What is Yoga ?
Yoga is essentially a spiritual discipline based on an extremely subtle science which focuses on bringing harmony between mind and body. It is an art and science for healthy living. The word “Yoga” is derived from the Sanskrit root yuj meaning “to join”, “to yoke” or “to unite”. According to Yogic scriptures, the practice of Yoga leads to the union of individual consciousness with universal consciousness.
“Yoga” also refers to an inner science comprising of a variety of methods through which human beings can achieve union between the body and mind to attain self-realization. The aim of Yoga practice (sādhana) is to overcome all kinds of sufferings that lead to a sense of freedom in every walk of life with holistic health, happiness, and harmony.
Though Yoga was being practiced in the pre-Vedic period, the great sage Maharishi Patanjali systematized and codified the then existing Yogic practices, its meaning, and its related knowledge through Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.
Yogic practices for health and wellness
The widely practiced Yoga sadhanas are: Yama, Niyama, Āsana, Prānāyāma, Pratyāhara, Dhārana, Dhyāna, Samādhi, Bandhas and Mudras, Shatkarmas, Yuktāhāra, Mantra-japa, Yukta-karma etc.
How Yoga Can Help?
Yoga is essentially a path to liberation from all bondage. However, medical research in recent years has uncovered many physical and mental benefits that Yoga offers, corroborating the experiences of millions of practitioners. A small sampling of research shows that:
1·Yoga is beneficial for physical fitness, musculoskeletal functioning, and cardiovascular health.
2.It is beneficial in the management of diabetes, respiratory disorders, hypertension, hypotension and many lifestyle-related disorders.
3.·Yoga helps to reduce depression, fatigue, anxiety disorders and stress.
4.·Yoga regulates menopausal symptoms.
In essence, Yoga is a process of creating a body and mind that are stepping-stones, not hurdles, to an exuberant and fulfilling life.