What is Yoga?
It is very difficult to define yoga in just a few words. But surely yoga is one of the most complete and universal systems: it is a complete view of life, of the humankind and other living beings and of the whole cosmos. The science of yoga is a precious gift from the Indian sages who attained the complete realization of all laws of existence. In spite of the fact that yoga geographically originates from India, its ancient wisdom is universal and eternal.
Why do yoga?
There's a short answer and a long answer to that question.
The short answer is that yoga makes you feel better. Practicing the postures, breathing exercises and meditation makes you healthier in body, mind and spirit. Yoga lets you tune in, chill out, shape up -- all at the same time.
For many people, that's enough of an answer. But there's more if you're interested.
For starters, yoga is good for what ails you. Specifically, research shows that yoga helps manage or control anxiety, arthritis, asthma, back pain, blood pressure, carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic fatigue, depression, diabetes, epilepsy, headaches, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, stress and other conditions and diseases. What's more, yoga:
Improves muscle tone, flexibility, strength and stamina Reduces stress and tension Boosts self esteem Improves concentration and creativity Lowers fat Improves circulation Stimulates the immune system Creates sense of well being and calm.
And that's just the surface stuff. In fact, most of the benefits mentioned above are secondary to yoga's original purpose.
Developed in India, yoga is a spiritual practice that has been evolving for the last 5,000 years or so. The original yogis were reacting, in part, to India's ancient Vedic religion, which emphasized rituals. The yogis wanted a direct spiritual experience -- one on one -- not symbolic ritual. So they developed yoga.
Yoga means "union" in Sanskrit, the classical language of our India. According to the yogis, true happiness, liberation and enlightenment comes from union with the divine consciousness known as Brahman, or with Atman, the transcendent Self. The various yoga practices are a methodology for reaching that goal.
Surya Namaskar is a series of twelve movements which comprise an effective way to activate and loosen every part of the body. It may be used as a preparation for other asanas, or combined with relaxation as a complete session in itself when time is limited.
Jeevan Tatva Sadhan is a combination of nine practices. There is no mention of these practices in Yogic literature. This Sadhan is an invention of Yogeshwar Maha Prabhu Ram Lal Ji Maharaj. These exercises are very easy and all can learn them within a day or two. These have been found most effective in keeping the body in perfect health. All the joints are exercised and the glands are rejuvenated. It improves digestion. In short, it develops the Life Force in the body.
Traditional Yoga Postures:
Our holistic approach to health, happiness and vigor through the disciplines of Yoga: proper exercise, proper breathing, proper relaxation, proper concentration and proper diet. Develop your physical and mental potential, and nourish yourself with a simple vegetarian diet. Begin to control the strain, stress and tension of everyday living by following the five main principles of Yoga of Mind and Body.
Practice the 18 basic Yogic postures which are illustrated in easy to follow pictures. Learn how to perform them properly and how to increase your personal level of skill slowly and gradually in the time you have available. Discover the benefits of proper breathing through simple step-by-step exercises and feel how this infuses you with renewed energy and vigor. Learn to relax physically and mentally, letting go of stressful situations by adopting a positive attitude and Yoga Philosophy.
Purify and strengthen your body and mind with nutritionally balanced vegetarian food. Unlock the hidden powers of your mind through proper meditation, explore the benefits of positive thinking, and discover a broader sense of purpose. Yoga of Mind and Body is a positive guide to improve health, happiness, and spiritual well being.
Engineer Rameshwar Prasad
(B.Tech., M.Tech., P.G.D.C.A., P.G.D.M.)