Yoga can be interpreted in different ways by different people. For some it is the way to a great body while some would describe it as the way to acquire a healthy mind. Whatever it is, no one can deny the fact that yoga is essential in the modern age. To have a great body and healthy mind, you would need this practice. The actual meaning of yoga is too deep. You would have to explore history to find the origin in the ancient scriptures.
History of Yoga
You can trace the time of yoga back in the history of Indus valley civilization. The history of yoga actually is marred by many fragile textures as they are not traceable. The ancient texts were written on palm leaves. These leaves get easily damaged as they are fragile. Due to this there is some conflict between the researchers about the development of yoga. Some say the practice is more than ten thousand years old. Whatever it is – no one can deny the fact that the history of yoga is rich and interesting.
Meaning of Yoga
Yoga the word itself was first noticed in the Rig Veda. In the ancient ages Brahmans used Vedas for various purposes. These texts are the collections of mantras, songs and rituals. With time the Vedas get transformed and refined by those who used these texts. The most famous ancient scripture is Bhagavat Gita. This scripture is believed to be composed around 500 BCE.
In the beginning of time yoga has been just a collection of ideas and beliefs. These beliefs and ideas usually contradicted each other. The ancient period is known as Patanjali period of yoga. This is considered to be the first systematic written scripture of yoga. It is believed that the scripture is written in the second century. The scripture has the description of Raja Yoga. Patanjali Consolidated Yoga into step by step stages that are easy to follow. Patanjali is considered to be the Father of Yoga. The Yoga sutra which he has created is still followed and practiced.
Century after the Patanjali Yoga period begins the pre classical yoga period. In this age, the masters who taught yoga focused on the physical aspect of the yoga. In this age, the masters promoted the yoga which rejuvenates the body. To promote this yoga they totally denied the yoga that has been taught in the ancient Vedas. In this period tantra yoga emerged out as the way of cleansing body and mind. This body centered yoga eventually gave birth to Hatha Yoga which is mainly practiced in the Western part of the world.
The modern period began in the 1800s’ later part. In this period of time yoga masters from India traveled to western part of the world and taught yoga. Swami Vivekananda amazed people with his lecture on yoga. With this began the middle yoga period.
Yoga is actually a spiritual journey which improves both body and mind. It is used to purify human being from the depth soul. Yoga when practiced with faith and proper discipline can lead to a life which is enriched by inner strength and eternal peace. Such is the power of Yoga. Those who like to lead a healthy life cannot deny the importance of Yoga. This practice bridges the gap between mind and body. Through regular practice one becomes more aware of the inner strength and the ever lasting peace which exists within the heart of the human beings.
Elements Of Yoga
There are some misconceptions which surrounds the practice of yoga. Due to the popularity of Hatha Yoga in the west, people think that it is the only practice. However, this is not true. Yoga is more than just asanas and hatha yoga. There are many variations of yoga that are not restricted to the asanas or hatha Yoga. This is the wellness practice offers total purification to the practitioners.
Benefits of Practicing Yoga Asanas
Why should anyone invest time on this practice? For fitness you can opt for yoga, however, this is just one way of describing the benefits of this life changing practice. There are a lot more about yoga which people need to know about.
In this world where people are running to get something, yoga is the practice which allows people to stop for a moment and take deep breath of relaxation. In other words in this stressful life, yoga is the only practice which can help you get rid of stress and become rejuvenated again. This practice would get you ready to face the world with new vigor and freshness. Those who practice yoga on regular basis, become more and more sensitive to the food that body does not require. It promotes healthy eating as well.
Modern world has something to offer to everyone. However, in this rat race where people evaluate life based on expensive cars and high rise houses, inner peace is the thing which is most often lost from life. Yoga gives this back to humanity. When you practice yoga on regular basis, you become calm from within. With time you acquire the state which is peaceful and finally you become strong enough to face whatever the world throws at you. This is like a holiday with yourself every day where you can retreat from the maddening world for sometimes and allow yourself to heal.
Busy life and unhealthy eating leave deep mark on the soul and the body itself. More than often this leads to serious ailments which can be deadly if not treated properly. Immunity gets lost with unhealthy living and improper eating. People try their best to boost immunity. However, they don’t understand that immunity cannot be boosted by medicine. Yoga promotes immunity which can help you fight with ailments and stay healthy. However, for this you would have to practice yoga regularly and that too under the watchful eye of a master who knows the art of yoga and can guide you to the right direction.
Types of Yoga
There are various types of yoga which you can try if you are really interested in healthy living and improving yourself from within. To begin with you can try either one of the types of yoga that are most popular in the modern day.
Hatha Yoga is the most popular one which is practiced by the Hollywood celebrities for youthful looks. The western interpretation of hatha yoga might differ from the Sanskrit one. In Sanskrit hatha yoga means any kind of yoga which involves physical posters. The practice which balances energy is known as hatha yoga. However, the western version of hatha yoga is slower and the more gentle type of yoga practice which is suitable for the beginners.
Vinyasa is the intense yoga which is for the ones who love the adrenaline hits and blood flow while working out. This practice is a dance like one which connects movement and breath together. This is the preferred version for the runners and athletes because of the speed.
Ashtanga is another type of yoga which people prefer for various reasons. This is known for the routine and the guideline that comes along with it. If you are a perfectionist this is the kind of yoga which will bring along with itself the challenge and path for improvement.
Importance Of Yoga For Students
Bikram is for those who like to sweat it out. People who are new to yoga would fall in love with this type as this one offers predictable moves. The yoga sequence follows a strict 90 minute flow. Due to this the students get to know what to do. The beginners like this type of yoga because of this reason. It is advised to take frequent breaks and rest if you are new to this practice.
Kundalini is the type of yoga which brings along mysticism and awe along with it. People practice this for spiritual reasons. Those who are on search for divine energy practice this type of yoga. Kundalini is not for the beginners. This one looks different from the other types of yoga as well. It involves intense breathing and repetitive postures. Regular practice of Kundalini would help the practitioner to break free from the barrier which is holding them from realizing the divine self within. This is a difficult practice and often is branded as cult practice by those who don’t understand the power of Kundalini.
Daily Yoga Routine
There are some things in life that are considered as priceless. Yoga is one of them. It needs to be experienced. Words alone cannot describe the benefits of yoga. In this age where price dominates the value, people need something which would connect them to the divine self where God resides and offers guidance to those who seek. Yoga is the practice which can take humanity closer to the ancient divine self.
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