International Yoga Day, which was celebrated worldwide Wednesday, offers a chance to take a look at the benefits of yoga on health both physically and mentally
Yoga is essentially a spiritual discipline based on an extremely subtle science, which focuses on bringing harmony between mind and body, man and nature. It is an art and science for the healthy living. The holistic approach of yoga is well established and it brings harmony in all walks of life and is known for disease prevention, health promotion, and management of many lifestyle-related disorders.
Today, yoga is popular across the globe, not just because of its efficacy in the management of some diseases, but also of its strength in providing relief to the practitioner from mental and emotional distress and providing a feeling of well-being. Hence, nowadays yoga is being practiced as part of a healthy lifestyle across the globe. Yoga can be understood as the ancient culture of consciousness, science of awareness, balanced state of mind, excellence in work etc. It is imperative that this wonderful culture is spread around so anyone and everyone all over the globe can be benefited. Yoga has a holistic approach; if taken on as a way of life, this gift to mankind can change one’s life from ordinary to extraordinary.
All effort for self-improvement is yoga. In different countries, at different times man disciplined himself to gain better knowledge and control of himself and his surroundings. In India, this happened through the process of yoga. This process is one of complete control of one’s personality so that one may discover one’s true self. Much of what the yogi discovered and realized has a direct relevance even today. Experiencing deep tranquility overcoming our doubts, discovering the purpose of life, the yogi pondered for a long time over these most fundamental issues of life and found answers to them. One has the choice to live a beautiful life with full clarity, compassion and caring. This is what one learns through the science and art of living which is yoga.
Yoga in ancient and modern times
The practice of yoga is believed to have started with the very dawn of civilization. Yoga is widely considered as an “immortal cultural outcome” of the Indus valley civilization, and has proved itself in catering to both the material and spiritual uplifting of humanity.
The different philosophies, traditions, lineages and Guru-sishya paramparas (succession from guru to disciple) of yoga lead to the emergence of different traditional schools of yoga such as Jnana yoga, Bhakti yoga, Karma yoga, Dhyana yoga, Patanjali yoga, Kundalini yoga, Hatha yoga, Mantra yoga, Laya yoga, Raja yoga, Jain yoga, Buddha yoga and so on. Each school has its own principles and practices leading to the ultimate aim and objectives of yoga. Different social customs and rituals in India, the land of yoga, reflect a love for ecological balance, tolerance toward other systems of thought and a compassionate outlook toward all creations.
Benefits of yoga on health and lifestyle
The modern-day lifestyle has brought many challenges to health and has become a major cause of many ailments among people across the globe. Stress, improper dietary habits and sedentary living have led to a decline in health, performance and lead to diabetes, asthma, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic disorders and various types of cancer. Can yoga be a panacea for all these modern-day problems?
Yoga has the potential to solve lifestyle problems and psychosomatic diseases. A series of research studies were carried out across the globe to scientifically evaluate and validate the beneficial effects of yoga for the prevention of diseases and management of diseases, particularly those related to stress and psychosomatic ailments and promotion of health. Physiological, biochemical, psychological and clinical variables have been studied in controlled experiments to assess the beneficial health effects of yoga.
Benefits of yoga for inner peace
We all love to visit peaceful, serene spots, rich in natural beauty. Little do we realize that peace can be found right within us and we can take a mini-vacation to experience this any time of the day! Benefit from a small holiday every day with yoga and meditation. Yoga is also one of the best ways to calm a disturbed mind.
Yoga to improve immunity
Our system is a seamless blend of the body, mind and spirit. An irregularity in the body affects the mind and similarly unpleasantness or restlessness in the mind can manifest as an ailment in the body. Yoga poses massage organs and strengthens muscles; breathing techniques and meditation release stress and improve immunity.