By Mapula S.
Adv. Diploma Naturopath
Yoga is a simple process of reversing the ordinary outward flow of energy and consciousness so that the mind becomes a dynamic centre of direct perception which is no longer dependent upon the fallible senses but capable of actually experiencing the truth. In Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism the word yoga means “spiritual discipline”.
Yoga is not new; it was developed in India more than 5000 years ago, and was used to unite the body, mind, and spirit. People often associate yoga with the postures and positions that make up the physical activity of the exercise, but after closer inspection it becomes clear that there are many more aspects of yoga. However, the progress of learning to still the mind and unify consciousness is also important in yoga exercise.
Benefits of yoga
Yoga practice can do more than to help improve the flexibility and strengthening of your muscles, most yoga poses are designed to flex and increase flexibility and reduce stress. Twisting your body into different shapes helps to release tension and ease the aches and pains.
Mental Health: Yoga can be beneficial in achieving balance in physical, spiritual and emotional health. It helps you achieve deeper knowledge of yourself, and it facilitates in the discovery of your own power and makes you feel optimistic about yourself. It also helps to relieve irregularities in the brain and the entire Nervous System. Reference: A yoga intervention for young adults with elevated symptoms of depression. Woolery, A, Myers, H, Sternlieb, B and Zelter, L.2004
Immune system: Yoga practicing may enhance healthy living by allowing you to get enough sleep, eating healthy foods and drinking plenty of liquid. This kind of lifestyle will not only help in preventing you from being sick, but also in improving your health and strengthening your immunity by reducing your susceptibility to viruses which can cause ill health.
There are many different types of yoga to practice. It is important to find out which type of yoga is right for you. Here is an introduction of a few of the most common and popular types of yoga:
Asanas yoga: These techniques reach deep into the yogi’s body, massaging important internal organs. Helps to cleanse and maintain the nervous and circulatory systems, which automatically results in a healthier body and mind. Breathing exercises can also help in keeping a person healthy by supplying a fixed amount of oxygen to the muscles and internal organs.
Ananda yoga: This type of yoga will appeal to the beginners who desire to cultivate spirituality and learn how to meditate as it focuses on gentle posture and is designed to move energy up to the brain.
Hatha Yoga: Is the foundation of all Yoga styles. This is a basic form of yoga that has become very popular and easy to learn. It incorporates postures, regulated breathing, and meditation. The ideal way to practice the Hatha Yoga poses is to approach the practice session in a calm, meditative mood.
One of the basic principles of yoga is to have a proper diet. The practice should be complemented by the right kind of foods in order to fully benefit from what yoga has to offer. You must have a well-balanced diet and it should nourish both your mind and body.