Yoga is a practice that uses posture and breathing techniques to bring relaxation and improve strength and its health benefits may surpass those of any other activity. There are different kinds of yoga, ranging from the gentle Hatha yoga to the strenuous Bikram yoga (which is performed in a 105 degree F room temperature) or power yoga. Yoga sees an individual as a composition of five different bodies:
- The physical body - Annamaya Kosha
- The body of energy - Pranamaya kosha
- The body of mind - Manomaya Kosha
- The body of intelligence -Vijnamaya Kosha
- The body of bliss - Ananamaya Kosha.
These are five workings of the human body that we must think about when looking into the aspect of health. Health has always been the control point of our life. Therefore, when we think about health, we have to consider the total human body and not just the physical and mental aspect of health. We have to apply certain principles of yoga to give us that understanding of health. There are different processes of yoga which should be practiced together It should also be understood how to practice them in the right time and in the right amount, right duration, depth and intensity.
Purpose of Yoga
Yoga is now being utilized in modern society in many areas. Indeed, yoga deals with the problems of human nature and human exigencies through a vast repertory of practical method which aims towards the purification, regulation and awakening of human potential.
Scientific research has proven that yoga prevents disease, promotes health and has curative abilities. Yoga is being applied in different facets of life in a variety of new ways as a form of therapy, for health and stress management for executives, in education, business management, for the intellectually and physical disabled, the especially gifted and many more.
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General Benefits of Yoga
• Yoga keeps the body strong, as it involves all the muscles in the body to hold and maintain the poses. The various yoga postures strengthen the feet, legs, hands, abdominal, lower back, legs and shoulders.
• Yoga’s stretching and breathing techniques improve flexibility and helps the joints, tendons and muscles stay limber People suffering from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis will see a noticeable improvement in their stiffness, pain and other symptoms.
• The more athletic forms of yoga like Astanga yoga, Power yoga, Vinayasa yoga and Vikram yoga improve endurance.
• Yoga can relieve chronic back and neck pain, since the pose sand postures gently stretch and strengthen the back and neck muscles.
• Yoga is often prescribed to help heal various injuries, including repetitive strain injuries, knee and back injuries and pulled hamstring. Of course, one should consult a physician before using yoga as a treatment for any injuries.
Benefits of yoga on mental health:
• Yoga helps a person in relaxation and it is in an effective form of physiological therapy.
• Yoga helps to decrease anxiety and stress. This results in better health, better mood and better concentration throughout the day.
• Yoga has been used to help treat a wide variety of emotional and mental disorders, including acute anxiety depression and mood swings.
• Even children can be benefitted from yoga. Those with attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity can learn to relax by using breathing and yoga asana.
• Meditation results in a sense of inner peace which has far reaching health benefits.
• Yoga has been used to help heal victims of torture or other trauma.
Benefits of yoga in everyday life:
• Regular yoga practice can help in reducing problem of insomnia and improves better and deeper sleep.
•Yoga can help in fighting fatigue and maintain energy throughout the day.
• Yoga is an effective treatment for a variety of autoimmune disease because it can reduce the symptoms like stiffness, malaise, fatigue and weakness.
Benefits of yoga on other health conditions:
•Yoga helps in relieving tension, headaches and migraines by improving blood and oxygen circulation to the head.
•A regular yoga practice helps boost antioxidants throughout the body, resulting in a stronger immune system and improves ability to heal quickly from disease or injury.
• Yoga can help in weight loss and lifelong weight maintenance.
• Power yoga is a vigorous from yoga that burns calories, resulting in weight loss.
• Many women going through menopause report an easing of symptoms.
Ageing and Itsyogic Management
In any living being, at any given moment cells are born, others grow and mature while some degenerate and die. When the process of degeneration exceeds the other two processes, the ageing process is said to set in. To stop the ageing process, each degenerating cell must be replaced with a new cell and the irreplaceable cell must be repaired adequately.
The role of yoga:
Yoga helps to improve longevity It helps to alleviate the physical, mental, emotional and social problems. Thirdly, it provides a positive direction in life. Therefore, the first principle in yogic management is to delay the onset of ageing and its associated problems. The second principle is to maintain health and happiness and the third to alleviate ageing. This major task can be achieved by using two tools: Yogic practices and diet and lifestyle.
The right combination of yogic practices can, to a large extent, correct most of the problems associated with again. The selection of practice depends upon an individual’s capacity. However, certain practices like can beneficial for everybody.
• Yogic breathing
• Nadi Shodhana pranayams
• Bharamari prayanams
Hridaya mudra - Empowers cardio respiratory and brain function for cooling, balancing and shaping the mind.
Yoga Nidra- Provides relaxation at the conscious, subconscious and unconscious level. It s a systematic method of inducing complete physical, mental and emotional relaxation.
Antar Mauna - is important for receiving and letting go to old memories and detaching oneself from the past. It deals with the activities of the conscious mind. There is awareness of thought and mental activity.
Diet and Lifestyle:
The second tools that yoga uses is diet and lifestyles. Diet should be preferably vegetarian: fresh, seasonal not over or under cooked low calories (2000-2200 per day) yellow fat content 30-40 grams, daily) but at the same time not dry. low rode rate protein content of plant origin (50-60 grams), high carbohydrate content and high fiber content both soluble an insoluble. Regular mealtimes should be maintained and snacks or eating between meals discouraged. The stomach should be kept partially empty. Fasting or eating fruits one day a week rests digestive system and assists in the regenerative process. The yogic lifestyles concept depends on regularity in activities like sadhana, resting and sleeping. A medium--paced lifestyle, varied activities, avoiding extremes of any kind, togetherness in family life and expansion of awareness from ‘me and mine’ to us and, ours and beyond are some practical ways to put trust concept into practice.
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