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Yoga and Its Benefits

Yoga and Its Benefits


Yoga


Yoga, this word has originated from the Sanskrit word- योग. Yoga is the combination of various physical, mental, and spiritual exercises which came in ancient India. Yoga aims to control (Yoke) and provide a calmness to the mind, recognizing a detached witness-consciousness untouched by the mind (Chitta) and mundane suffering (Duḥkha). There is a wide variety of types of yoga, activities, and goals in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Traditional and modern yoga is practised all over the world.


The basis of Yoga is the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. In it, Patanjali recommends a two-stage aspect. The primary stage is the development of positive ethical characteristics (the ten yoga principles). The next stage of the yogic path is to practice meditation. One can say, that Yoga in the essence is based on positive thinking and meditation. Attaining positive qualities in meditation is necessary for strong inner peace which is not subjective to the outside world.


The Ten Principles of Yoga-



  • Non-violence (Ahimsa) - It states that an individual's actions should be peaceful and nonviolent.



  • Truthfulness (Satya)- It states that honesty should be on supremacy. We should tell no lies of convenience. Those who continuously live in the truth, they also radiate truth. This world runs on mutual relationships.



  • Righteousness (Asteya)- It states that one should never steal from or defraud another individual. Fairtrade and justified behaviour should prevail in this world.



  • Wisdom (brahmacharya)- We should live in the spiritual focus (in the light/in God = Brahman). We should not serve the money (outer luck) but the inner happiness (God, Brahman, enlightenment). We should be centered on our inner happiness and peace. 



  • Simplicity (aparigraha)- It states that we should be moderate in our external surroundings and that simplicity should be our character trait. A spiritual person lives modestly externally and rich internally. 



  • Worship of the spiritual goal (Ishvara-pranidhana)- Thus, we do not lose our spiritual path, we must remind ourselves again and again of our spiritual goal. We can worship an image (Goddess, Shiva, Patanjali), we can bow before a statue (Buddha, Jesus, Shiva), or speak a mantra (prayer).



  • Sacrifice the ego (shaucha)- It insists on the importance of purification of the individual. The way into the light passes through the crucifixion of the ego. Without a crucifixion, there is no enlightenment. True sacrifice is an art. 



  • Self-discipline (tapas)- Calmness of the mind is the primary aim of yoga. It teaches the individual to be neutral in every situation and to control the temperament efficiently. 



  • Reading (Savadhyaya)- The daily reading (mantra, meditation) habit keeps us on the spiritual path, cleans our spirit, reconnects us with the soul of oneself.



  • Contentment (Santosha) - A person should not be greedy in his life. The problem of being greedy reduces the happiness level of the individual. A person should be satisfied with whatever he/she has and jealousy should not prevail in his/her life.


Meditation


It is a mental exercise in which one focuses on his/her breathing. It enhances mental, emotional, and spiritual awareness of the body. It should be done in a silent environment and it has the following principles while focusing on our breathing-


· No recollection


· No calculation


· No imagination


· No examination


· No construction


· No digression


Difference between Yoga and Meditation


Yoga is considered a broader term because meditation is part of Yoga. Meditation includes concentration on breath, whereas Yoga is the set of various physical poses which help in the complete development of the human body. Meditation is generally done in Lotus Pose.


Benefits of Yoga


Ø Improves Posture- Working for long hours at a work area can hurt your spine and additionally make you feel tired at the end of the day. Practising specific yoga asanas can help in working on your body posture and it can also reduce back pain.


Ø Improves Flexibility- It is very difficult for the major proportion of people to touch their toes with legs in the straight posture and to do complex yoga asanas. Practising yoga can help in making the body flexible which ultimately reduces the chances of future injuries. Yoga can also increase the adaptability of the individual.


Ø Increases Muscle Strength and Stamina- Various Yoga asanas help in increasing the power of the muscles and also the stamina of the individual. It helps in making the muscles more adaptable to the environment and it strengthens the lungs of the body.


Ø Promotes Self Confidence- Practicing yoga would help you gain a strong side of yourself. It will make you feel better about yourself and will bring positivity to life. Yoga gives calmness to the mind and enhances the self-control of the body.


Ø Beneficial for heart and digestive system- Various Yoga asanas reduce high blood pressure and also cure the problem of hypertension and digestion. Regular practice of yoga reduces the chances the heart attack as well. Some specific yoga asanas are focused on the stomach area of the individual and help in improving the metabolism of the human body.


Ø Better Sleep- When the brain of the individual is free from all negativity and thinking then it is easy for the body to attain a sound sleep. Yoga reduces the tensions and stress of the individual by making him/her mentally strong. 


 


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