Yoga, is the union of mind, body and inner spirit. It has its roots in Sanskrit. Yoga is believed to be originated from Lord Shiva and which was founded on ahead by Sage Patanjali. The basis and philosophy of yogic activities is purification.
The great yogis after years of search discovered that impurities were present in the internal body that greatly affected the state of our mind as well our physical activities. Therefore, a way to purify those impurities was required, which they did through yoga. The purgation of human body increases the flow of ‘prana’ through the whole body which in turn helps us attain real wisdom, spiritual emancipation and everlasting bliss. Modern yoga, or yoga as we know it in the west today comprises of three aspects – the physical practice of postures, breathing exercises and meditative practices. There is little connection with religious beliefs or spiritualism in most modern disciplines of yoga. It has become the most practical and popular approach to physical fitness in most parts of the world. The main reason for this dramatic surge in the popularity of yoga in the west can be attributed to the popularity of eastern mysticism and spirituality through various cultural movements as well as endorsements by celebrities.
Two of the basic elements of traditional yoga are – Pranayama and Meditation.
Pranayamas or breathing exercises are an indispensable feature of any yoga practice. The breathing techniques of pranayama are designed to give us greater command over the respiratory function, which for most of us is simply a reflex. The pranayamas helps us to enhance and build lung capacity, improving oxygenation, circulation and energizing our body. Pranayamas have a tremendous calming and relaxing effect on our body and they are also fundamental to meditation. They are practiced in harmony with yoga poses.
Meditation is one of the most highly valued features of yoga. Meditation helps us to strengthen our mind and give us greater control over our mind, which signifies control over our mental faculties, emotions, and thoughts. It is the most effective tool to improve our concentration, build our focus and gain clarity of thought. It helps us to improve self confidence and to completely eliminate any kind of stress.
MODERN DAY BENEFITS
There is no purgative action greater than pranayama. It develops our lungs and practicing it, will result in powerful and melodious voice and better breathing. The body benefits and becomes strong and healthy. Excretions become scanty and the appetite becomes avid. The digestive system is improved. Brings a natural shine on the face. The practitioner becomes very handsome or beautiful. A student of pranayama becomes so perfect in brahmacharya (sensual restraint) that his/her mind will not be shaken even if a celestial being tries to embrace him/ her. He/she is free from all sorts of diseases and the flow of energy in their bodies are purified.
Steady practice arouses inner spiritual light, happiness and peace of mind. It is impossible to exalt the wonderful effects of pranayama sufficiently. It is like a magic wand for obtaining perfection in all walks of life. Even a few days of practice will convince you of its remarkable glory. Start from today, this very moment.
Health benefits- With meditation, the physiology undergoes a change in every cell and every cell is filled with ‘prana’ i.e. energy. It lowers high blood pressure, the levels of blood lactate and reduces anxiety attacks. Also helps in decreasing any tension- related pain , such as, headaches, ulcers, insomnia, muscle and joint problems. Increases serotonin production in the body that improves mood and behavior and improves the immune system and increases the energy level in an addition to inner source of energy.
Mental benefits– Meditation decreases anxiety, and improves mental stability, which in result increases happiness and creativity. One develops stronger intuition, gains clarity and peace of mind. It helps in sharpening the mind by gaining focus. It gives you a sharp mind and make you aware that your inner attitude determines your happiness. In students, meditation builds greater confidence, more focus and clarity, better health, more mental strength and energy and greater dynamism.
Presently, it is well established that these are the significant yoga benefits for children, athletes, men, women, seniors, stress, and weight loss. A minimum of 15-20 minutes of routine yoga every day would be adequate to derive the tremendous benefits of yoga.