Yoga, derived from the Sanskrit word yuj meaning to join or to unite is an ancient practice of physical, mental, and spiritual exercise originated in India thousands of years ago.
Yoga has been in practice for long ago when the rishi munis of India used to do it for attaining physical, mental and spiritual balance of the body, mind and soul. The evidence of yoga can be sited in the texts of 'Upanishads' and 'Puranas' written at the time of Aryans and later maharishi Patanjali compiled the whole yoga system in his book 'Yog Sutra'. For this, he is also called the 'father of yoga'. Since then, yoga has been considered as one of the best practices to attain perfect spiritual insight and tranquillity.
Though, medical science has developed at par in the modern world but the popularity of yoga has still not descended due to its countless health benefits.
Performing yoga includes various yogic postures and poses that are known to bring relaxation and rejuvenation in the body, mind and soul. According to the manuscripts of Patanjali, there are basically eight stages of yoga discipline, namely: yamas, niyamas, asans, pranayama, pratyahara, dharna, dhyana and samadhi. Later, Swami Sivanand suggested five principles of yoga called Asanas (Proper Exercise), Pranayama (Proper breathing), Shavasana (Proper Relaxation), Dhyana (Positive thinking and Meditation) and Proper Diet. Although, for the beginners, the first three principles are recommended. i.e. asana (postures), pranayama (breath control) and dhayna (meditation) but all the principles are equally important to attain the ultimate objective of yoga.
The asanas includes various postures and stretching excercise that stimulates the flexibility in body as well as increases the physical strength. Pranayama involves breathing practices that makes you feel relaxed and rejuvenated. It also stimulates the lung capacity of the body. Similarly, dhyana includes a series of mediation practices, which helps to connect your body and soul your body and soul to attain the stage of self-realization.
Yoga is a vast science of relaxation and rejuvenation that has been divided into 6 branches called Hatha yoga, Raja Yoga, Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga and Tantra Yoga each having specific benefits. Yoga is known to have huge number of beneifits in all states of including the physical, mental and spiritual levels. Doing yoga generates a cosmic energy inside the body, which recharges the body with energy and rejuvenates our body with positive energy and hence, increases the power of self-healing in the body. Moreover, increases clarity in the thought.
The benefits of yoga has made it popular not only to India but the popularity of yoga is spreading very rapidly in the western countries too. People are practicing yoga across the globe and getting ample benefits in physical, mental and spiritual levels.