Modern life is full of stress and problems. They put a lot of pressure on the human body. This causes a lot of life style problems like obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes etc. People usually go to doctors and take expensive drugs for treatment. But these methods are not only expensive but also harmful in the long run. Yoga offers the cheapest and harmless solution...
...to this problem in the form of relaxation.
There are various types of relaxation vis-à-vis: physical, mental and spiritual. Physical relaxation is achieved by performing the asanas. The stretching and moving of your body during yoga practice releases the physical tension. Deep yoga breathing helps in mental relaxation. Spiritual relaxation is possible when both the mind and the body are relaxed.
Meditation is the one of the most important aspect of yoga. It helps in connecting the body, mind and spirit. Daily yoga meditation helps in mental purification and offers clarity of thought. It increases concentration and focus.
Meditation should be done in a clean, peaceful room at a fixed time. Sit cross-legged and keep your spine straight. Sit on the floor, a chair or on the yoga meditation cushion. Do not let anybody else use this room since your energy permeates this room and allowing others to use this place might pollute the same. There is no need to keep eyes closed if you can concentrate with your eyes open.
Concentrate on your breath. Do not scold yourself if your mind wanders. Just bring your focus back onto your breath. If you can work with sounds better, use a sacred word or chant mantra. You can also view the image of your favourite deity in your mind's eye to help you focus.
Yoga develops a positive attitude amongst its practitioners. It teaches you the positive virtues like compassion, faith, trust and love. It makes you aware and receptive of your surroundings. It develops your strength and flexibility. Your health and complexion improves since all your body organs work to their maximum capacity. It teaches you to eat healthy, naturally produced, unrefined and unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables etc. Yoga lays a great stress on elimination of unhealthy products like alcohol, smoking, non-veg and processed food, thereby decreasing toxic overload on your internal organs and thus they perform better.
Yoga eases many of the problems present during pregnancy like nausea, cramping, high blood pressure etc. It maintains good posture, and thus eliminates back pain. The deep yoga breathing and yoga meditation techniques cause mental relaxation and thus the pains during pregnancy and childbirth are minimized. The relaxation also aids in speedy recovery of the body after the childbirth.
However avoid poses on your back abdomen and inverted poses and back bends during this time since they can harm your baby. Also don't over stretch your muscles or increase the intensity of your practice.
A child's body is very flexible. Starting yoga at this tender age can help in increasing the height of the child. Yoga meditation aids in increasing the concentration. Since yoga concentrates on wholesome or static diet, the child learns the good eating habits and learns to love the different types of fruits and vegetables. Visualization helps in increasing the child's imagination. Try to make their session playful. Don't force them to exercise if they don't want to.
As we age, our body starts developing various health problems. Our muscles become weak. We lose balance and coordination. Yoga is a great antidote for these problems. It is safe and gentle on joints and so seniors can move around safely. It improves breathing and circulation. Yoga classes can be a great social activity.
If you suffer from any problem, it is advisable to speak about it with your yoga instructor or the doctor. Don't do any exercise which will pressurize the problem areas like knees, heat et al.