Yoga means not only contemplation but also communion and yoking all powers of the body, mind and soul to God. It is a very ancient and efficient system of disciplines and controls designed to produce the integration of the body, mind and spirit. It also achieves higher states of awareness and self–realization by methodical efforts to attain perfection.
The therapeutic benefits obtained by performing the asanas are well known. The circulation of the blood is improved, tensions can be removed, and a feeling of well–being is induced. The muscles are strengthened, nerves soothed and physical endurance is increased. One important aspect is that blood vessels and nerves for the internal organs are “Massaged” by the twists and bending, ensuring proper functioning. Ageing bodies can have fewer aches and pains, stiffening of joints can be healed and depression alleviated.
Often mentioned are the following divisions of yoga
- Hatha Yoga
Concerned, primarily with the body and the asanas.
- Bhakti Yoga
Path of love and devotion.
- Mantra Yoga
Recitation and repetition of words and verses.
- Karma Yoga
Service through action and work.
- Jnana Yoga
The intellectual path.
- Raja Yoga
Synthesis of Bhakti, Karma and Janan.
- Laya Yoga
The secret path, the ‘Yoga of Dissolution’.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is a philosophy brought down diligently through the ages. And, it has acquired more significance now because of the “Stressed out” way of life that we live in this fast paced world filled with pressure, anxiety and energy consuming routine.
In ancient times, the seven stages of yoga consisted of
- Eyama–Good deeds
- Niyama–Stoping bad habits
- Pratikaharan–Special diet
- Samadhi–Submitting oneself to die
What we are trying to do here is not drill into your head that it is some kind of an exercise that has to be done. IT is certainly not so because it is just not some form of an exercise or some form of a routine that has to be rigidly followed. It is more of a philosophy and it has to become a part of yourself as much as eating, brushing your teeth, combing your hair or even breathing.
And, once it pervades your system there is no way that any thing can take its place. It becomes so much of a second nature to you that you find it difficult to even imagine that how you had lived without it for so long. And this, is no exaggeration–it is the pure and simple truth itself.
How is Yoga different from exercise?
|Reduces heart beat||Enhances heart beat|
|Charges energy leading to less food requirement||Discharges energy leading to increased food requirement|
|Reduces tension||Increases tension|
|Leads to calm and composure||Gives went to aggression|
Stimulation and rejuvenation of the system can be achieved through pavana mukth asana and pranayama (breathing exercises).