Yoga, known as a system of exercises for physical and mental well being, combines stylized poses with deep breathing and meditation. The word 'yoga' derived from a Sanskrit word meaning to 'join together' whereby the eventual achievement in yoga is to unite the human soul with the universal spirit.


According to historic data, yoga was introduced about five thousand years ago whereby the first written description was found in 'Yoga Sutras' which was attributed to Patanjali. It states that within the human Deep breathing and meditation for relaxationbody there are channels called Nadi and centres called Chakra and if these channels and centres are tapped, a form of energy called Kundalini hidden in the body can be released.


The eight stages of Yoga stated by Patanjali are the Yama (universal moral commandments), Niyama (self-purification through discipline), Asana (posture), Pranayama (breath-control), Pratyahara (withdrawal of mind from external objects), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (state of super-consciousness). There are also different types of discipline in yoga which touches various aspects of the human life other than the different stages stated above. Among the many disciplines are Hathayoga (physical exercise), Gyanyoga or Dhyanyoga (exercise for the mind and intellect) and Karmayoga (disciplined actions in daily life).                                                                        Photo: Meditation


This traditional health and fitness practice gives both physical and mental therapy. It considers ageing as largely as artificial condition which is caused mainly by autointoxication or self-poisoning. By keeping the body parts clean and well-lubricated, cell deterioration can be greatly reduced. There are three main guidelines to follow in order to get the maximum benefits of yoga which are the practice of Asanas, Pranayama and Yoga Nidra. Constant practice of asanas will allow us to control our cholesterol level, reduce weight, normalize blood pressure and improve cardiac performance. Asanas is able to harmonize our mental energy flow by clearing any blockages in the subtle body thus leading to mental equilibrium and calmness. The correct breathing technique from the practice of pranayama will help to manipulate our energies. Most of us breathe incorrectly (not using our abdomen therefore utilizing only half of our lung capacity). Pranayama is a technique whereby it changes our breathing process, helps to release tensions and develop a relaxed state of mind. It balances our nervous system, reduces the need for sleep and promotes creative thinking and at the same time increases the oxygen flow to our brain, improves mental clarity, alertness and physical well-being.


The final section is Yoga Nidra which is a form of meditation. It is carried out while lying on the back in the Shavasana pose whereby it relaxes the physiological and psychological systems. This technique will definitely and completely rejuvenates the body and mind thus creating a sense of well being.





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