Many of us identify yoga as an art of exercising and majority of us who resist this natural art and science are basically not inclined to practice physical exercise strenuously. It is our inability to be flexible which further increases the resistance towards yoga. Only when we suffer a disease or disorder do we realise that yoga practice could probably help us out and revitalise the organs, … and then perhaps we give in to this ancient Indian practice. This write up is dedicated to the basic facts about yoga so that we are more educated about the realities and are less affected by myths.
Yoga is an ancient Indian practice, which literally means ‘union’ in Sanskrit. This union refers to the unison of body and soul, physical body and the mental processes along with the spirit. After all, both mind and soul perform their functions through the physical body and hence for good activity and productive life the unison between the three is indispensable. It is this coordination and unison which is achieved by yoga, a science as well as an art. The physical exercise in yoga which all of us have heard of is only one of the several ways of ascertaining the balance between the mind and body. The other forms are breathing techniques referred as pranayama and mind concentration in form of dhyana. Meditation runs hand in hand with yoga kriya and it is because of this that saints in early Indian culture used to concentrate and perform dhyana activites to increase their concentration and exercise their mind to further strengthen the same.
Even in today’s modern world, the significance of yoga is the same if not increased since early Indian civilisation. Hectic life styles, sedentary occupations, intake of preserved foods and stress in the minds all lead to a reduced activity of the mind on account of confusions. This in turn leads to inability of the body since an ill mind can only spoil the host and this causes various diseases and disorders. The asanas or yogic exercise is the form of yoga through which people can attain a better body which is more capable of tackling the stress factors and lifestyle of today. This is because the flexibility and tone of the body muscles and organs is increased to suit the need of the hour. A few benefits of yogic asanas are mentioned below:
- Increased flexibility and tone of muscles on account of stretching exercises.
- Good lubrication of joints which in turn keep many diseases of bone and joints way since the whole system of body is stimulated.
- A good massage of internal organs like the prostate gland is provided by asanas due to which the performance of the organs is increased manifold.
- By increasing the blood supply to various organs and to the remote most end of the body, the oxygen supply increases and toxins from throughout the body are flushed out. This revitalises the body as a whole.
- During pregnancy, simple yogic asanas keep the baby and the mother in a comfortable position and provide good blood supply to both.
- Instead of dieting, yoga can help you achieve a flat stomach and get rid of the belly in a scientific way. This is because of stretching exercises.
- Good postures by aligning the spine are attained by yogic asanas.
- Better thinking ability, good memory and avoidance of stress and anxiety are some of the results of continuous yoga practice.
Yoga food (Diet and Nutrition)
One of the reasons why early civilisations didn’t have cancer and tumour patients is that they always had better food. Better in the sense that the food was better tolerated by their bodies. This food is yogic food which is always is a state as close as possible to the form available in nature. In other words, complicated cooking, preservative addition, processing and refining should be avoided and only to eat food in a simpler form.
Hence, yoga is not only exercise. It is a way of life and everyone can benefit from the same. So say yes to yoga and adopt a healthier life.