Yoga- I wonder if there is anyone I have met who does not know Yoga. Off late Yoga asanas have been commercialized to a level that the kids from first grade can actually give you some know-hows on yoga, a trick or two may be!
To give you context- Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritualpractice or discipline which originated in India.
International Yoga Day, or Yoga Day, is celebrated on June 21. This was declared so by United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on December 11, 2014. The International Yoga Day received a huge response from all over the world. This would definitely want to make you know a thing or two about Yoga.
Yoga is the perfect activity to amalgamate the healing benefit of the mind and body, all under one roof and with simple and easy exercises. Of course, not all of the Yoga exercises, Yoga Sans as they are called in the Vedic scriptures, are an easy task to perform.
However, in today’s age, it is not very difficult to learn Yoga. With the commercialization of Yoga throughout the world, there are multiple Yoga and Art of Living Houses set-up.
Do not be surprised if your google results for nearest Yoga Centres shows you multiple results.
The History of Yoga
There is a potent question of doubt on the veracity of the history of yoga, as there are multiple texts that claim the history of yoga.
The early writings on yoga were transcribed on fragile palm leaves that were easily damaged, destroyed or lost. The development of yoga can be traced back to over 5,000 years ago, but some researchers think that yoga may be up to 10,000 years old. Pinpointing the exact date of Yoga practices‘ commencement is still under scholars’ disputes since there are various historical assertions on the settlers in the (erstwhile) India’s east, west and central Indian landscape. Yoga’s long rich history can be divided into four main periods of innovation, practice and development.
- Pre- Vedic
- Vedic (1700-500 BC)
- Pre-Classical Era (500-200 BC)
- Classical Era (20 BCE- 500 CE)
What is the Purpose of Yoga asanas?
The process of yoga is an ascent into the purity of the absolute perfection that is the essential state of all human beings. This goal requires the removal of our enveloping personal impurities, the stilling of our lower feelings and thoughts. The establishment of a state of inner balance and harmony. All the methods of yoga are based on the perfection of our personalities and may help to create a new world order.
The purpose of Yoga is to drive you towards a successful and healthy life, with a calm and well-balanced mind and a healthy body.
Yoga is based on the four pillars that are designed to fine tune your life. These four pillars
The meaning of the word is synonymous with your very purpose in life—with having the strength to get up each day and do what needs to be done.
Artha is the material comfort you need to live in the world with ease. Artha is the capital, the computer, the business suit or anything that is materialistic that you need to get your dharma done. In one sentence, Artha is that which supports your life’s mission.
The Kama is the desire for pleasure. As much as The Kama gets bad press, it is essentially not all that involves sensual pleasure.
Sensual pleasure though being a part of Kama, it is also art, beauty, intimacy, fellowship, and kindness. It’s what brings a sense of delight to our lives. And there can be a pleasure even in sacrifice too.
In the most elevated sense, moksha means achieving nirvana, or the complete liberation from the cycle of incarnation.
It is the freedom from suffering, from what blocks your potential, freedom from the fear of expressing your true self. It is the freedom from holding back a million ways to discover yourself.
1Benefits of Yoga for the Mind
According to a recent study, a consistent yoga asanas practice drives out depression and leads to a significant increase in serotonin levels. This decreases the levels of monoamine oxidase (an enzyme that breaks down neurotransmitters) and cortisol.
At the University of Wisconsin, Richard Davidson, Ph.D., found that the left prefrontal cortex showed heightened activity in meditators, a finding that has been correlated with greater levels of happiness and better immune function.
So the next time you are feeling sad, go sit and do some yoga asanas- help yourself to be happy.
You will find that Healthy Lifestyle! A regular practice of Yoga asanas gets you moving more which causes to burn your calories.
Moreover, the spiritual and emotional dimensions of your practice may encourage you to address any eating and weight problems on a deeper level.
While rigorous exercises make one sweat out and make to feel tired, after performing yoga asanas one feels recharged with inner power and physical relief.
An important component of yoga is focusing on the present. Studies have found that regular yoga practice improves coordination, reaction time, memory, and even IQ scores.
People who demonstrate Yoga asanas regularly have the ability to solve problems and acquire information better. The reason is that they’re less distracted by their thoughts, which helps them focus on the present with the minutest detail possible.
