The world celebrates International Yoga Day on June 21 every year. The UN has accepted the celebration of Yoga Day. International Yoga Day is being observed in 190 countries around the world. Millions of people from one corner of the world to another showcase yoga postures. It shows that they have adopted Yoga to their day-to-day activities to keep themselves mentally physically fit. Do you have any idea about Yoga? How, why, and where it was first originated? Most importantly, what is the benefits of Yoga?
What is Yoga?
The term “Yoga” has been taken from the Sanskrit word “Yoke” which means union. Yoga is performed to find the balance and union between the mind and body. India is the land of the origination of Yoga. Yoga is an ancient science and consists of various disciplines of body and mind.
It is said that Yoga was originated in India 2500 years ago. Though it is a thousand-year-old science, it is still in practice for overall health and well-being. Yoga term is also based on a Sanskrit word “Yuja” which means to connect or culminate or concur. It’s the culmination of body and mind that is the culmination of soul and universal spirit. This is also the culmination of Purush( Yin) and Prakriti (Yang).
There is a misconception about Yoga that it is purely about physical fitness and workouts. Then, there is also another misconception that Yoga is all about Asanas or body movements or complex forms of body postures. These body postures are difficult to perform and make the body supple. Yoga postures are much more than just body movements or fitness tricks. Yoga is just a way of life and is not a ritual to be performed. It is a habit and can be integrated into our lives to achieve liberation or Moksha. It can make a huge difference in our day-to-day lives. The benefits of yoga are enormous.
Why do Yoga?
The process of yoga is a combination of all aspects of our lives whether it is physical, psychological, or spiritual. It is aimed at achieving holistic health as it deals with the union of body and mind. When we are in the process of repairing our body, we would be able to repair our minds. If there is a pain in our body, it would be difficult for us to stay relaxed.
Yoga is formed up a series of physical postures and mental awakening that provides peace and happiness. Acrobatic postures are just one aspect of it. The physical aspect involves body movements or postures, focused breathing techniques, concentration and discipline. There is a greater integration among body, mind, and spirit.
The very foundation of traditional yoga rests on the careful alignment of your body parts as you take different postures during workouts. It brings a tremendous amount of refreshment and rejuvenation to the body, brain, and nerve system so that it will amount to greater physical and mental growth. How do you access the benefits of Yoga?
Types of Yoga
- Bhakti Yoga: It is the practice of spirituality focusing on developing a state of devotion in mind and heart.
- Karma Yoga: Karma is an important aspect of human life and is related to our thoughts, feelings & actions. Yoga balances out the inequalities present within our spirit and universe.
- Kundalini Yoga: Kundalini yoga has been originated from the practice of tantra yoga. Tantra is one of the oldest forms of spirituality and the incorporation of kundalini helps in controlling and harnessing the potential of the kundalini energy within your body.
- Hatha Yoga: The practice of Hatha yoga balances the two polarities of energy inside the body and purifies body and mind. It is more about physical exercises.
- Raja Yoga: Raja yoga is the path of intuition and psychic perception. Both these facilities are needed for spiritual growth. It is believed that Raja yoga obtains substantial transformation during the practice of yoga.
- Jnana Yoga: It means ‘Union through Wisdom.’ Jana yoga encourages the belief in God or the supreme power. It is a process of deduction through which the practitioner observes all aspects of life.
Five Principles of Yoga
- Proper Exercise – Posture or Āsana
- Proper Breathing – Prāṇāyāma
- Proper Relaxation – Śavāsana
- Proper Diet – Vegetarian
- Positive Thinking & Meditation – Vedānta and Dhyāna.
Benefits Of Yoga
The integration of Yoga into meditation and breathing brings mental well-being to the person concerned. If Yoga is practiced regularly, it helps in achieving mental clarity and serenity. It increases bodily consciousness and relieves chronic mental depression or stress. It relaxes and refreshes the mind and creates better concentration. Yoga finds exceptional peace and balance between body and mind and has three main elements- Meditation, Breathing, and Exercise. Yoga improves muscular & postural strength.
- We often feel tired and down and out after long hours of work. In such cases, if we perform some Yoga postures or asanas, it could help in preventing pain in the neck and spine.
- When you perform yoga postures and asanas, it will bring greater flexibility to your body. For example, you can easily touch your toes while bending forward.
- Yoga helps in strengthening your muscles and tones up them so that it prevents muscle strain.
- It boosts up the metabolic system of our body and retains body vitality. It streamlines your eating habits.
- Yoga lowers blood sugar and controls body cholesterol. It brings weight loss and improves the body’s acclimatization to insulin.
- The workouts involved in Yoga streamline your blood flow to all parts of the body.
- Yoga exercises have a hugely beneficial impact on the immune system. It not only destroys various viruses during season change but also boosts up our immunity system to fight diseases.
- Regular practicing of yoga will have a positive and refreshing effect on your body and mind with a positive mindset.
- Breathing exercises improve lung functioning and in the long run, it protects it from respiratory problems and diseases.
- Yoga reduces stress and brings peace and calmness to the mind. It keeps your body fit.
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