It is an ancient practice rooted in Indian philosophy. Yoga, which is important
to Hinduism and Buddhism, involves certain types of movements using different
motions believed to be important in achieving physical, mental and spiritual
wellness. Many people think of it is a religious practice, when it is not.
Although yoga attempts to unite one's soul with one's surroundings, it is in
fact a scientific approach to achieving physical and spiritual discipline.
Much of yoga's practice has to do with posture and breathing, or the realignment
of the body, combined with meditation. If a person practices yoga regularly, he
will find that with the right movements and breathing, an awakening should also
take place within his psyche. Hence, while yoga attempts to tone a person's body
muscles, it also attempts to cleanse his frame of mind and the way he views life.
Why practice yoga? The simple answer would have to be that it makes a person
feel a lot better --- physically, emotionally and mentally. Those who have
mastered yoga are said to manifest far greater tolerance with people and
situations. They know how their body works and they use this knowledge
efficiently. Yoga helps one become conscious of what will hurt the body and the
mind, and employ ways to support or protect this.
Among the benefits of yoga include:
PHYSICAL Cures fatigue Cures headaches Eases multiple sclerosis
Cures back pain Helps alleviate high blood pressure Relieves muscle pains
Improves muscles Increases stamina Improves circulation inside the body
Boosts immune system Improves posture Revitalizes internal organs
MENTAL/EMOTIONAL Helps self esteem Improves patience Cleanses the
mind from clouded judgments
Boosts concentration Boosts creativity Helps relieve stress Gives you
discipline Types of Yoga
The practice of yoga involves many types. It has a total of eight methods, each
unique and independent of each other.
Breathing regulation (pranayama)
Sense withdrawal (pratyaha)
Today, yoga practice still involves elements rooted in ancient tradition and
principles. Instructions are made by "gurus" who provide "mantras" to the
students, while they are doing their breathing exercises.
Yoga postures have to be learned slowly. Forcing someone to do the movements
when he is not yet ready might leave him easily fatigued and could cause adverse
These are some of the postures done in yoga:
Bending forward and backward
Each position is required to be held for a couple of minutes while the person is
also doing breathing exercises and meditation. Meditation concentration may
differ among practitioners. Some concentrate on enhancing the third eye, while
others concentrate on cleansing the chakra (heart). And some meditate to honor
deity or attain inner peace.
Yoga must be practiced for a minimum of ten minutes daily; doing so helps keep
the body limber and the mind clearer. Select an area where one can freely move
and stretch comfortably, with no disturbances like TV or radio and loud answer
phones or kids and pets. It is best to practice yoga barefooted wearing loose
and relaxed clothing.
Treat yoga as a process you have to continually pursue. If you take longer to
master this, have patience. This is where your persistency and discipline pay
off, and the benefits you reap from doing this will be life-long.
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