Yoga was often practiced by the ancient yogis to promote a balance between the body, mind and soul. Yoga means union; an union between the individual consciousness and the super-consciousness. Yoga is a form of exercise that allows an individual to reach out to the super consciousness that exists within him, but has been merely forgotten.
Yoga is basically a set of systematically devised physical exercises that emphasize on the balance and posture of an individual. When it is combined with breathing exercises also known as pranayama that is also a part of yoga, then not only does it help in cure ailments but also helps in connecting an individual with the spiritual self.
We recommend that it is best that you start the yoga practice under the guidance of an expert or a trained teacher who will help you perform the asanas the right way. Alternatively, you can also start the practice with the help of videos and dvd’s that are available.
What can yoga do?
Yoga can help an individual at various levels. At the physical level, it promotes good health. Regular practice of asanas, pranayama and meditation can help keep ill health at bay and is known to control ailments such as diabetes, blood pressure, chronic fatigue, asthma, various types of digestive orders and even heart conditions. Practicing also promotes flexibility, tones your muscles and keeps you healthy.
At the mental or psychological level, Yoga strives to increase your levels of self-awareness and help you relax. People who can relax and meditate create harmony between the mind and heart or between thought, speech and action. In the ancient times rishis practiced to let go of the ego so that they could reach out to attain the ultimate truth.
Pranayama, the art of effective breath control is also a major part of the yoga asanas. Pranayama helps to concentrate on the breathing and practising the proper techniques of pranayama can help you to bring more oxygen to the blood and brain, which eventually helps to control the prana or the vital life energy. Regular practise of pranayama can also help us to prepare a deeper experience of meditation.
Asanas or positions are simple and effective body movements and exercises that help to massage the muscles, lubricate the joints and tone your body. It is a myth that yoga is just about stretching. While stretching does play an important role, also about creating a balance in the body while developing strength and flexibility.
Some points to remember:
- Once you start with the practice, ensure that you make it a part of your daily routine and practice the asanas regularly to avail the maximum benefits.
- Fix a regular time and a place to carry out the practice.
- Never overdo the asanas and exercises. Each body is unique and take in only as much you can endure.
- When you move on from the simple asanas to the more complex ones, you graduate from just curing your body to attaining the spiritual goals by being closer to your inner self.
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