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Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word “yuj” which means to unite or to join. Even though, people tend to think that yoga is a series of exercises with twisted body poses, it is not so. Basically, it helps you to connect with your inner spirit, which is essentially divine and is connected to the universal spirit or God. Yoga is an ancient Indian practice dealing with the well being of human mind, body and spirit

The principles of yoga, called Yogasutra, were given by Patanjali, a saint philosopher and a physician, who lived around 3 centuries before Christ. He is known as the founder of yoga. These sutras are timeless and hold true even today. They help you to lead a blissful life by improving your physical, emotional and spiritual well-being

Types Of Yoga

Although people associate yoga with only exercises or asanas as they are commonly called, yoga is of many types. The most popular type is Hatha Yoga.

This type of yoga contains various types of asanas and is beneficial in improving the body strength and flexibility. Karma yoga teaches you the way of right action without expecting the fruits of labour and offering the activity as the service to almighty. You learn devotion and unconditional love for the divine by Bhakti Yoga. Answer to your deeper questions like: who am I, Where do I come from, - come from Jnana Yoga. Control your mind and be free from worldly attachments by practicing Raja Yoga. Kundalini Yoga releases the energy present in the chakras or energy centers in your body by teaching you deep breathing. Tantric Yoga worships the feminine energy and teaches you to look at your body as a source of divine.
Practice Yoga
Yoga is a series of exercises that is performed to improve health and flexibility. People of any age, sex or any fitness level can practice yoga. The beauty of yoga is that it is highly flexible, so you can modify yoga techniques to meet your need. If you have mobility problems, use chair to perform yoga. Office-goers can try the deep-breathing practices to relieve their stress.
Sportsmen and physically active people can use the strengthening techniques to enhance their activities. Children can increase their attention span by using yoga techniques. Seniors can use yoga techniques to improve the body mobility and the flexibility of their joints. Doctors recommend yoga practices for the people with cardiac problems.
Tips for great yoga Practice
Adopt a positive attitude. Set manageable goals. Start with simple exercises and as you progress, increase your intensity. Record your progress so that you can note down your experiences, thoughts and anything else. Practice yoga on an empty stomach or 3 hours after a meal. Avoid smoking, drinking, drugs, non-veg and fried foods. Keep your meals simple. Do your practice at the time convenient to you. But mornings till 9.00 am are preferable since they are neither too hot nor cold.
Creating Yoga Environment
Yoga can be practiced at any time of the day. Choosing to practice in the morning energizes you and the relaxed, soothing practice helps to wind up in the evening. The room should be airy, clean and well lit. Avoid air conditioners. Play soft music or yoga cassettes and keep incense sticks in the room to clean the air. If possible, keep some flowers in the room.
Benefits of Yoga
  • Brings down stress and enhances powers of relaxation
  • Boosts physical strength, stamina and flexibility
  • Bestows greater powers of concentration and self control
  • Inculcates impulse Control
  • Helps in rehabilitation of old and new injuries
  • Intensifies tolerance to pain and enhancing mental clarity
  • Boosts functioning of the immune system
  • Enhances posture and muscle tone
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Results in healthy, glowing skin
  • Cleanses and improves overall organ functioning
  • Bestows peace of mind and a more positive outlook to life
  • Infuses a sense of balance and internal harmony
Best of all, Yoga is highly therapeutic. Some of the ailments proven to be relieved, reversed and even healed through the practice of Yoga are acidity , allergies, alzheimer disease, anemia, anger, anxiety, arthritis, asthma, back pain, bronchitis, cancer, carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic fatigue, colitis, common cold, constipation, depression, diabetes, epilepsy, eye problems, facial wrinkles, gastro-intestinal disorders, headaches, heartburn, hemorrhoids, hepatitis, high blood pressure, hypertension, immune-deficiency, impotence, menopause, menstrual cramps, migraines, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, nervous tension, obesity, osteoporosis, prostate, enlargement, sciatica, skin problems, sleep apnea, slipped disk, sterility, stiffness, stress, insomnia, intoxication, thyroid problems, kidney stones, stuttering and stammering, urinary tract disorders for women, vaginal infections and many more...
So, if Yoga has varied and immense physical benefits, what exactly is Yoga?
Yoga is a 5000 year old science whose teachings were first imparted not in a classroom or Gurukul, but on the battle field. In the epic Mahabharata, the sage, Lord Krishna is first said to have imparted the teachings of Yoga to his despondent student Arjuna. Around 1500 years later, another sage, Patanjali, went on to enunciate, for the benefit of humankind and eternity, the way to reach the summom bonum of life through a series of 195 aphorisms (sutras) in his epic treatise The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
Derived from the Sanskrit root “Yujir Yogey” meaning to unite, to yoke, to join, to put together, Yoga is not about mind over body. On the other hand,
Yoga is about developing harmony between them. In Yoga, you use your mind to perceive (diagnose) and guide (heal) your body. Never control, let alone force it!
Yoga is a way of life, a conscious act, not a set or series of learning principles. The dexterity, grace, and poise you cultivate, as a matter of course, is the natural outcome of regular practice. You require no major effort. In fact trying hard will turn your practices into a humdrum, painful, even injurious routine and will eventually slow down your progress. Subsequently, and interestingly, the therapeutic effect of Yoga is the direct result of involving the mind totally in inspiring (breathing) the body to awaken.
Contrary to popular – or unpopular – perception, Yoga positions are not about how far you can reach to touch your toes or how many repetitions you can perform. It is all about paying attention to how your body feels; how it moves without that excruciating pain or agony! Yoga is all about breathing correctly about integrating that breath into your being. Conscious Yoga doesn’t call for you to force or strain your never or sinew. Meaning to say, right Yoga is learning how to do things right, do less that gets you more!
Ironically, by doing less – correctly – Yoga enhances your strength, energy, vitality, flexibility and levels of endurance. Accordingly, your body and mind start to become more balanced until, eventually, you find it takes so much less energy to move through the day. Yes, any and everyone can do less…and get a lot, lot more!