What is Yoga? Learn the Basics of Yoga

Yoga is an ancient Indian practice dealing with the well being of human mind, body and spirit. The principles of yoga, called Yogasutra, were given by Patanjali, a saint philosopher and a physician, who lived around 3 centuries before Christ. He is known as the founder of yoga.

These sutras are timeless and hold true even today. They help you to lead a blissful life by improving your physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.

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Who can practice Yoga?

Yoga is a series of exercises that is performed to improve health and flexibility. People of any age, sex or any fitness level can practice yoga. The beauty of yoga is that it is highly flexible, so you can modify yoga techniques to meet your need. If you have mobility problems, use chair to perform yoga. Office-goers can try the deep-breathing practices to relieve their stress. Sportsmen and physically active people can use the strengthening techniques to enhance their activities. Children can increase their attention span by using yoga techniques. Seniors can use yoga techniques to improve the body mobility and the flexibility of their joints. Doctors recommend yoga practices for the people with cardiac problems.

What is yoga?

Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word "yuj" which means to unite or to join. Even though, people tend to think that yoga is a series of exercises with twisted body poses, it is not so. Basically, it helps you to connect with your inner spirit, which is essentially divine and is connected to the universal spirit or God.

Types of yoga's

Although people associate yoga with only exercises or asanas as they are commonly called, yoga is of many types. The most popular type is Hatha Yoga. This type of yoga contains various types of asanas and is beneficial in improving the body strength and flexibility. Karma yoga teaches you the way of right action without expecting the fruits of labour and offering the activity as the service to almighty. You learn devotion and unconditional love for the divine by Bhakti Yoga. Answer to your deeper questions like: who am I, Where do I come from, - come from Jnana Yoga. Control your mind and be free from worldly attachments by practicing Raja Yoga. Kundalini Yoga releases the energy present in the chakras or energy centers in your body by teaching you deep breathing. Tantric Yoga worships the feminine energy and teaches you to look at your body as a source of divine.

Benefits of yoga

Unlike modern day exercises, which concentrate only on the body or on the mind, yoga techniques provide a holistic approach towards your welfare. Asanas help you to improve your strength and flexibility, so that you can carry out your daily activities unhindered. Deep breathing techniques help in removal of toxins in the body and aid in relaxation. Yoga can be a great weight loss and toning tool.

It helps in healing and nourishing the body. Meditation calms your mind and gives you clarity of thought.

The major benefit of yoga is that it doesn't need any special place or equipment or clothes. All you need is mat and loose fitting clothes. Thus you can practice yoga even when you are away from your home.

Creating a yoga environment

Yoga can be practiced at any time of the day. Choosing to practice in the morning energizes you and the relaxed, soothing practice helps to wind up in the evening. The room should be airy, clean and well lit. Avoid air conditioners. Play soft music or yoga cassettes and keep incense sticks in the room to clean the air. If possible, keep some flowers in the room.

Tips for great yoga practice

Yoga can be practiced at any time of the day. Choosing to practice in the morning energizes you and the relaxed, soothing practice helps to wind up in the evening. The room should be airy, clean and well lit. Avoid air conditioners. Play soft music or yoga cassettes and keep incense sticks in the room to clean the air. If possible, keep some flowers in the room.

Adopt a positive attitude. Set manageable goals. Start with simple exercises and as you progress, increase your intensity. Record your progress so that you can note down your experiences, thoughts and anything else. Practice yoga on an empty stomach or 3 hours after a meal. Avoid smoking, drinking, drugs, non-veg and fried foods. Keep your meals simple. Do your practice at the time convenient to you. But mornings till 9.00 am are preferable since they are neither too hot nor cold.

Why is yoga necessary in a daily routine?

Dealing with stress is becoming a very important part of living today, and yoga is one of the widely recommended practices that helps to beat the pressures of life today. Understanding how yoga and your health benefits go hand in hand is important so that you are able to live more comfortably and release stress from your body. Begin practicing the various techniques of yoga and your health stress levels begin to diminish within no time at all because your mind and body are both being relaxed at the same time. After learning about yoga and your health, body stress levels reduce considerably, allowing you to live a fuller, healthier life.

Where I can learn yoga effectively and free of cost?

Yoga is a form of relaxation that involves breathing and posture techniques that allow you to relieve the body and mind of unwanted stress. There are various yoga poses that need to be learned in order to ensure that you are following the correct techniques for relaxation. Different yoga techniques require the mastering of different yoga positions, such as the sun salutations, or the Surya Namaskar positions, which are part of the preliminary techniques of yoga. There are various yoga videos that are available over the internet that will help in giving you an audio / visual guide to the correct techniques of yoga that are to be followed.

What are spiritual laws of yoga?

Yoga, like any other form of relaxation and meditation, convenes a certain amount of spirituality through its practice. The spiritual laws yoga path can be attained through concentrated practices of yoga and the various techniques that it has to offer. There are also several books on the spiritual laws of yoga that help in giving an insight into what one can attain through theses relaxation techniques. The spiritual laws yoga practical uses come into effect only after one has mastered the techniques of meditation and relaxation through the various postures at the different levels attained. Spiritual laws exercise will help to distress and detoxify the body over time, and are techniques that should be followed regularly and devoutly.

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