Yoga is a traditional discipline of physical and mental exercises that evolved in India, some five thousand years back. In various religions, the principles of yoga include various asanas, breathing practice and meditation. The ancient practice of yoga tends to unite the mind, body and soul of a human being. By practicing various yoga asanas, one can experience an inner harmony and peacefulness. It also ensures stability of the emotions and clarity of mind. Every form of yoga, be it Kundalini yoga, Hatha yoga or Ashtanga yoga or Vinyasa yoga, the main aim of all yoga forms is to unite the human soul with the Supreme by evoking the spiritual sense within. Meditation or Dhyana, another important part of yoga, helps the mind to relax by ceasing its continuous fluctuations. Soothing meditation music, when incorporated in such practice, ensures better result.
For the last 5000 years, mankind is deriving innumerable benefits from this Vedic science of physical and mental exercises. Yoga is believed to be the best way of attaining Moksha, the ultimate liberation from the birth and rebirth process. The spiritual and physical benefits of yoga have been recognized by the people all over the world. With passing time, yoga has become a scientifically proven method of controlling one’s own mind, body and spirit.
Only one change has taken place during this long period of time, that is of a yoga teacher. In the Vedic period, yoga gurus used to teach their disciples the yoga sadhana. But now, the scenario has changed. Now, people can learn to practice yoga at home, all by themselves, with the help of a yoga instruction CD or yoga DVD.
I want to spend the next several minutes just talking to you. The objective here is that you might become as comfortable and relaxed as possible. This is not hypnosis, it is not brain washing, I am simply going to instruct you in how properly to allow yourself to relax. Relaxation is not simply important for your physical self, it will positively affect your spirit, your mind, your body and your overall well being. Those unable to relax, often suffer from an inability to focus their concentration. This exercise will allow you to do this. To be effective, this exercise will require you to have no direct distractions. Nothing that will divide your attention in any fashion, you will want to find a chair or couch that is comfortable. Turn off the television or radio, turn down the lights and relax. This is not a ‘screamer’ – it is an actual relaxation exercise….
Though yoga sometimes is associated as a fad, it has been a tradition in the east for thousands of years. In the past it never was an industry with clothing, mats and accessories, but a path into oneself. Yoga involves breathing, stretching, asanas and meditation to help someone question their ego and find a true connection with something larger. It also has wonderful health benefits and studies show it helps with blood pressure, weight and other ailments. Psychologically, it is an excellent tool for relaxation and being able to be in the moment more fully.
Yoga is used by people of various faiths and though you can go deep into Hindu philosophy or Buddhist teachings, many choose to use it in conjunction with their own religion. The principles of patience, kindness and gaining wisdom are
common in all tradition.
There are levels of yoga that are very gentle so that no one has to be intimidated by feeling they are too out of shape to begin practicing. Some of the stretches are similar to those used before sports practicing, but there are some differences. During each pose, one is instructed to quiet the mind and just focus on the strech, feeling one’s breath. Every moment is seen as a way to get away from one’s daily worries and troubles.
Many classes end with a meditation so that the gains from the class can be taken into the outside world. To leave yoga
and immediately start cutting people off on the road indicates that one has to work a bit on the transition and take a pause when one is in the car. Ideally, the teaching from yoga classes can carry into daily life and not be isolated moments of peace. This takes practice and one should use that as a goal but not judge oneself for falling into reactions.