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The Essence of Yoga

Health & MedicalThe Essence of Yoga

The very fundamental right to be in peace and joy is being gradually deprived of mankind.

Physical and inner well-being is ignored largely in the constant rat race of wealth and prosperity. Having said this, we cannot but deny the possible efforts being taken by everybody in this stressful life, to remain peaceful and stress-free at-least for a few hours in a day. Yoga is the new mantra adopted by mankind especially in the urban world to attain health and well-being. Now, this has gained such a profound significance that the United Nations declared June 21st as International yoga day.

 Why such a hype for yoga in recent years, when it was a part of our motherland several thousand years ago? Is yoga all about asana (physical postures)? Does yoga incline one towards the spiritual path? What is then the connection between Yoga and health?

Let’s make an attempt to resolve this jigsaw about yoga, health, and spiritualism.

While many of us believe yoga to be some norm attached to the culture and religion of a certain system, it is not so. Now crossing these barriers giving it an international importance one must know that yoga is merely not an exercising system.

Yoga is a pursuit to seek well-being from within, it’s a system towards understanding the full life mechanics.

When you perform any task with a  greater sense of involvement and without desire for the fruits of your action, you’re said to be in Yoga. Yoga is not only practicing various postures to attain physical well-being. Yes, though partially correct but is a misconception, health benefits through yoga are by-products of the entire process.  Yoga in true sense is to ‘Unite’ with the universal consciousness.

Now, this may sound spiritual and certainly is. Why do you think that only Yogis and Rishis (the so-called messengers of the divine) in ancient India practiced this several thousand years ago? It was purely to experience oneness with the creation. Perfect health helped them achieve fitness merely in the process of practicing certain asanas, breathing techniques, and relaxation methods. Health benefits are one aspect to it but the core was to attain self-realization.

But what if I want to gain only a healthy body and mental well-being through yoga? Definitely, it is possible. The physical postures, breathing techniques, meditation and other forms of strengthening exercises to focus on flexibility of the body and mind is all part of the yoga process. One can certainly practice these to attain physical health and mental well-being. The right kind of diet to be followed also has an impact on practicing yoga and suitable guidance is certainly recommended.

The ancient Indian scriptures specify various kinds of yoga. According to the Patanjali eightfold path of yoga, Asana (various postures) has gained significant importance. Especially through the breathing techniques, mediation coupled with asanas in the yoga system has shown several health benefits. There is evidence that regular yoga practice can benefit people with heart disease, hypertension, aches and pains, arthritis, depression, and many more.

Practicing yoga can help a person stay fit and healthy, develop a positive attitude, and bring about a sense of positive lifestyle changes for good, also can sharpen their intellect to put into the relevant use.

Thus when it comes to the economic and human welfare of any nation, when the core leadership undertakes this practice of yoga, we could expect a prosperous nation and a peaceful globe in the years to come.

Yoga has both physical and spiritual aspects, the latter being the primary. One must be able to decide for what purpose they would want to utilize this ancient Indian science. Even for physical health and mental well-being the various postures or asanas therein are to be performed appropriately under suitable guidance and advice of a yoga master. Inappropriate asanas or breathing techniques followed can have dangerous implications on the body’s mind and the energies. Hence professional guidance is always recommended.

A yoga guru can advise on the appropriate yoga suitable depending on one’s health, fitness level, and mental well-being. According to our ancient yoga system and scriptures, there are 4 types of yoga possible: Karma yoga, Gnana Yoga, Bhakti yoga, and Kriya yoga, though there may be others according to the various modern schools of thoughts. 

These 4 types of yoga work on 4 aspects such as the body, mind, emotions, and energy level respectively. A spiritual and professionally certified yoga master would be the best guide to throw light on which yoga suits an individual.

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Having imbibed the information on this ancient science, why not make a commitment to yourself and practice yoga under a Yoga guru, and reap potential benefits of this holistic science?

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