The stress of daily activities makes us want to escape into a land of tranquility. Some do this through walking whereas some attain this by gazing at the soothing sunrise. Yoga is one such land of tranquility. We invite you to come take a dip into this land of relaxation that will surely revolutionize your life.
The word yoga means "unity" or "oneness" and is derived from the Sanskrit word "yog" which means to join. Yoga is a means of balancing and harmonizing the body, mind and emotions. The yoga postures or asanas exercise every part of body they work not only on the body frame but also on the internal organs, glands and nerves as well, keeping all system in radiant health.
The human mind seldom rests as it never remains fixed on a single subject or object. Mind is just thinking, thinking, and thinking, and wandering in a boundary less expanse. Achieving concentration is the major goal in yoga a state in which the mind is constantly undergoing modification. Physical and mental therapy is one of the most important achievements of yoga bringing holistic harmony to mind and body.
What we know of today, as handed down by our forefathers, many of the yogasanas (postures) are named after and reflect the movements of different animals. Through observation our forefathers understood how animals live in harmony with their particular postures and how the hormonal secretions could be stimulated and controlled by it. This is done through the practice of asana (the physical exercise), pranayama (the breathing technique), and mudra (position of gesture) which represents the psychic bandhan (locks for channeling energy).
The word yoga - unity or joining has also been described in spiritual term as the harmonious union of Shiva (the supreme consciousness) with his consort the Shakti (energy) and this is the central theme of yoga the unification called Shiva-Shakti. Besides achieving the general wellness, Yoga serves well being of society and humanity, as scores of ailments are possible to be cured by following the tenets of Yoga.
Practicing Yoga and meditation are not just key techniques to unwind you. They can be opted to channelize your mind, rejuvenate your soul and keep your body fit. It is in the coordination of the three: body, soul and mind that the perfect state of composure can be attained. Yoga clubs the rhythm of the body with the melody of the mind and the harmony of the soul, to create symphony of life. The practice of Yoga aims at uniting the three. Yoga originated way back in the 4th century BC.
A sage, Patanjali, put forward yoga as a system of philosophy. The common form of Yoga is also referred to as the Ashtang Yoga. It comprises of eight basic features namely Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratayahara, dharna, dhayan and samadhi. Each feature has its own significance. Yama promotes the universal disciplines of truth, self-control, non-violence, non-stealing and non-greed. The second feature, Niyama, endorses human values of contentment, self-study, penance, cleanliness and surrender to God. Asanas are the various yogic postures that are to be performed to keep the body fit and fine. The management of the breath is covered under the aspect of Pranayama. The feature of Pratayahara is practiced to compose the mind and alienate oneself from the five senses. Dharna and Dhyan are about concentrating and meditating and the final aspect of Samadhi refers to the ultimate state of oneness with God
The people till date practice the ancient art of medication of Yoga religiously as it brings out the best in the person. The common man practices Yoga for curing specific problems and taking remedies against the illness.
Healing oneself through yoga is neither instant nor very pleasant. The common people may practice yoga to cure the common modern day ailments like Asthma and Arthritis. There are several asanas that can be practiced to inculcate confidence and keep depression at bay. Attainment of the certain pose instructed in an asana makes the body flexible.
Since times immemorial sages have been known to meditate. Meditation is done to reach positive and holistic health. Meditation can be practiced to develop the awareness and the energy required to transform deep-rooted mental habit patterns. Meditation has been known to cure common problems of depression and schizophrenia or irrational fears. The various forms of meditation comprise of chakra, yantra and mantra. They all aim at calming the mind through concentration. Meditation, the state of extreme absorption leads to peace and empowerment. Meditation is practiced in various styles like concentrating on an image, chanting or regulatory breathing. All of the styles aim at preventing thoughts and aiming at the energy centers in the body.
There are several centers bringing the authentic forms of Yoga and meditation techniques within the reach of the common man. In case you undertake a yoga tour the yoga classes will be specially organized for groups as well as individuals. For performing meditation of any form, the back should be straight. You may either sit of the floor or a chair. You should not have excessive food before performing meditation but should clean your face and hands.
