra of Patanjali defines Yoga as the cessation of all wandering thoughts, letting the mind focus on a single thought. Thus, yoga practices take you into the deep, unexplored centre of your own self-revealing your own potentialities.
The philosophy of yoga has left its vast imprint on yogis and sages through generations. But with the wide availability of techniques and aids for disseminating teachings of yoga, yoga has reached everyone, from householders to students and professionals in every field. In its practical aspect, yoga can be easily integrated into all aspects of one's life. Given its wide scope, there is always something new to explore. You can focus on your particular needs by applying correctly the knowledge and practice of yoga postures, breathing techniques, yogic knowledge and meditation. 'Pranayama', for instance, is a very effective technique of breath control, and allows one to control the flow of life-force.
Benefits of Yoga
The way yoga is interwoven with our daily life, it is easy to understand how from our childhood days, we are brought up on the importance of inculcating positive values. Constant practice of yoga, thus, tunes us to sound mental habits and attitudes that lead to true happiness and success in every aspect of our lives.
It is a generally known fact that negative qualities lead to inner restlessness and diseases. Through the careful regimen of diet, routine, breathing and yoga postures, one can derive extraordinary benefits. Some of the benefits of Yoga are:
- Clarity of thought and vision
- Vitality and strength to do productive work
- Strong will-power to ward off addiction of any kind
- Renewed sexual energies
- Health benefits for people with heart problems, arthritis, diabetes and other diseases
- Keeps chronic problems such as hypertension and migraine at bay