Many people think that Yoga is a form of exercise that is specifically meant to keep the body in good shape and nothing more. However, apart from keeping the body fit, yoga is very important if practiced daily since the benefits of yoga go beyond these physical boundaries. The practice of yoga is not limited or fixed at a certain age since anybody can practice it and experience tremendous results. However, various misconceptions have developed about yoga practice. For example, a lot of people believe that the practice of yoga is purely meant for exercise and body fitness while some people also tend to think that yoga movements are too complex to perform.
Indians introduced yoga to the Western world between the 19th and the 20th century. The Indians wanted the westerners to learn the practice of yoga so that they could also have benefits. The westerners welcomed the practice until they decided to commercialize it to the public. What was once a respected piece of art now was reduced to a mere training session! However, yoga is supposed to be used with the right intentions, not for achieving personal gains.
Yoga is a habit that develops as you practice it, it is a general way of life and as such, it is aimed at liberating an individual, thereby it has a great impact on people’s lives.
Principles of yoga
For you to be a yoga practitioner you need to master the following five general principles:
- Postures (also called Asana)
- Breathing control (Pranayama)
- Relaxation of your body (Shavasana)
- The diet (Sattvic)
- Meditation (Dhyana)
The practice of yoga allows you to be in harmony with the universe as you channel energy from the experience.
The benefits of yoga
Apart from the physical benefits associated with yoga, other benefits directly influence our lives and the way we think. These include:
- Yoga gives balance and posture to our physique. It makes us be in good shape and more confident about our bodies.
- Yoga is beneficial to our emotional wellbeing. As you take deep breaths into your body during yoga practice, the body gets accustomed to more oxygen and ultimately relaxes. This relaxation of the body helps you to get rid of unhealthy emotions such as anger. When this practice is done regularly, your body will get used to positive emotions that in turn make your life happier and uplifted.
- Yoga practice helps you to stay focused. The practice of yoga involves meditation where you let go of every thought that makes your soul feel heavy and replace it with good thoughts by concentrating fully on your yoga sessions. This deep concentration of the mind and body alleviates any discomfort and helps you to stay focused.
Medical Benefits of Yoga
- If you are suffering from respiratory diseases like asthma, practicing Prayana helps to strengthen the lungs and make you less susceptible to cases of difficult breathing.
- Yoga practice helps you to develop stronger muscles, which in turn protects you from developing conditions such as hamstring injuries, arthritis, and even back pains.
- Yoga practice will help you develop a stronger spine by making it very flexible as you bend back and forth in your daily activities.
- Yoga practice also helps your body to have a good circulation of blood during the breathing exercises (Pranayama) which in turn helps the body have enough oxygen and the result is a decrease in blood clots and ultimately reduced heart attacks.
In conclusion, the benefits of yoga are much more than mere fitness exercises. Yoga cuts across the entire sphere of our daily life hence we should start practicing yoga whenever we can.