Introduction: Yoga, originated in Ancient India, has become a worldwide phenomenon now. This form of exercise, postures, and meditations has immense physical and mental health benefits.
The main goal of yoga is the attainment of physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Expansion and raising of consciousness in order to bring co-existence with everything and everyone.
Yoga is a spiritual and physical practice that is part of the Hindu tradition. But what does the word ‘yoga’ actually mean?
What is the Meaning of Yoga?
Yoga refers to the spiritual discipline that includes meditation, exercises, physical postures, breathing techniques. It is done to improve physical health, mental health, relaxation, and overall well-being of the individual.
Yoga is a Sanskrit word, which means ‘connection’ or ‘union’. It can be used to mean any type of connection. For example, it could be a connection with self, with other people, or with the divine.
There is another meaning to the word yoga, however. This is ‘to discipline’ or ‘to control’. The practice of yoga is, indeed, very much about disciplining the body and mind. Those who practice yoga regularly find that they are in greater control of their thoughts and emotions. Yoga paves way for a healthier life and is considered an easy way to stay fit, than other forms of exercises. You can easily practice it at home, it needs no tutor and no machines as well. Yoga includes:
- Meditation: Yoga encompasses meditation as well. Concentrating and counting your breath helps you meditate simultaneously while humming “Om” under your breath.
- Physical postures: Various physical postures are there for every part of our internal and external body parts that should be practiced according to the needs of a person.
- Breathing techniques: To regulate and control breathing is one of the primary techniques that should be practiced while doing yoga.
- Body control: The yoga postures demands that you have control in your body. Each posture requires you to stay in that position for a certain amount of time. this way you enhance your body balance and control as well.
- Mind control: The breathing techniques and meditation helps you gain complete control over your mind and improve your concentration and productivity, along with giving you mental peace.
So, in sum, the word yoga means a discipline which is also a union. Yoga helps us to discipline ourselves, and as a result of this discipline we feel a stronger union with the divine – and that includes the divine in ourselves and in those who also follow this discipline.
Within the Western world, Yoga mostly denotes “Hatha Yoga” which refers to the physical practice of postures termed as asanas.
What are the Benefits of Practicing Yoga?
Practicing yoga has benefits for your mind, body and soul. The main benefits are listed below.
- Inner Peace: A sense of inner peace and harmony pervades your life when you practice yoga. Even simply concentrating on your breathing will bring you a moment of calm.
- Various health benefits: Our circulatory system gets a brilliant boost from yoga. It improves body strength and balance. It ensures better health in terms of lungs, heart, muscles as well as digestive organs. It also gives you better sleep.
- Improves concentration: It improves control over mind. Your powers of concentration increase considerably.
- Mindfulness: It enhances mindfulness and generates happy emotions and increased self-esteem.
- Flexibility: Your body becomes more flexible and less stiff.
- De-stressing: Nothing de-stresses us like a delightful session of yoga.
- Respect: Yoga teaches us to respect others. Yoga sessions often end with a salute to the divine light in others, and a recognition that we ourselves possess a divine light too.
- Well-being: Yoga can fill us with joy. It improves physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.
- Perspective: Practicing yoga gives us perspective on the world.
- Easy: Yoga can be done by one and all. It is easy to practice and learn.
Conclusion: The world now also celebrates an ‘International yoga day’ every year to promote its awareness. It makes sense to work some yoga into your daily routine.