Yoga is also one of the six classical Indian philosophies and is referred to throughout the Vedas – the oldest historical writings dated back to 5000 BC. The earliest archeological evidence of yoga was found in the stone seals, depicting the yoga poses, during the excavations of the Indus valley civilization dating back to 3000 BC. Legend has it that knowledge of Yoga was first passed by Lord Shiva to his wife Parvati and from there to the rest of human kind.
The ultimate aim of Yoga is to experience the Truth, by realizing the true nature of our ‘Self’ and the Universe. Then one can become free from the chain of cause and effect (Karma) which brings us to earthly life again and again. In that highest state of yogic realization, one can regain one’s real nature â€“ Eternal Existence, Supreme Wisdom, Absolute Bliss (Sat-Chit-Ananda). According to Yoga, the ‘self’ (soul) is timeless, unchanging and free of sorrows. Yoga is therefore a spiritual quest. However, along the path of yoga, the yogi also gains health, happiness, tranquility and wisdom, which are indicators of progress and an encouragement to continue the practice. otho and arthritis.
The basic assumption of Yoga is that the body and the mind are part of one continuum of existence, the mind being more subtle than the body. This is the foundation of the yogic view of health. The interaction of body and mind is the central concern of the entire science. It is believed that as the body and mind are brought into balance and health, the individual will be able to perceive his true nature; this will allow life to be lived more freely and spontaneously. Yoga first attempts to reach the mind, the place where health begins, for mental choices strongly affect the health of the body. Choices of food, types of exercise, which thoughts to think, etc. all affect the body. As practiced traditionally in India, Yoga includes a set of ethical imperatives and moral precepts, including diet, exercise, and meditative aspects. In the West, Yoga focuses primarily on postures (gentle stretching exercises), breathing exercises, and meditation. Yoga is frequently used in modern medicine to enhance health and treat chronic disease as well as stress.
How it Works?
Yoga Exercises Yoga employs asanas, pranayama (breathing), kriyas (cleansings) and meditation to achieve the perfect harmony amongst the body, prana, mind, intellect, and consciousness.
Postures are gentle stretching movements designed to help balance the mind and body. The Yoga Postures are designed to release tensions by stretching or pressurizing muscles, nerves, spine, glands and internal organs. They work by increasing the blood circulation and prana supply to these areas and by stimulating them with a gentle squeezing action. All the asanas were designed with economy of time and effort in mind. Most of them work on more than one aspect of the body at the same time. For example, the spinal twist asana benefits the spine, adrenal glands, liver, pancreas and kidneys. The Yoga asanas produce their beneficial effect on the organs and glands all at once
Pranayama: Breathing Techniques
Pranayamas are specially developed breathing techniques to create and store a huge amount of energy in the solar plexus area at the navel centre. This will cause the body to radiate vitality and, if any sickness is developing, the body can call upon some of this energy reserve to combat the disease. Yoga breathing also improves brain function (intelligence and memory), as well as increasing the elimination of toxins from the system. The total effect of Yoga asanas and breathing is to produce a state of high vitality and rejuvenation.
Meditation and Positive Thinking
The benefits of the postures are greater if you concentrate on the healing action where it is needed. You can incorporate a variety of affirmations, meditation/concentration practices and visualization. Many times focusing on an object or sound (like clicking of a clock) can help us concentrate and leave our distracting thoughts away. An affirmation is a statement from yourself to yourself. They are inner-self conditioners. Our inner mind will believe everything we say with conviction and emotional force, though it may take some persistent repetitions to get the desired result.
Padahastasana is a standing forward bending posture where your hands are placed under your feet. When translated from Sanskrit to English, “pada” means foot and “hasta” means the hand. To perform Padahastasana, start in a standing position, bend forward and place your hands on the floor. Then lift your toes and place your hands under your feet with your palms facing up. Bend your head toward your legs, eventually placing it between your legs.
Padahastasana slows down the heartbeat and relieves mental and physical exhaustion, says Iyengar. Padahastasana also effectively relieves a stomachache. Performing Padahastasana may help relieve abdominal and back pain associated with menstruation.
Paschimottanasana is one among the essential yoga poses; it is not very difficult compared to some other poses like mayurasana or vrischikasana, yet it is full of health and spiritual benefits.
The asana tones the abdominal organs and eliminates their lethargy. It also tones the kidneys, rejuvenates the entire spine and improves digestion. The spine is horizontal in animals, and the heart is below it, which provides health and greater endurance. In humans, the spine is vertical, and the heart is not in a lower position to it, so people quickly get tired and are prone to heart disease. In Paschimottanasana the spine is aligned horizontally, making the heart staying lower, under it. The prolonged stay in the pose gives a nice massage to the heart, spine and abdominal organs, toning and strengthening them; and it also gives repose to the mind.
