Yoga is an ancient practice which was originated in India. From the Vedic period to the phase of modern India, yoga’s significance is widely known and spread worldwide. 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) gained knowledge and went to different places in the country to teach this practice and religious 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 it significantly impacts everyone, irrespective of who started it.
Today, yoga is considered and practiced 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. One can practice for both physical health and spiritual health.
1. Types of Yoga
Ashtanga teaches discipline over the mind. It has eight different steps to attain it.
Hatha involves a set of asanas in which we use different body postures to attain the breath’s correctness.
Bhakti is one that involves devotion to reach the ultimate.
Karma focuses on attaining perfectness or righteousness in our actions by not getting ourselves entangled with any of the results.
Kriya uses the inner energy present in the body to move within and reach the ultimate.
Jnana uses the knowledge to realize and reach the ultimate.
The need for it 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. It gives discipline in your life and helps control 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 sets a meditation path.
2. Famous Helpful Asanas
Suryanamaskar involves 12 postures that improve flexibility and work out for the whole body.
Patangasana is a motion of flapping like a butterfly, it helps thighs and groin stretch.
2.3. 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 to meditation.
2.4. Anulom and Vilom Pranayama
Also known as Sukhakriya, improves and stabilizes the breath.
This asana helps increase energy in our body and treats PCOD problems in women.
3. The 5 Advantages
- 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 systems.
4. Side Effects if Not Practiced 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 practicing and consult a doctor and your trainer.
Practicing 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. It is to be learned, not to be read.
5. Tips While Practicing
- 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. It increases the quality of your life by improving individuals physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It cannot be understood but can be experienced alone as it is an art of living.