Most contemporary yoga masters recommend holistic yoga, a combination of the different Yoga practices. Hatha yoga develops the physical body, Kundalini yoga the energy of body, Bhakti yoga the feeling of body, Raja yoga the psyche, Jnana yoga the intellect and intuition to integrate. Karma yoga helps to integrate all in the daily life. So yoga is a veraciously holistic, universal system. Everyone can find out what is most helpful for them.
Hatha yoga is the most widely known part of yoga. This form of Yoga is usually common in the west. It comprises of the body-oriented practices: Asanas - yoga postures; Pranayama - breathing practices; Savasana - deep relaxation techniques. Hatha Yoga also provides advice for a healthy lifestyle, including a vegetarian diet and clothing without artificial fibers.
Asanas are body practices, in which a certain posture is held for a while. Asanas gently develop muscle strength, flexibility and body consciousness. It is interesting to see, how quickly you can achieve progress through yoga with only little exertion. A uniform flexible body with harmoniously developed muscle power is a prerequisite for health and gracefulness. Through the easy holding of the positions, the blocked life energy (Prana) flows again, the internal healing powers are activated and the internal organs are supplied with enriched blood. Yoga's Asanas are an excellent prevention against illness, and can support and increase the effectiveness of other therapies.
You will learn different postures of Asanas in your yoga classes. The twelve well known Asanas are:
Ardha Matsyendrasana (spinal twist)
Paschimothanasana (forward bend)
Pada Hasthasana (standing forward bend)
A person breathes about 25920 times on a daily average. The breath is our vital energy source. It is the link between body and spirit. Through breathing, we take in oxygen, and assimilate Prana, life energy. Through stress, tensions, incorrect body postures and bad customs, most persons breathe too flat. The result is little oxygen is getting to their brain and organs, the blood is not rich with oxygen, and the people complain about fatigue. Yoga helps to return to a natural respiration. With special breathing practices, the life energy can always be rebuilt. Breathing techniques, help to overcome stage fright, anxieties, depression and irritability.
At the end of every yoga class, there is 10 to 15 minutes of deep relaxation. While lying on your back all parts of the body are relaxed, and ultimately also in spirit. While relaxed, stress hormones are dismantled, the immune system is strengthened, healing processes are boosted, and intellectual strength and tranquility are restored. Complete relaxation comes only with patience and systematic learning.
Kundalini yoga is the yoga of the energy. Kundalini yoga describes the astral body with its Chakras (energy centers) and Nadis (energy canals). Kundalini yoga cleans the astral body, strongly increases the energy (Prana) of our life, and opens and harmonizes the Chakras. The powerful Kundalini energy awakes gradually at a slow pace or spontaneously all at once. The awakening of the Kundalini is connected with many overwhelming and extrasensory experiences, a strong feeling of happiness, enhancement of the consciousness and development of new capacities.
Raja yoga includes mental training and meditation. Raja yoga explains how the human spirit functions, and how we can control it. Practices of the Raja yoga comprise affirmation, visualization, attentiveness, self-observation and the different meditation techniques.
Jnana yoga is the yoga of knowledge or the philosophical part of the yoga. Jnana yoga asks questions such as: Who am I? From where do I come? Where am I going? What is the purport of life? What is actual? What is good fortune? In the Jnana yoga, Karma and Reincarnation are explained and meditation techniques are employed to learn the intuitive truth.
Bhakti yoga is the yoga of devotedness and love to God.
Karma yoga is the yoga of the deed. Karma yoga teaches one to grasp fortune. It also teaches how to make correct decisions spiritually, and what is best for you. Karma yoga is also the yoga of the unselfish service. Karma yoga helps to transcend the boundaries of our own Ego and to feel unity with all beings.
During inhalation, we take in oxygen and procure body energy (Prana or Chi). Breathing out relaxes ourself and cleans the body from metabolic impurities. The lung eliminates 80 percent of toxic substances that accumulate in the body. Our lungs are used however by most people only to 30 percent of their capacity. While stressed or when one is anxious, the breath tends to go flat. The metabolic wastes from a flat breath impairs our emotional and intellectual life, dulls the soulfulness and reduces the work effort. The yoga practitioner through regular implementation will display an increased lung capacity and breathing capacity, a weight reduction, an improved immune system, a decline of the cholesterol level, blood-sugar level and a pliability of the body. One becomes more tranquil and free from anxieties and builds up more self-confidence and self-reliance. Therefore, the performance of yoga causes physical and intellectual as well as mental advantages.