Yoga is a divine science of life, developed in India with roots going back about 5,000 years. Yoga is a method of training designed to lead the practitioners to ultimate reality and a greater sense of Self. The English word "Yoke" is derived from this word, a means of becoming united with the supreme being, the self and the God.
A system of exercises to attain bodily or mental control and spirit. There are various forms of Yoga which include physical postures and movements (asana) which helps in building strength, (pranayama) breathing exercises for cleansing and meditation, the concentration of the mind, for relaxation and stress reduction.
These days there is a focus on a specific form of Yoga which is dedicated to physical exercise to promote health and well-being. Yoga is beneficial in the treatment of many common physical ailments through the regular practice of yoga, and it is never too late or too early in life to take it up. There is no age limit to practice yoga.
Forms of Yoga
* Hatha Yoga
Hatha Yoga is an age-old discipline of Yoga which deals with the physical body. It is popularly called as yoga of the body. The two most important parts of Hatha Yoga are
Physical positions which are called "Asanas" in Sanskrit.
Breathing Exercises (controlled breathing)
* Raja Yoga
The Royal Path or 'kingly path' of Union with the Supreme through the right use of the mind. It offers a systematic approach for gaining control over the mind.The attention is fixed on an object, mantra, or concept until it becomes completely still. It is suitable for people who like to apply their willpower in dealing with life's situations and who wish to learn about all aspects of their minds. It's a case of sitting in a cross-legged position, does not involve any kind of exercise, a focused concentration if mind. It works wonders for stressed out people.
* Karma Yoga
Yoga of service to others, without any concern for success or failure.Where you devotee yourself on the path of detached actions. You do not care about rewards or results. The consequences of our actions should only bring benefits to others and no harm.
* Bhakti Yoga
Bhakti Yoga is the path of devotion to God. The Yogis act with the feeling that they are doing verything as an offering to the God, the surrender.
* Jnana Yoga
The word jnana pronounced as gyan means knowledge, insight and wisdom. Yoga of knowledge, arrived at through reasoning and discrimination. to attain knowledge from what you hear from your gurus. Jnana yogi has the wisdom to discriminate between real and unreal.
Benefits of Yoga
* Increasing flexibility
Yoga has positions that act upon the whole body, the entire body is trained together. The different kinds of postures practiced in Yoga help gently stretch the muscle tissue of the legs. Breathing exercises can also increase lung capacity and improve your breathing patterns. Yoga act upon the various joints of the body including those joints which have not been consciously work upon. eventually a rigid body at the initial stages of learning yoga experience a remarkable flexibility in all parts of the body.
* Physical benefits
The regular practice of yoga has been shown to produce physical benefits including reduced anxiety, reducing weight , stress and blood pressure levels, and increased relaxation of muscular strains, strength, enhanced immune system , and energy levels.
* Gold to mind
Meditation focuses and clarifies the mind better than any other activity. It improves creativity, concentration, mental alertness and memory. Improves decision-making skills, mood and feeling of well-being.
* Spritiual goodness
Practicing yoga brings in perfection, peace and lasting happiness. It will infuse you with confidence and self-reliance. Yoga discipline gives inner peace and tranquillity and new dimension to one's life. It is the only way to connect you to yourself.
Is yoga different from normal exercise?
Normal exercise routine is focused towards a certain goal, such as loosing 10 pounds or increasing the number push-ups than what you did yesterday. Yoga, on the other hand, is a process. Yoga is the only way to tone the body and calm the mind at the same time. The difference between the traditional exercise and yogs is philosophical, not physical.
The physical positions is yoga are really aimed at the mind, to attaining balance and composure. Whereas the our regular exercise routine strengthens the muscles and improves the alignment of the body. Yoga is all about how you feel about the world and the self,to attain the balance in our lives and lifestyle. On the other hand our traditional exercises is about the way we look.
If you are aiming on toning your muscles and building strength then pilates is a better choice. If you want to improve a flexibility a little more and also looking for a way to reduce stress and the feeling of peace then try yoga.
What you should know?
1. If you can do yoga everyday - that is great. If you have a busy schedule then start from 20-30 minutes of yoga a day, two days a week. Gradually increase it to 60-90 minutes a day, three to four days a week.
2.Yoga is for everyone. There are many kinds of yoga so there is one for you. There is no age constrain to do yoga, anybody can do it whether young or old.
3. Yoga involves stretch positions so do them slowly and carefully. Make your moves gently and stretch further than is comfortable.
4. Do not do yoga immediately after eating. Always wait for an hour and half after a meal.
5. It is recommended that you gradually change your eating habits, including more of fiber and food with nutritious value. Replace your junk food with tofu, cereals, whole grain, and so on.
6. Yoga can help reduce weight. The regular practice of stretching, twisting, bending and inverting the body squeezes the internal organs, cleansing the body of impurities including the build-up of excess fat. Regular practice of right kind of yoga four to five times a week will help reduce weight.
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