Yoga is an ancient practice which was originated in India. Right from the Vedic period to the phase of modern India, yoga’s significance is widely known and spread all over the world. According to the Vedas, Lord Shiva, or the first yogi, made this term possible and turned it into a great experience. It was from him that the seven disciples (whom we call Saptarishis) have gained knowledge and went to different places in the country to teach this practice and divine experience to others.
One among them came to South India – Agasthya Muni. But it is said that the father of yoga was the Great Maharshi, Pathanjali, who has summarized one type of yoga, i.e. Ashtanga Yoga, in his work ‘Yoga Darshan’. The debate about the origin of yoga in India continues, but irrespective of who started it, it has a huge impact on everyone.
One can practice yoga for both physical health and spiritual health. Today, yoga is considered and practised only for health purposes. Still, previously, it was a stepping stone to reach the “ultimate state”, the supreme of oneself or in other words, Moksha, to break the karmic cycles and unite with the creation. One who wants to choose the spiritual path takes this seriously and prepares themselves through a series of actions to reach there. One who wants to be healthy but nothing else also opts for yoga for its numerous benefits.
There are many types of Yoga known to us. Few of them are
- Ashtanga yoga – teaches discipline over the mind.
- Hatha yoga – the discipline of body and life
- Bhakti yoga- the discipline of emotions
- Karma yoga – the discipline of actions
- Kriya yoga – the discipline of energy
- Jnana yoga – the discipline of intellect
1.Ashtanga yoga teaches discipline over the mind. It has eight different steps to attain it.
2.Hatha yoga involves a set of asanas in which we use different body postures to attain the breath’s correctness.
3.Bhakti yoga is the yoga that involves devotion to reach the ultimate.
4. Karma yoga focuses on attaining perfectness or righteousness in our action by not getting ourselves entangled with any of the results.
5. Kriya yoga uses the inner energy present in the body to move within and reach the ultimate.
6. Jnana yoga is using the knowledge to realize and reach the ultimate.
The need for yoga is not only a practice to be followed by the body to be fit but is a science with a vision to enhance one’s life in every way possible.
Everyone today is so stressed out with their work and issues that they face health problems or mental illness. Yoga gets the discipline in your life and helps to get control over your mind and body.
Yoga and meditation are interrelated. Sometimes people see them differently, but meditation is only possible when you breathe the right way, be aware of your senses and mind, and yoga sets a meditation path.
Few of the famous and helpful Yoga-asanas are
- Suryanamaskar involves 12 postures that improve flexibility and provides work out for the whole body.
3. Ardha Siddhasana: sitting in an erect position with crossed legs and palms-on thighs and face slightly turned upwards to attain focus between eyebrows which helps to attain concentration and is preferable meditation.
4. Anulom and Vilom pranayama: also known as Sukhakriya, improves and stabilizes the breath.
5. Dhanurasana: it helps increase energy in our body and treats PCOD problems in women.
The advantages of yoga to our physical bodies.
- Reduction of weight.
- Cures joint problems and increases the flexibility of the body.
- Controls Diabetes and hypertension.
- Keeps the mind alert, aware and conscious.
- Improves the digestive and respiratory system.
There can be side effects of yoga, too, if it is not practised under supervision.
- Gastric troubles
- Discomfort in stomach and throat
- Body pains
If any of the above problems appear, it is advised to immediately stop doing whatever you are practising and consult a doctor and your yoga trainer.
Practising yoga from a book will be a terrible mistake as one needs to know the asanas and how and when to breathe while doing them. Yoga is to be learnt, not to be read.
Few tips while practising yoga are
- Do it with an empty stomach.
- Do not drink water in between asanas.
- Wear loose clothes.
- Always learn from a trainer.
Yoga can transform one’s life amazingly; it improves your health, stabilizes your emotions and lets you realize your true self. Yoga increases the quality of your life by improving individuals physically, emotionally and spiritually. Yoga cannot be understood but can be experienced alone as it is an art of living.
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Writing is my passion and motivation as it inspires my own soul and others. . Poet by heart. Blogger & avid reader. Woman with Wanderlust.