The term yoga itself is derived from a Sanskrit word that means “to join together”. It is a system of exercises for the mental well-being and physical development and combines different formalized poses with meditation and deep breathing exercises. Ideally main objective of yoga is to unite Universal spirit with human soul.
Yoga has its roots engraved for over 5000 years back and its founders were great sages who performed intense feats of both mental and physical concentration. Yoga ideally has it’s origins in the Vedas and preserves the oldest Indian culture. The Yoga ideally comprises different asanas that were described by the series of postures that was found by the sage Patanjali. Being the founder of different postures, Maharishi Patanjali was rightly called as the “Father of Yoga” that compiled and refined various aspects of Yoga in his “Yoga Sutras”. He promoted eight fold path of Yoga that is widely accepted and known as “Ashtanga Yoga” for the all-round development of human personality.
As per the Patanjali there are different channels in human body that are called Nadi and centers called chakra. If these channels and centers are tapped, there is hidden energy in the body that is released. The released form of energy is called kundalini.
The eight stages of yoga stated by Patanjali
The yama (universal moral commandments)
Niyama (self-purification through discipline)
Pranayama (breath control)
Pratyahara (withdrawal of mind from external objects)
Samadhi (state of super consciousness)
Besides the different stages in yoga, there are various forms of discipline touching different aspects of human life.
These disciplines include
Hathyoga (physical exercise)
Gyanayoga or Dhyana yoga (exercise for the mind & intellect)
Karmayoga (disciplined action in daily life)
Benfits of Yoga
There are many benefits of Yoga relating to physical and mental part of the body. In Yoga the ageing is considered as an artificial condition that is supremely caused via autointoxication or self-poisoning. It says that by keeping the body parts clean and well lubricated, cell deterioration can be decreased to great level. In order to get true benefits of Yoga one ought to follow three main guidelines i.e. pranayama, asanas and yoga nidra.
By regularly practicing the asanas one could keep complete control over the cholesterol level, normalize blood pressure, reduce weight and can improve the cardiac performance of the body. Ideally asanas harmonize the mental energy flow by cleaning the blockages in the subtle manner that leads to mental equilibrium and helps to attain calmness.
Pranayama is a breathing technique that helps in manipulating the energies. It in fact re-educates the practitioners about the breathing process and helps them to release tensions and develop a relaxed state of mind. It also augments the sleeping process, enhances the creativity and reduces the need for sleep. It increases the supply of oxygen to our brain, improves cerebral clarity and helps in bodily well-being.
Yoga nidra is also a form of meditation and helps in relaxing the physiological systems. It helps in rejuvenating body, mind and soul and helps develops a sense of well-being.
Doctors across the globe are prescribing meditation as a way to lower the body blood pressure and helps in recovering from health disorders as in asthmatics, insomnia and others. It is a safe and much simpler way to balance person’s physical, mental and emotional states. It helps in attaining more calm and focused state of mind.
There are different new techniques of meditation but it has one thing is common and that is quieting the busy mind. The forms of meditation can be segregated in to concentrative meditation and mindful meditation.
Concentrative mediation focuses on attaining synchronization in heart and mind along with a balance of breathe and image. It helps in developing stillness and allows greater awareness along with clarity to arise. Yoga practitioners believe that there is direct correlation between one’s state of mind and one’s breathing.
Mindful meditation comprises feelings, sensation, thoughts, sounds, smells and so forth. It involves becoming aware of the continuously passing parade of such emotions and feelings. Here the person has to quietly and simply witness broader comprehension and greater creativity. It helps in quieting the mind and allows one to hear one’s own inner wisdom.
Training in Yoga
It is a traditional method of staying physical fit and mentally strong and involves gentle stretching. Each asanas or posture comprises some of the body muscles that ensure complete body fitness.
Asanas such as Suryanamskara is an invocation to God Sun can be the best way to start your day. Whereas Sayasana involves meditation while lying flat on ones back and ensures a stress-free body and restores your sense of calm.