Yoga, which originated in ancient India nearly 3000 years ago, is a collective group of physical, mental and spiritual practises. The aim behind it is to establish a balance between your mind, body and spiritual self to improve your way of living.
Although originated in India, yoga is now gaining popularity all over the world. People are adopting this practice in one way or the other in their lives. It could be simply for fitness, for flexibility or mental peace, it is undoubtedly becoming increasingly popular in today’s world.
Yoga has many aspects but the most commonly practised are the combination of asana (poses), breathing techniques (pranayama) and mediation (Dhyana). This combination helps achieve the balance between the mind, body and spirituality. Our yoga expert Anubha Rawat, said “Yoga is about practice. You might not be able to perform everything at once. It needs time and patience. Over time, you’ll see improvements in your body and then you will be able to achieve your desired goals.”
Types Of Poses
1. Standing poses:
Standing poses are often done first in a yoga class and are regarded as warm-up exercises. It helps to “build heat” and get you warmed up.
2. Balancing poses:
Balance is a key aspect of yoga. It is an important way to build the core strength necessary for more advanced postures. Though you might not be able to master balancing immediately, you’ll find yourself improving eventually with time and regular practice.
Backbends are great for flexibility and extension of the spine, eventually moving to deeper bends. Once again, you might not be able to do everything at once, but with time and practise, you’ll be able to perform difficult backbends.
4. Seated poses:
Seated stretches are performed in the seated position. Always use a mat for these as sitting directly on the ground isn’t advised. These are performed usually towards the end.
5. Resting or supine poses:
Resting poses are as important as any other type of pose. These resting poses provide gentle back-bending, twisting, and inversion.
Pranayama And Its Types
Pranayama (“Prana” mean breath or vital energy in the body and “Ayama” means control) is “Control of Breath.” After performing poses, pranayama should be performed. It aims towards the modification of inhalation, exhalation, and holding of breathe. Pranayama helps connect the body with the mind. It is also a step to prepare your body for meditation.
Meditation or Dhyana
Meditation comes in the last. It helps calm the mind and build better concentration and focus. Sitting in the meditation pose and concentrating on your breath helps in getting your mind to a state of nonetheless. It takes a lot of patience and practises to be able to reach that level but with dedication, it works out well. The aim is to focus and not to let your mind wander.
Benefits Of Yoga
Practising yoga has its benefits and in a world where people demand scientific pieces of evidence, many researchers have confirmed it. With the rise in popularity, people are keen to know the benefits, so to help you, we have listed down a few.
1. Yoga improves strength, balance and flexibility
Yoga poses help attain strength, body balance and flexibility. Anubha recommends that “if you are new to the practice then always start with the basic poses and then move on to the advanced.” The poses are meant to provide good stretching in the body which not only makes the body strong but also flexible.
It helps ensure better body postures. The tree pose, the mountain pose and the eagle pose are some examples of poses that provide good body balance.
2. Yoga gives relief in back pain
Many yogic exercises revolve around your spine. Especially the ones you perform in the laying down position. “Many people have found that these yogic exercises provide great relief in the back pains as well as neck pain,” says Anubha. The cobra pose, the bridge pose, the cat-cow pose are some of the examples of poses that improve your spine health.
3. Yoga makes lungs strong with breathing
We have talked about stretching, balancing and flexibility but we have another great aspect of yoga which is the breathing techniques. Pranayama or the breathing techniques helps make our lungs strong by increasing their functioning capacity.
4. Yoga benefits heart health
Yoga is very good for your heart. Anubha suggests that “the poses help in good blood circulation. Practising it could manage the stress levels in the body which in interns improves cardiovascular health.” Chair pose, extended triangle pose and cow face pose are some of the good poses for good cardiovascular health.
5. Yoga relaxes you, to helps you sleep better
Yoga relaxes your mind in many ways. While performing pranayama, we focus on our breathing which relaxes our mind. Meditation is a great way of mind relaxation which helps people who have trouble sleeping and have racing minds.
6. Yoga mean more energy and brighter moods
While doing the pranayama, the oxygen intake increases while giving energy. Yoga relaxes the mind which helps in elevating the mood. After practising it, you’ll feel uplifted immediately.
7. Yoga helps you manage stress
Yoga is good for stress management. The combination of exercise help manages the stress level. It is good for anyone who suffers from hypertension. Anubha suggests that “breathing exercise when combined with some poses helps manage the stress.”
8. Yoga may reduce anxiety
Yoga is believed to reduce anxiety a lot. It calms down the brain and this helps in managing anxiety.
9. Yoga promotes better self-care
Yoga promotes mental and physical health and wellbeing. We can’t emphasize enough how much self-care is important.
It is one of the best ways to promote self-care.
10. Enhancing fitness
Yoga is good for people who love fitness. If you are not into gyming, yoga can be for you. Practising it helps in weight management and enhances overall body fitness.
Why Yoga Should Be Adopted?
Yoga has everything in pros and none in cons. It is a simple way of living healthy and should be adopted in our lives. You don’t have to give hours into this. Even if you do it for 15 minutes a day, you’ll certainly notice visible changes in your body and mind.
It is a great way of attaining the balance between body, mind and soul.
Our Final Thoughts
Yoga promotes overall body and mind health. There are no disadvantages of it hence, it should be given a chance in your lifestyle.