Introduction to Yoga
One of the most ancient heritages of India, yoga is a science of living, which relates to the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual aspects of an individual. The term ?Yoga? has been derived from the Sanskrit word ?yuj? which means ?to join?. Thus, the literal meaning of yoga is ?to unite?. Thus, yoga unites the body, mind and soul of an individual. The origin of yoga heads back to more than 5000 years during the vedic period. The references of yoga can be seen in the ?Upanishads? and ?Puranas? written by the Aryans in the vedic period. Later, sage Patanjali compiled the science of yoga in a systematic way in his book ?Yog Sutra?. So, he is also called father of yoga. The most efficient and effective tool to attain the passion and tranquility in life is yoga since ages.
The traditional yoga approach mainly includes three things- asana (postures), pranayama (breath control) and dhayna(meditation). The yoga asanas are the various physical postures such as stretching, sitting, standing etc. These are very helpful in increasing the physical strength and stamina of an individual. Also, it provides serenity to the mind. Similarly, pranayam is concerned with the breathing exercises, which enhances the lung capacity and also helps in proper circulation of blood and oxygen inside the body. Dhyan connects the body and the soul together. It helps in self-actualization, enhances our concentration and makes us more open-minded.
Yoga can be practiced by anyone irrespective of age, sex, and physical conditions as per their needs. It is beneficial for all. The sole purpose of yoga is to excel the self and attain enlightenment. Yoga tells that, man is a physical, mental and spiritual being and there need to be congruence between these three for proper development. Other forms of exercises, such as aerobics, gymnastics are confined to physical help only buy yoga talks about the overall growth of a human being including physical, mental and spiritual.
Yoga fills our body with cosmic energy, which recharges our body, and the person feels very energized and rejuvenated. It guides us to attain the perfect harmony between the body, mind and soul with nature, which invigorates the power of self-healing within us. It develops the positive thinking and blocks the negative ones in our mind. Yoga is very helpful in creating self-awareness in an individual. It also increases the concentration level and focus within a person. Regular practice of yoga activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which ultimately results in reduction of stress and tension.
Yoga is gaining popularity day by day and in India only, more than 15 million people practice yoga daily and the number is increasing rapidly. Yoga comprises of different styles and around 84,000 postures and variations in it. It has different styles for the same purpose. So, it has lots of alternatives.