Yoga is an archaic practice that involves meditation, body movements, and breathing techniques that help mental and physical well-being. It is a spiritual discipline. The word ‘yoga’ is derivative from the Sanskrit root ‘yuj’, meaning ‘to join or to unite’.
Over 5000 years ago, the practice of yoga was beginning and it was during the time of Indus -Sarasvati civilization in Northern India. Initially, in Rig Veda that is a collection of texts consisting of rituals, mantras, and songs yoga was mentioned, which was mainly used by Brahmans, the Vedic priests.
Over the few decades, yoga was considered to be the practice of spiritual self-realization. It was practiced to overcome several types of suffering leading to ‘the state of liberation (Moksha) or ‘freedom’ (kaivalya).
Yoga in an old day was practiced as to connect humans with elements of nature like the sun, water, air, and earth. According to the scripture and beliefs, Lord Shiva is the father of Yoga.
In the present times, the practice of yoga begins with the body through the aspect of Asana. Today a wide range of yoga is practiced with differing purposes and that brings calmness within ourselves. It is a discipline that includes asana (postures) and meditation derived from some of the philosophies and teachings.
There are many styles of yoga that focus on strength, agility, and breathing. A person can choose a style based on their goal and fitness level.
The Branches of Yoga
The yoga stresses mastery of the body as a way of attaining a state of spiritual perfection in which the mind is reserved from external objects.
This is the yoga of mind and body control and focuses on meditation. It enables practitioners to achieve balance and harmony on all physical, mental, and spiritual levels.
This practice of yoga helps in removing negativity and selfishness.
IT promotes the ability of acceptance and tolerance.
This yoga helps in developing the intellect through study. It deals with wisdom and the path of the scholar.
This yoga practice is advisable for consummation of a relationship; this is the pathway of ritual and ceremony.
The word ‘chakra’ refers to ‘spinning wheel’. Yogic teacher underlined the fact; chakras determines the people’s experience of reality through emotional reaction, desire or aversions, levels of confidence, and even physical symptoms and effects. The concept of chakra is found in the first traditions of Hinduism.
The procedures of the western chakra came from many sources, initiating in the 1880s, followed by sir john Woodroffe’s 1919 book the serpent power and Charles W. Leadbeater’s 1927book the chakras, presented the seven rainbow colors for the chakras. When the energy is blocked in chakras, it triggers physical, mental, or emotional imbalances that manifest in symptoms such as anxiety, lethargy, or poor digestion.
There are seven major chakras, each with its own importance –
- Sahasrara -This practice symbolizes the spiritual connection. It is the crown chakra, which is at the crown of the head.
- Ajna – Located among the eyebrows, the third eye chakra has to do with intuition.
- Vishuddha– It is the throat chakra, which corresponds to immunity and verbal communication.
- Anahata– This is the heart chakra, which is in the center of the chest, influences professional and personal relationships.
- Manipura– Solar plexus chakra is in the stomach area. It relates to self-confidence, knowledge, and self-discipline.
- Svadhishthana– The scral chakra, which is under the belly button, connects pleasure, well-being, and vitality.
- Muladhara– This is the root chakra that is at the base of the spine, connects the mind and the body to the earth to keep a person grounded. It controls the sciatic nerves and also the parasympathetic nervous system.
Today a person can choose any style of yoga according to the demand of their goal and fitness level.
Some of the Different types of yoga styles are as follow-
- Ashtanga yoga
- Bikram yoga
- Hatha yoga
- Iyengar yoga
- Kripalu yoga
- Kundalini yoga
- Power yoga
- Vini yoga
- Yin yoga
- Prenatal yoga
- Restorative yoga
Significance of Yoga:
People practice yoga for wellness reasons. It is preferable to consult a medical professional before starting a yoga practice. It involves the following physical and mental benefits:
- Building muscle strength
- Enhancing flexibility
- Promoting better breathing
- Supporting good heart health
- Helping with treatment for addiction
- Decreasing stress, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain
Do you think yoga is safe and relaxing practice to follow during pregnancy?
As far the study says yoga is not merely concerned with twisting and turning of body. It can be very beneficial to practice during pregnancy also but it should be performed in a proper and advisable way. Since yoga helps in stress relief and making the mind calm so a lot of women practice prenatal yoga for normal delivery in pregnancy.
The physical demand of the body of pregnancy like labor, birth, and motherhood are achieved while practicing yoga. So, practicing yoga in proper forms and under the guidance of a professional can be beneficial.
The most important things to keep in mind while practicing yoga during pregnancy are –
- To consult your doctor first
- To practice under the guidance
- Listen to your mind and stop immediately if you experience any discomfort the postures should be changed throughout the trimester
Following are some of the useful poses during pregnancy
- butterfly stretches
- cobra pose suitable for the first trimester
- seated forward bend (with chair for modification)
- triangle pose (with chair for modification)
Yoga is not just twisting and turning your body. In ancient practice, it was the practice of spiritual self-realization. In modern days the practice of yoga has been modified and includes more styles and asana (postures). Meditation is derived from some of the philosophies and teachings. There are many styles of yoga that focus on strength, agility, and breathing.
Practicing yoga helps in many aspects to improve a body at the mental, physical, and social levels. In the current scenario of such an actively engaged life, yoga is the safest way for simulating brain function, thereby yoga is very useful to keep your body as well as mind healthy.