The word Yoga refers to a holistic method of maintaining health. Today, people around the world practice Yoga or the various forms of postures to improve health and enhance overall wellbeing.
Fact 1 Origin of Yoga
In India, the sages or the holy men were seen performing various moves to stay fit and improve concentration more than 5000 years ago. This unique method of holistic health was first written down by the author Patanjali as Yoga Sutras. The work was written in Sanskrit language and Devanagiri script. Later various translations and interpretations were made so that the work could be understood and the yoga forms be performed by people throughout the world. Although Yoga was considered as a spiritual method of elevation and was focused more on increasing concentration in the Eastern countries, in the West it was cultivated as a form of physical training that was focused on total health and wellbeing.
Fact 2 Meaning of Yoga
In the Sutras, Yoga is described as having eight branches or limbs that refer to various types of Yoga. The third type which is constituted of the different postures termed as “Asanas” or physical culture is known as “Hatha Yoga”. It is these asanas of physical exercises that most people practice as a way of maintaining physical fitness as well as mental health and concentration.
According to the yogis or sages of India, there are seven “Chakras” or wheels of energy and this conception has come down from the ages meaning that the ethereal body consists of seven chakras. They draw their vital strength from the atmosphere surrounding them. These chakras lie along the central axis of the body and they control the seven levels of the yogic practitioner’s spiritual life. Through breathing exercises and visualization the yogi concentrates on these chakras to gain enlightenment and move towards a spiritual life. Every chakra has a specific feature of physical functioning as well as emotional qualities.
Fact 3 Benefits of Yoga
The far-reaching affect s of Yoga cannot be described so easily. The seven chakras are related to the eight different aspects of yoga and each one offer specific benefits like:
- Asana or postures
- Pranayama or breathing
- Dharana or concentration
- Dyani or meditation
- Yamas or restraints
- Pratyahara or control or withdrawal of senses
- Niyamas or observances and
- Samadhi or absorption.
The most beneficial aspect of Yoga that all practitioners of Yoga agree is stress management. Other advantages enjoyed by all who do the yoga postures regularly are enhancement of blood circulation, improves flexibility and strength. The different asanas target the different parts of the body and improves the health of the entire body. Everybody feels an increase in vitality and the results are long lasting. But one must be patient to enjoy such health benefits for nothing happens like magic in Yoga. But one feels the increase in concentration quite easily.
Today Yoga has been adopted people throughout the world and is the most popular method of breathing exercises, physical fitness and meditation. Yoga is highly effective in lowering blood pressure, reducing thyroid problems; bone-related pain, lower and upper back problems, cardiac issues, asthma, diabetes and especially improve mental health. Yoga instills self-confidence and to deal with stress and anxiety syndromes as well as depression that are very common in today’s world.
Fact 4 International Day of Yoga
Yoga has been recognized as one of the greatest ways to improve overall health of individuals irrespective of age or sex. To create awareness among all humans, 21st June 2015 has been declared as the International Day of Yoga as proposed by the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and approved by the U.N. Participation in Yoga will encourage worldwide peace, harmony and consciousness of the environment.