4Yoga asanas Relax the System
Yoga asanas inspire you to relax- with the regular process of “slow your breath, and focus on the present” it helps you shift the balance from the sympathetic nervous system to the parasympathetic nervous system.
The latter is soothing and recuperative since it lowers breathing and heart rates, decreases blood pressure and increases blood flow to the intestines and reproductive organs which comprise of the relaxation response. A healthy pulse rate is ensured by breath in and breath out practice.
5Improve the Balance Control
Regularly practicing yoga asanas increases proprioception (the ability to feel what your body is doing and where it is in space) and improves balance.
6Peace of Mind
Yoga asanas quell the fluctuations of the mind. In layman terms, it slows down the mental loops of frustration, regret, anger, fear, and desire that can cause stress.
With most of the modern day health problems being caused due to stress, if you learn to quiet your mind, you’ll be likely to live longer and healthier.
7Boosts the Self Esteem and Increases Inner Strength
A large number of the population today suffers from chronic low self-esteem. By taking a positive approach and practicing yoga, you’ll sense, initially, in brief, glimpses and later in more sustained views, that you’re worthwhile or, as yogic philosophy teaches, that you are a manifestation of the Divine.
Tapas, the Sanskrit word for “heat,” is the fire, the discipline that fuels yoga practice and that regular practice builds. With an extended practice of Yoga you may find that without making a particular effort to change things, you start to eat better, exercise more, or finally, quit smoking and drinking after years of failed attempts.
8It will also benefit your Relationships!
Nurturing the emotional support of friends, family, and the community has been demonstrated repeatedly to improve health and healing. A regular yoga practice helps develop friendliness, compassion, and greater equanimity.
9Improve the Body Flexibility
An improved flexibility is one of the major benefits of yoga. You probably will not be able to touch your toes initially. However, with regular Yoga, there will be a gradual loosening of muscles and you will be able to do rigorous Yoga with time. The chronic body pains will alleviate with time.
10Build Muscle Strength
You will also build strong muscles with Yoga balancing it with flexibility. They also protect from medical conditions like arthritis and back pain. Yoga asanas definitely not make one become like Arnold or Sylvester Stallone but make all the muscles to act swiftly and remain in normal levels.
11A perfect posture!
Yoga helps you maintain a balanced posture. When your head is balanced directly over an erect spine, it takes much less work for your neck and back muscles to support it.
12It Prevents Cartilage and Joint Breakdown
A regular practice of Yoga takes your joints through a complete motion which helps prevent degenerative arthritis or mitigate a disability. Joint cartilage is like a sponge; it receives fresh nutrients only when its fluid is squeezed out and a new supply can be soaked up.
Yoga is like a weight-bearing exercise that strengthens the bones and helps ward off osteoporosis. Many postures in yoga require that you lift your own weight which helps strengthen the arm bones, which are particularly vulnerable to osteoporotic fractures.
14An Increased Blood Flow!
The relaxation exercises you learn in yoga can help your circulation as it gets more oxygen to your cells, which function better as a result. Twisting poses are thought to squeeze out venous blood from internal organs and allow oxygenated blood to flow in once the twist is released. Inverted poses, such as Headstand, Handstand, and Shoulder-stand, encourage venous blood from the legs and pelvis to flow back to the heart, where it can be pumped to the lungs to be freshly oxygenated. This can help if you have to swell in your legs from heart or kidney problems.
15A higher heart rate and a lower blood pressure
With regular Yoga, you get your heart rate into the aerobic range with a lower risk of heart attack and relieved depression. While not all yoga is aerobic, with regular Yoga Asthana, it boosts your heart rate into the aerobic range.
16Boosts Your Immune System!
Asana and pranayama probably improve immune function. They have a beneficial effect on the functioning of the immune system where they boost it when needed (for example, raising antibody levels in response to a vaccine) and lowering it when needed.
All the above give a correct picture on Yoga, which rekindles the blood circulation, duly activates the pancreas, removes the unwanted gasses out of your digestive system and thus pose as a Healthcare support to avoid medical care and expenses at a later stage.
Yoga is one of the most effective ways of balancing the modern day life with the benefits it has for the mind and the body. It is the amalgamation of the exercises required for a balanced mind with a healthy body.