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Yoga was something that I have looked from afar but have never tried it myself. Despite knowing the hundreds of benefits of it, I just couldn’t take the time from my not so busy schedule to actually try it.
Given its origin from India, we Indians are not that involved in Yoga as compared to other countries. With our Hon’ble PM himself promoting yoga, it’s actually time that we reward our body with this amazing activity. So, this International Yoga Day 2020 let’s talk more about yoga and get into the depth of it. And hopefully, after this blog, I can actually start doing Yoga every day and so can you.
For those who are religiously doing Yoga, well that’s great for you. But, during those body enlightening sessions that you wonder “where in the world did all this come from?” With the existence of yoga tracing back thousands of years ago, let me take you back in time to understand the origin of Yoga.
Tracing back the Roots of Yoga
Yoga is a practice of mind, soul, and body, all collected in one. The term yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Yuj’ meaning to unite; the union of the mind, soul, and body. With Western practice primarily a physical one, however, in Yoga the physical exercise is just a part of the multidimensional practice; it has a meditative and a spiritual backbone.
The concept of Yoga was first introduced by the Indus-Sarasvati civilization in Northern India over 5,000 years ago. The word yoga was first mentioned in one of the oldest Veda, the Rig Veda.
The yoga origin is divided into 4 periods:
• Pre-Classical Period
The existence of the Vedas marks this period. These Vedas contain the oldest known Yogic teachings, characterized by rituals and ceremonies that strive to surpass the limitations of the mind.
Yoga was slowly refined by the Brahmans and Rishis, who documented their practices and beliefs in the Upanishads. The most renowned Yogic scripture is the Bhagavad-Gîtâ, composed around 500 B.C.E.
This idea of ritual sacrifice from the Vedas was adopted by the Upanishads, who then teach the sacrifice of the ego through self-knowledge, action (karma yoga), and wisdom (jnana yoga).
• Classical Period
This period is defined by Patanjali’s Yoga-Sûtras, the first systematic presentation of yoga. It is composed of 195 sutras that describe the Raja Yoga and its underlying principle, Patanjali’s Eightfold Path of Yoga (also called Eight Limbs of Classical Yoga).
• Post-Classical Period
During the Post-Classical period, followers of Patanjali yoga gave a new outlook to yoga by giving emphasizing to the asanas, kriyas, and pranayama, for cleansing of the body and mind. This body and mind purification helped practitioners reach higher levels of practice, called Samadhi. This yoga is hatha yoga.
• Modern Period
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, yoga masters started to travel to the West, to attract attention and followers. And was introduced to the rest of the world by Swami Vivekananda by his historic speech at the Parliament of Religions in Chicago.
There are many yogis like Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Paramahamsa Yogananda, Ramana Maharishi, etc., who influenced the western world profoundly through their spiritual accomplishments.
Health Benefits: How Yoga Helps in Daily Life?
Many of you have heard about various yoga benefits for health. But, once you understand and learn them yourself, maybe then you’ll be even more motivated to step onto your mat.
According to Natalie Nevins, DO, a certified osteopathic family physician and a certified Kundalini Yoga instructor in Hollywood, California.
The purpose of yoga is to build strength, awareness and harmony in both the mind and body.
Some of the reasons why yoga is good for health are listed below:
1. Yoga Benefits for Body
Our body is our own responsibility and Yoga is the key to a healthy body. There are numerous benefits of Yoga for the body, like:
- Most importantly, it reduces stress
- Improves Flexibility
- Reduces sleeplessness
- Improves posture
- Helps control blood sugar
- Also, keep diseases at bay
- Improves lung function
- Builds muscle strength, etc.
2. Yoga Benefits for Skin and Hair
A good diet and some Yoga will definitely help you to keep your skin and hair healthy. To naturally remove toxins from the system, fast-paced yoga exercises such as quick rounds of Surya Namaskar, make you perspire and keeps skin fresh.
- Practicing facial yoga exercises every day will help tighten the facial muscles.
- Cooling Pranayamas (breathing exercises), like Sheetali and Sheetkari, can help provide a cooling effect to the skin and retain its glow.
- Practicing asanas (yoga postures) helps increase blood circulation to the head, thus, promotes hair growth.
3. Yoga Benefits for the Mind
You may already be aware of the yoga benefits for health– from increasing your flexibility to health benefits, and so much more. But do you know what yoga can do for your mind?
Yoga strengthens the mind-body connection. For your mind, from busting stress and calming the nervous system to brighten your overall mood, yoga does contribute to a strong mind.
Some of its benefits are:
- It fights Depression
- Boosts memory and improves concentration
- Reduces the effects of trauma
- Improves mental clarity
- Also, combats negative emotions
4. Yoga Benefits for Heart
Not just for body and mind, Yoga benefits also extend to the heart. One of yoga’s most important benefits to the heart is its ability to relax the body and mind. As, stress and depression lead to a cardiac event, such as a heart attack, bypass surgery, or a diagnosis of heart disease.
Apart from releasing stress, practicing yoga may help lower blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood glucose levels, as well as heart rate.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), physical inactivity is a significant risk factor in developing heart diseases. So, yoga contributes to heart health by promoting physical activity.
So, this International Yoga day 2020, TabletShablet encourages you all to get involved with Yoga in any way and also aware people around you. To get the full benefit of it, you all should try to Incorporate Yoga into your daily life.
Stay Fit Stay Healthy