In the recent years, yoga has gained a lot of momentum over the other means of physical activity that people resort for staying healthy. The popularity of this ancient art can be analyzed from the fact that today, the International World Yoga Day is celebrated across the globe.
A lot of events are held to generate awareness about yoga to a larger audience.
But, the question here is, what exactly we understand by the term yoga? Does it bring you the image of a person stretching in an awkward position or makes you think of the calmness you experience from meditation? While practicing yoga postures, to stay healthy is one thing and to stay in a state of calmness is truly another ballgame.There is a lot to learn and understand about yoga, which can only be done by gazinginto its origin.
The word ‘Yoga’ comes from the Sanskrit word ‘Yog,’ which means union. Yoga was originated in the Indian subcontinent thousands of years ago by the sages of that time. They performed yoga postures every day to take care of their body. Along with that, they used to remain mindful of their diet, involved in proper breathing exercises and lived a harmonious life. To attain the spiritual path, they chose to live in optimal living conditions.
What does Ancient Yoga mean?
The ancient yoga is a kind of toolkit that one can use to bring balance back in their life. Yoga can be performed by anyone regardless of their age, religious belief, gender, nationality, etc. Being a universal practice, anyone can make yoga an integral part of their daily life. Those who practice yoga regularly find themselves moving on to yogic paths, which are broadly categorized into four sections:
· Raja Yoga: This path is for scientific inquiries that include physical and breathing exercises. The direct experience of this path brings control to the senses.
· Karma Yoga: Karma Yoga is the path of actions. It helps us in observing our actions and how they are impacting others. It promotes selfless service and helps in breaking down ego to become humble and compassionate towards others.
· Jnana Yoga: This is the path of knowledge which one attains through the study of ancient scriptures.
· Bhakti Yoga: Bhakti yoga is the path of devotion where we express our beliefs. It may include going to temple or your place of worship every day, singing devotional songs or simply connecting with God in some way or another to lay focus on divine energy.
What Science Has To Say?
According to the science, practicing yoga has multiple health benefits which are a reason good enough to practice it every day. Even if your goal is not to attain enlightenment, you can try yoga for the following scientific reasons:
• It strengthens your heart just the way any other aerobic exercise will do. The inverted yoga postures provide a rich supply of blood to the heart. The heart muscles get stretched during the yoga which allows efficient pumping of blood.
• Being a holistic exercise, yoga focus on strengthening the entire body and not just any one body part in particular. The yoga postures are designed in a way that helps in balancing internal systems.
• Yoga helps in relieving stress and also minimizes the risk of contracting major diseases. The self-healing yoga promotes control over difficult emotions and directly targets the cause of many health disorders.
• Yoga gives complete exercise to your back spine and spine muscles, which helps in strengthening your back against any injury. It also corrects any misalignments and maintains overall flexibility.
• The use of own body weight in performing yoga helps in relieving muscle and joint problems. It strengthens joints and also improves fluid circulation.
Whether you believe the ancient methodology or the modern science, the bottom line is yoga can be beneficial regardless of which approach you decide totake.