Monday, March 23, 2009

Health and Wellness for Body. Mind and Spirit - YOGA

Yoga and its Benefits
Everyday people are reporting their wonderful experiences on health benefits of Yoga, the transformation of being, taking you beyond the here and now. In one wonderful session of Yoga, people get to practice a number of things, some Yoga poses (asanas) breathing exercises (pranayama), meditation and chanting. In Yoga you get to learn basic terms like Mudras, Bandhas and Chakras. Best of all, Yoga is fun and relaxing while, at the same time, being delectably challenging to beginners.

The intermediate and advanced students, who insist on continuing their practices, get more and more of the taste of this great 5000+ year old wondrous way of life. Yoga is for the body, mind and spirit. You learn to use your body, breath and mind to stretch, relax and energize yourself. So get up and go!

Yoga is all about feeling good; feel the blood surging through your veins, the energy pulsating through your nerves, the bliss coursing through your whole being.

Best of all, Yoga is apt for all, regardless of age, color, caste, creed or religion; from the healthiest to the sickest, from the richest to the poorest, from the whitest to the blackest. And here are some of the specific – and immense – benefits of yoga:

Benefits of Yoga

1) Brings down stress and enhances powers of relaxation
2) Boosts physical strength, stamina and flexibility
3) Bestows greater powers of concentration and self control
4) Inculcates impulse Control
5) Helps in rehabilitation of old and new injuries
6) Intensifies tolerance to pain and enhancing mental clarity
7) Boosts functioning of the immune system
8) Enhances posture and muscle tone
9) Improves blood circulation
10) Results in healthy, glowing skin
11) Cleanses and improves overall organ functioning
12) Bestows peace of mind and a more positive outlook to life
13) Infuses a sense of balance and internal harmony
Best of all, Yoga is highly therapeutic. Some of the ailments proven to be relieved, reversed and even healed through the practice of Yoga are acidity , allergies, alzheimer disease, anemia, anger, anxiety, arthritis, asthma, back pain, bronchitis, cancer, carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic fatigue, colitis, common cold, constipation, depression, diabetes, epilepsy, eye problems, facial wrinkles, gastro-intestinal disorders, headaches, heartburn, hemorrhoids, hepatitis, high blood pressure, hypertension, immune-deficiency, impotence, menopause, menstrual cramps, migraines, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, nervous tension, obesity, osteoporosis, prostate, enlargement, sciatica, skin problems, sleep apnea, slipped disk, sterility, stiffness, stress, insomnia, intoxication, thyroid problems, kidney stones, stuttering and stammering, urinary tract disorders for women, vaginal infections and many more...

So, if Yoga has varied and immense physical benefits, what exactly is Yoga?

Yoga is a 5000 year old science whose teachings were first imparted not in a classroom or Gurukul, but on the battle field. In the epic Mahabharata, the sage, Lord Krishna is first said to have imparted the teachings of Yoga to his despondent student Arjuna. Around 1500 years later, another sage, Patanjali, went on to enunciate, for the benefit of humankind and eternity, the way to reach the summom bonum of life through a series of 195 aphorisms (sutras) in his epic treatise The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

Derived from the Sanskrit root “Yujir Yogey” meaning to unite, to yoke, to join, to put together, Yoga is not about mind over body. On the other hand, Yoga is about developing harmony between them. In Yoga, you use your mind to perceive (diagnose) and guide (heal) your body. Never control, let alone force it!

Yoga is a way of life, a conscious act, not a set or series of learning principles. The dexterity, grace, and poise you cultivate, as a matter of course, is the natural outcome of regular practice. You require no major effort. In fact trying hard will turn your practices into a humdrum, painful, even injurious routine and will eventually slow down your progress. Subsequently, and interestingly, the therapeutic effect of Yoga is the direct result of involving the mind totally in inspiring (breathing) the body to awaken.
Contrary to popular – or unpopular – perception, Yoga positions are not about how far you can reach to touch your toes or how many repetitions you can perform. It is all about paying attention to how your body feels; how it moves without that excruciating pain or agony! Yoga is all about breathing correctly about integrating that breath into your being. Conscious Yoga doesn’t call for you to force or strain your never or sinew. Meaning to say, right Yoga is learning how to do things right, do less that gets you more!
Ironically, by doing less – correctly – Yoga enhances your strength, energy, vitality, flexibility and levels of endurance. Accordingly, your body and mind start to become more balanced until, eventually, you find it takes so much less energy to move through the day. Yes, any and everyone can do less…and get a lot, lot more!

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