Yoga- The assemblage of physical, mental and spiritual health

Updated: Jun 28, 2020

Yoga: The best form of mental training, has always turned out to be the best remedy for the overall health of an individual. This article by Tatva Fitness Blogs, explains the origin, importance, and formats of various yoga asanas.

“Yoga has re-established its position in the Indian culture, thanks to the great initiative by Indian Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi, and the other global leaders. Yoga fosters the overall development of an individual, contrary to the thinking of common people who believe it as physical art format.. Check out this article to know more about the Forms and importance of Yoga.”

Yoga is an assemblage of physical, mental and spiritual practices or disciplines that originated in ancient India. It is one of the oldest traditions which are also found in Hindu Philosophies. The origin of yoga is still a mystery, but some say that yoga has been speculated to date back to pre-Vedic Indian traditions. Indian yoga gurus later spread it to the west and many other parts of the world. Apart from India, yoga has emerged as physical fitness, stress-relieving, and meditational technique across the world. In recent years, yoga has been a popular form of exercise, it not only helps a person to get fit, but it also helps in gaining control over the mind and body. Yoga consists of poses also known as "asana".

According to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra 2.29, Ashtanga or EIGHT-LIMBED YOGA is defined as:

1. Yama (Abstentions): Ahimsa (non-violence), Satya (truth), Asteya (no stealing), Brahmacharya (celibacy) and Aparigraha (non-possessiveness).

2. Niyama (Observances): Śauca (purity), Santosha (acceptance of others and one's circumstances), Tapas (determination), Svādhyāya (the study of self) and IshvaraPranidhana (contemplation true n self).

3. Asana: asana means to ‘seat’. Sitting positions used for practicing meditation are referred to as asana in Patanjali’s Sutras.

4. Pranayama: Pranayama is related to breathing techniques. ‘Prāna’ means to breathe and ‘āyāma’ means to stretch, extend, restrain and stop.

5. Pratyahara: It means abstraction. Withdrawing of the sense organs from external objects.

6. Dharana: Dharana is all about concentration. Focusing on a single object without getting distracted from it for one second also.

7. Dhyana: Dhyana is a Hindi used for meditation.

8. Samadhi: Samadhi means liberation.

There are many types and styles of yoga. Some of them are:

1. Ashtanga yoga: This was used in ancient yoga teachings. Ashtanga consists of sequences of postures that rapidly link every breathing moment.

2. Bikram yoga or hot yoga: this yoga is done in artificially heated rooms at a temperature of 105 degrees and 40% humidity. It consists of 26 poses and two breathing exercises.

3. Hatha yoga: this type of yoga teaches physical postures. Hatha yoga has many asanas and it is generally practiced in India.

4. Iyengar yoga: Iyengar yoga focuses on correct alignment in each pose using different types of props such as blocks, chairs, etc.

5. Jivamukti yoga: Jivamukti means “liberation while living”. It was first introduced in 1984. Each class of Jivamukti is theme based which is explored through yoga scripture, chanting, meditation, asana, pranayama, and music.

6. Kripalu yoga: Kripalu yoga teaches practitioners to know, accept and learn from its body. It usually begins with breathing exercises then gentle stretching which is then followed by a series of poses and finally relaxing.

7. Kundalini yoga: Kundalini means “coiled like a snake”. A class typically begins with chanting and ends with singing. In between, it features asana, pranayama, and meditation customized to create a specific outcome.

8. Power yoga: Introduced in the late 1980s. It is an active and athletic form of yoga. One can develop this by using traditional ashtanga yoga.

9. Sivananda yoga: This is based on a five-point philosophy. This philosophy maintains that proper breathing, relaxation, diet, exercise, and positive thinking work together to form a healthy yogic lifestyle. Typically uses the same 12 basic asanas.

10. Viniyoga: It can be adapted by anyone irrespective of their physical abilities. Viniyoga teachers require in-depth training and tend to be experts on anatomy and yoga therapy.

Yoga provides instant gratification and lasting transformation. In the world of fitness, instant gratification and lasting transformation both are tremendously vital. Spending months and months and attaining no results as well as a handful of results are incredibly dispiriting. Yoga can transform your physical and mental capacity rapidly while preparing the mind and body for long-term health.

Some benefits of yoga are:

1. Can decrease stress

2. Relieves anxiety

3. May reduce inflammation

4. Improve Heart health

5. Improves Quality of life

6. Fights depression

7. Reduce chronic pain

8. Stimulate sleep quality

9. Improves flexibility and balance

10. Improve breathing techniques

11. Help in relieving migraines

12. Develop healthy eating habits

13. Increase strength

After long recommendations and initiation of India, United Nations General Assembly declared the 21st of June as "International Day of Yoga" or "World Yoga Day". A world-level event is celebrated every year to increase the awareness of yoga benefits among people all over the world.

In the end, we would like to say Yoga is a therapy that helps in getting rid of illnesses slowly and even can protect us from the chronic disease if practiced regularly. Yoga brings positive change to the internal body and standardizes the functioning of body organs. Yoga is the best way to know our body and soul.

- Shruti Rawat

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