Introduction to Yoga
The word Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit root yuj meaning to bind, join, attach and yoke, to direct and concentrate one’s attention on, to use and apply. It also means union or communion with God or Nature. Yoga is one of the six orthodox systems of Indian Philosophy. Five thousand years back it was collated, co-ordinated and systematized by great sage Patanjali in his classical work, the Yoga sutras. All the Yoga that is practiced in different parts of the world is derived from this classical work.
Yoga an exercise regime or a way of life
Yoga is indeed a very rewarding form of exercise, it is not just exercise. It is a way of life. When a person practices yoga, he or she embarks upon a journey into world of self-discovery and spiritual growth and experience both physical and mental changes over time. Yoga harmonizes thought, action and speech. It is based on 5 holistic principles
1> Proper exercise
2> Proper breathing
3> Proper diet
4> Proper relaxation
5> Positive thinking or meditation
It is this umbrella approach of yoga that differentiates it from solely physically-oriented pursuits such as aerobics or weight training. Thus, yoga is a strict and holistic discipline that has no shortcuts. Physical exercise focuses on the health of body, but yoga focuses on the health of mind, body and spiritual growth. The superficial nature of physical exercise draws life energy out of the body while yoga draws in the life energy within a person and contributes to spiritual growth.
The science of Yoga and its benefits
The basic principles of Yoga help people streamline their habits by strengthening the mind and body. On the physical level, asanas or postures generate oxygen in the blood and strengthen spine and brain centers. Combined with breathing and meditation, yoga relaxes entire nervous system and releases stress in the mind and body.
The society that we live in is plagued by sedentary jobs where workers sit most of the day. This leads to reduced muscle mass, fitness and flexibility. In addition, office work increases neck and shoulder strain from hunching over a computer all day. Yoga poses focus on stretching and lengthening muscles. Increased flexibility will help you with daily movements such as lifting and bending, while improving sports performance. Many athletes incorporate yoga into their workout schedules to improve or maintain flexibility
Both yoga and meditation improve mental focus and provide a general feeling of well being. Many yoga disciplines are based around an upbeat theme. Meditation provides an emotional boost through deep relaxation, and it can be done anywhere. You can give yourself an emotional boost by taking a 10-Minute break right at your desk. Just simply shut your eyes, focus on relaxing your muscles and practice deep breathing.
Studies suggest that practicing yoga improves fitness and body awareness, leading to better eating habits. This in turn leads to increased self-esteem and the desire to take care of your body. Practicing meditation or yoga is a behavior modification technique that can help you improve your overall fitness.
Reducing your stress level, eating healthier and getting more exercise can lead to better health. Modern life is full of stressful situation, fatigue from long hours and little sleep, allergies, anxiety disorders and a long list of stress-related diseases. Adding yoga and meditation to your life will improve the quality and possibility the quantity of your life. Improved health means you can participate in more physical activities and just feel better in the things you do daily.
Hence Yoga is not merely stretching up your body parts as form of other exercises, it is a technique an scientific approach for dealing with yourselves and tying to understand the so called sophisticated and yet complex machine that is none other than Human Body. So let’s start making Yoga as way of Life.