“Samatvam Yoga Uchyate” – Bhagavad Gita‘Yoga is to keep the mind balance and unanimous in all vicissitudes of life’.
What is Yoga?
Yoga can be described as the unification of ‘atma‘ with ‘parmatma‘. Yoga is an amazing way of self-development and self-realization which shows us how to develop our full potential in this multi-faceted life. It was first introduced by the rishis and sages of ancient India and has since been maintained by a stream of living teachers, who have continuously adapted this science to each generation. The history of it goes way back. And this scientific exercise’s origins were in ancient India.
This is like a set of asanas which are like different posture exercises, which when performed heal all the aspects of your life. According to ‘Yoga Scchittavritti Nirodh’ sutra, one can save his mind from the worldly subjects. Yogasanas help us make our body flexible, strong and healthy as well as give us a sense of pleasure and happiness. It brings peace in the life of the one who practices and makes the mind, body as well as life balance.
The Eight Elements of Yoga
Yoga is divided into eight phases (Ashtang Yog), which are as follows:
- Yam: Meaning to restraint oneself. It describes the five types of restraints and moral code which sets the basic step of the eight.
- Niyam: It consists of five rules. It focuses on physical cleanliness, satisfaction, perseverance and spirituality. These are the positive duties one has to perform.
- Asana: It literally means postures which explains the correct position which a person can hold for some time. One has to be steady, relaxed and in control of their body.
- Pranayam: It means breathing exercise. After a person can easily hold onto a posture, they have to practice a set of breathing exercises.
- Pratyahara: Means the withdrawal of one’s senses. It refers to self-consciously withdraw ones’ thoughts from the outer worldly matters and produce interest to their internal self.
- Dharana: It means to focus or concentrate on the thing and being able to hold onto that thing (whether you are focusing on your breathing only).
- Dhyana: It means meditation. Dhyana is almost the same as Dharna; one thing leading to another. It means being able to hold the focus or concentrate for a long period of time without any interruption.
- Samadhi: which means bliss-trance. It refers to the state of being in meditation without any trail of thoughts or focus on any object.
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Types of Asanas
Asanas are useful in keeping a body fit and fine. We can differentiate in them on the following bases:
- Standing Asanas: Standing asanas like Ardha Chandr asana and Tada sana help in promoting joint and muscle flexibility and increasing the stamina of the body.
- Forward and Backward Bending asanas: Paschimottan asana reduces backache if practiced on a regular basis. Bhujangasana, which is a back bending position; and is very useful for stretching our back and strengthening the spine.
- Twisting Asanas: Ardha Matsyendrasana makes the spine flexible and increases its elasticity.
- Lying Asanas: Shavasana has a calming effect and fights symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Asanas as Preventive Measures
Asanas are widely discussed in many useful ways, such as:
- Mental Health: Mental health can be improved by performing suitable asanas. Asanas like Anjali Mudra, Balasana, Uttanssana, Uttana Shishosana, etc. which can help in relieving stress and depression. They are also helpful in treating anxiety and mental disorders.
- Healthy Bones: Suitable asanas are useful in the prevention of Bone diseases. Asanas like the warrior poses, triangle pose, bridge pose, etc. are helpful in strengthening our bones and also helpful for those suffering from osteoporosis. They also correct the posture and relieve tension in the spine.
- Dealing with Obesity and Diabetes: The various types of asanas involve twisting the body, backward and forward bends and other activities that promote digestion and help with weight loss. There are asanas that help the liver and pancreas to remain active which further helps in regulating and managing high cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Asanas like Vajrasana, Chakrasana, Ardha Matsyendr asana, Paschimottan asana, etc. are useful for the prevention of diabetes.
Benefits of Yoga (asanas)
“Yoga is a light, which once lit, will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter the flame.”– B K S Iyengar
Asanas play an important role in also preventing the onset of many adverse health conditions. It is a simple and cost less way that can also help in treating most of the widespread non-communicable lifestyle diseases. And improving the well being of the person. The objective of the asanas can also be a list of its benefits, which are as follows:
- It is a way to clean the body from within, fix the internal imbalance and then strengthen the outside.
- It enables us to become fully aware of our body.
- At the same time , it helps in reducing stress and anxiety.
- It also is a way to maintain your weight; whether increasing or decreasing it.
- This also helps in hypertension, sleep disturbances.
- Also addresses the problems and corrects symptoms of lower back pain and fatigue.
- In addition, the flexibility of the spine increases and joints become more mobile.
- The lymphatic system and metabolism also stimulates.
- Circulation of blood is boosted; blood pressure is normal and stable.
- The nervous system is soothed and sharpened.
- Also the skin becomes clear and fresh.
The emphasis is on the quality of performance. Instead of tiring the body, one feels rested and recharged.
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