Article by Edward D Parry
Yoga has often been referred to as an alternative to physical and mental health. Traditionally begun in India as a Hindu philosophy, one of the ultimate goals of yoga is to achieve a disciplined body and mind which will manifest in physical and mental well-being. The word “yoga” is “union” in Sanskrit, ancient India’s language. In true yoga sense, the practice of yoga means the union of the body and mind, and even the spirit.The common and accepted meaning of yoga refers to the practice of physical postures and poses. The body is placed in various bending postures while the mind is taught to allow the body to succumb to these poses while striving to achieve clarity. Indeed, yoga is two-pronged: – Physical discipline. Yoga teaches the body to naturally bend in new, untried poses. These may be new poses to the person practicing yoga but it is important to note that these poses are natural bends, stretches and crouches that the body is no stranger to but has not been in recently. For instance, sitting in a lotus position is one of the easiest poses in yoga simply because the body is naturally able to do this. The difficulty in achieving this is only at the beginning and this is only because the body has not been “refreshed” to be in this position.- Mental discipline. Meditation is an important aspect of yoga. Teaching the mind to be silent and training oneself to “listen” to one’s mind and body is new to many. Yoga brings about the awareness of self and for many, a rediscovery of one’s mental capacities.Physically, most people think yoga is all about stretching and flexibility. This is not so. Practicing yoga is all about achieving flexibility while building muscle and limb strength. Each physical posture or pose has a specific bodily benefit. A fetal crouch, for instance, aligns and strengthens the back while a leg split stretches thigh and calf muscles. These poses are done in succession and while they may look laid-back and relaxed, actually build up heat steadily.Each succession of poses is done repeate dly to build physical stamina and improve perfection. In doing the former, yoga helps to build physical strength while the latter disciplines the mind in creating, recognizing and appreciating the beauty of each perfect pose. The yoga teacher may increase the speed of pose succession or even slow it down speeding up the succession trains the body and mind to be fluid of thought and action while slowing down the succession teaches the appreciation of beauty in movement.Unlike conventional exercise, yoga expands, evolves and changes with each upward level. In fact, without even realizing it, one will finally recognize the evolved connection one has with each pose, despite having done them thousands of times before. Sometimes, it may take a long while before the realization hits. This intimate connection one has with the poses is a form of mental and physical discipline where the body has been sufficiently trained to perform in specific physical postures and the mind has been taught to understand the intention of each pose.Yoga is also unlike conventional sport in terms of being relatively uncompetitive. The achievement of a higher yoga practice, which involves more intricate yoga positions and difficult poses, does not denote a better physique or some medal achievement.Yoga rewards, if they may be called that, are more intrinsic and qualitative a more flexible body, better muscle tone, limber physical ability and increased stamina. These translate to even more health benefits deeper and longer breaths mean more oxygen into the body resulting in better physical and mental performance, achievement of fluid pose successions helps to bring on clarity of mind and the understanding of each pose brings on an effective communication stream between body, mind and spirit.Indeed, as critical as one is inclined to be about yoga, there are no negative implications to yoga. And unlike conventional, modern sport, yoga combines the physical, mental and spiritual abilities of a person. The only point of contention among yo ga pract itioners is the point of starting the yoga journey some prefer to concentrate on the physical aspect of yoga before exploring their spiritual and mental capacities while others prefer to begin with meditation and then moving on to postures and poses.Either way, yoga brings about the kind of benefit that modern sport may never be able to.
About the Author
Benjamin Goodman is a leading expert in alternative health methods such as yoga, shiatsu and so on, and heavily advocates everyone to take on yoga as it is a form of exercise that is very beneficial to the overall health and physique of the body.Get more information regarding Yoga uk.
Get well soon Kelly
Yoga, interrupted by a bumblebee. It was a totally fun afternoon practice making an asana out of myself.
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