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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. But one cannot deny that there are numerous benefits of yoga for men, women, and even kids.
Given its origin from India, we Indians are not that involved in Yoga as compared to other countries.
So, in this blog we are going to 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 better 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 Vedas, 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.
Amazing and Unexpected Benefits of Yoga for Health
Many of you would have heard about the health benefits of Yoga. 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.
One important thing to keep in mind is that you can reap maximum benefits of yoga in the morning. So, it is better to start your day with Yoga itself.
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. Mental Benefits of Yoga
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.
Yoga is not just for men and women but there is also the importance of yoga for kids. As, it promotes physical fitness and sharpens the mind of kids.
All in all, I can say this with confidence that Yoga helps improve overall health, fitness, and wellness.
I hope that you guys find this blog interesting and helpful to you. And if you do then, like and share it among others.
Feel free to share your opinions and suggestions with us by writing in the comment section.
FAQs on Yoga Benefits:
There are many ways that yoga can benefit a person. Like it helps Improves posture, keep diseases at bay, reduces sleeplessness, keep your skin and hair healthy, and also increasing your mental flexibility.
Yoga helps reduces stress, promotes mental and physical flexibility, builds muscle strength. Practicing facial yoga exercises every day helps tighten the facial muscles. It also helps increase blood circulation to the head, thus, promoting hair growth.
The purpose of yoga is to build strength, awareness and harmony in both the mind and body. It naturally removes toxins from the system, improves mental clarity. Also, practicing yoga may help lower blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood glucose levels, as well as heart rate.
Yoga Improves Flexibility, helps control blood sugar, Improves lung function, and is also the key to a healthy body. One important thing to keep in mind is that you can reap maximum benefits of yoga in the morning.
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. It also helps fights Depression, boost memory and improves concentration.