In order to achieve a better effect from paschimottanasana technique, you need to focus on a point in the middle of the forehead, on the border of the scalp. If it seems difficult for you, you can start with concentration on the forehead center of on the point between your eyebrows. If you fail to do this too, focus on the nose bridge.
Bhujangasana, the cobra, is the sixth of the 12 basic postures of hatha yoga. It is also the first of three back-strengthening exercises done as part of a normal yoga class. The main benefits of the cobra are to build strength and flexibility in the back.
Before beginning the cobra, or any of the back-strengthening exercises, you should rest on the stomach, your hands making a pillow under your head, one cheek resting on your hands. The toes should be touching together with the heels falling out to the sides – this keeps the energy of the body from being lost through the feet. Breathe deeply in this position, feeling your abdomen pressing into the floor on every inhale. Relax as much as possible, especially the back, shoulders and face.
This salabhasana is also called, The Locust. Here the focal points of concentration are the legs. Lift the legs only as much as you can. Feel the pull exerted along the muscles in the back and in the legs. Be aware of the body movements and stretching. The muscles will release and relax after stretching for a specific time period in a tense position. Mentally, yogic exercises help to gather attention and help to develop a peaceful state of mind.
It cures acidity, constipation, wind troubles, indigestion and gastro intestinal disorders.| It relieves one of nervous tension.| It activates the whole abdominal region.
Sarvangasana is one of the advanced yoga pose packed with lot of health benefits. It is a total body workout pose. If you read the health benefits of sarvangasana then you like to do this yoga pose every day. Because it strengthens all the inner parts of your body and keeps it strong and healthy. It is also called as shoulder stand pose.
In this Asana, the thyroid gland is nourished properly which plays a prominent part in the metabolism, growth, nutrition and structure. Healthy thyroid means healthy function of the circulatory, respiratory, alimentary, genito-urinary and nervous systems of the body. This thyroid operates in conjunction with other ductless glands, pituitary, pineal in the brain, suprarenal above the kidneys, liver, spleen, testes. If this thyroid is diseased all the other glands suffer. A vicious circle is formed. Sarvangasana keeps a healthy thyroid. Healthy thyroid means healthy functioning of all the organs of the body.
Siddhasana is one of the most popular meditation postures. Siddha in Sanskrit refers to those hidden powers within the body that help individual to attain spiritual upliftment.Siddhasana is also known as “Perfect Pose,” because one attains perfection in Yoga by meditating in this position. Siddhasana is useful to learn, since it is used as the practice seat for some of the pranayamas and the mudras.
Siddhasana directs the energy from the lower psychic centers upward through the spine thus it stimulates the brain and calms the entire nervous system. It redirects blood circulation to the lower spine and abdomen and tones the lumbar region of the spine, the pelvis and the abdominal organs, and balances the reproductive system and blood pressure.
Suptavajrasana is also known as the Diamond Pose. The term Vajrasana is derived from two Sanskrit words Vajra means thunderbolt and Asana means pose. The word Vajra can also decipher as va + ra where va means to move and ra means radiant. According to its literal meaning it is a pose that radiates blood supply and subtle energies to upper body.
Supta Vajrasana stretches the thigh and abdomen muscles and thus strengthens them. It is useful in constipation, high blood pressure and sciatica.
Ushtrasana’ is a term derived from two words. ‘Ushtra’ means a camel in Sanskrit, while asana means posture. While practicing Ushtrasana, the limbs of the body are arched like those of a camel.Ushtrasana is beneficial for those suffering from ailments of stomach, calves, legs, shoulders, spinal cord and elbow joints.
Ushtrasana opens the chest and stimulates the respiratory, circulatory, nervous and endocrine systems. It cures constipation, indigestion and acidity as well as throat related problems.
Vrischikasana,Sanskrit word â€œVrischikaâ€ means scorpion. While performing this asana the body resembles a scorpion with its tail arched above its head ready to sting its victim, therefore this asana is also known as the scorpion pose.
Vrichikasana helps to make the muscles of hands and arms stronger, as the entire weight of body is balanced on hands and provide more strength to palms and the wrists. While performing Vrischikaasana regularly the disorders of abdomen would be eliminated gradually. This asana also helps in keeping your spine flexible and more elastic.
Vajrasana makes the body exceptionally strong and healthy. Vajra means thunderbolt in Sanskrit. During this asana, feel the sensations in the body as you move them. Do the Movement slowly and in a relaxed manner. Inhale and exhale slowly. While drawing the Abdominal region inwards and expanding the chest, focus the attention on these body parts. The way the muscles move must be felt. Relax before, during and after the yoga posture.
Practice vajrasana upto 15 minutes after food, do two times a day atleast, increases your digestion power and cures all digestion disorders. You can also do it for 15 minutes before food, which reduces obesity. Vajra means diamond in Sanskrit and is the strongest material, there is a naadi in human body known as vajra naadi, which is related to Genital organs, vajrasana empowers this nadi and hence strengthens all genital related organs and cures problems.