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The What, Why, and How About Yoga

Vivek Gupta is a passionate reader and a proficient writer. He is also enthusiastic about Yoga and has been practicing it for many years.

Practice of Yoga

Practice of Yoga

“Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.” — The Bhagavad Gita

YOGA, you might have heard this four-letter word before. It’s a very popular word in today’s world. But, merely hearing or speaking it is not enough to realize the true depth and dimension of this word. When you experience it first-hand, you get to know the vast expanse of this tiny word. So, let’s explore the what, why, and how about yoga.


What is Yoga?

The word yoga has been derived from the Sanskrit root ‘Yuj’, which means ‘union’. On the spiritual plane, yoga signifies the union of individual consciousness with the universal or cosmic consciousness. Yoga facilitates this process by bringing our body, mind, and spirit in sync with the existence; so that these faculties can function at their optimum.


Yoga comprises physical postures (Asanas), breathing techniques (Pranayama), and meditation (Dhyana). Asanas attend to the physiological aspects, Pranayama to the psychological aspects, and Dhyana to the psychic aspects of a human being.


Though the science of yoga originated in India over 5,000 years ago, it has reached almost every corner of the world today. It has nothing to do with religion; it can be said a technology of integrating body, mind, and soul, and of overall well-being.


Why to Practice Yoga?

The regular practice of yoga can yield benefits beyond your expectation. Here are some primary benefits that yoga can offer you:

  • It increases the flexibility and stability of your body
  • It strengthens the constitution of your body
  • It helps in alleviating and even eliminating chronic pain(s)
  • It improves your posture
  • It facilitates losing weight
  • It boosts your body’s immune system
  • It reduces stress and anxiety
  • It helps in overcoming depression
  • It helps in quitting addictions
  • It boosts cognitive ability
  • It enhances your perception
  • It improves your EQ or Emotional Quotient
  • It improves the quality of sleep
  • It heightens the level of your awareness
  • It helps improve your intuitive ability
  • It can even lead to awakening of the Kundalini


The above-mentioned benefits of practicing yoga daily might appear to you as many, but they are still nowhere near the actual number. Truly speaking, the number of direct and indirect benefits offered by yoga cannot be counted on fingers. Countless people across the world have reaped the benefits of practicing yoga and are still reaping. You can also be one of them. If you are interested in knowing how to unleash the power of yoga to enhance your life then read on.


How to Practice Yoga?

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People involve in so many endeavors and adventures just to enhance their lives; yoga can significantly enhance your life without much effort. Practicing yoga doesn’t require some superhuman capability or huge resources. All that you need is a yoga mat, a peaceful corner, and determination.


Nowadays, people take yoga classes, do yoga at the gym, or even do it at home on their own. It is quite feasible to do yoga at home, without any formal training, and get its benefits. However, as a beginner, you should not overstretch yourself or try to perform the asanas that require training and practice. You should begin with some simple asanas that are listed below:

  • Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
  • Vrikshasana (Tree Pose)
  • Uttanasana (Forward-fold Pose)
  • Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-facing dog Pose)
  • Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
  • Balasana (Child’s Pose)
  • Sukhasna (Easy Pose)


The step-by-step instructions about the above asanas are available on the internet. Similarly, there are some breathing exercises or pranayamas that you can practice as a beginner. These include Natural breath, Ujjayi pranayama (Victory breath), Bhramari pranayama (Bee breath), Kapalbhati pranayama (Skull shining breathing), and Nadi Shoddhan pranayama (Alternate nostril breathing).


Even practicing two to three asanas and pranayamas from the above list can provide you with miraculous results in terms of physical and mental well-being. But you must practice them consistently and preferably at the same time every day.


In order to reap the maximum benefit out of your yogasana and pranayama practice, you must take care of the following things:

  • You should be on an empty stomach
  • You should sit straight with your spine, neck, and head in a straight line
  • You should be sitting on a yoga mat or a thin mattress on the floor and not on a bed or other infirm surface
  • Your practice space should be well-ventilated
  • You should start your practice with a calm and peaceful mind
  • You should not push yourself to do a particular asana if you feel pain or numbness in any part of your body
  • You should not try to do complicated asanas such as Sirsasana (Headstand Pose), Gandha Bherundasana (Formidable-face Pose), Kala Bhairavasana (Destroyer of the Universe Pose), and Garudasana (Eagle Pose)
  • You should attempt complicated asanas only at an advanced stage of your practice, and that too under expert supervision


Conclusion

Yoga is not merely a philosophy or a practice, it is a way of life; it's a step towards conscious living. It enables an individual to enhance his/her life and to experience the dimensions of life that are otherwise beyond normal perception. In today’s time of increasing depression and lifestyle diseases, the world has begun to realize the importance of yoga even more. Even the United Nations recognized the universal appeal of yoga and announced 21st June as the International Day of Yoga. Let’s take a pledge to make yoga a part of our life to make this world full of healthy, peaceful, and blissful people.


If you want to learn in detail about yoga and its practices, you may visit https://yoga.ayush.gov.in/

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Vivek Gupta

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