In recent years, Yoga has become popular practice in the Western world. It is likely that this widespread popularity is an excellent indicator of the fact that yoga does, in fact, work in the ways it is intended.
What Is Yoga?
Yoga is an ancient practice that was initiated and developed to facilitate the union of body, mind and soul. This is not a simple routine of exercises that promotes good health and strength of mind. It is much more than that. However, the most popular of yoga exercises – the Hatha yoga – focuses on physical and mental health.
There are eight branches in yoga – four consisting of exercises that improve mental state and the other four consisting of physical exercises. Yoga is actually very simple – if you work out in a planned and gradual way. There are two things that are important when you do yoga – the way you breathe, and the way you position your body.
What Does Yoga Do?
In one word the answer would be – miracles. It is believed in India that yoga can cure any ailment of body or mind. However, some of the exercises need a lot of practice. When you speak of yoga, ‘exercise’ is not really the right word. This practice requires that you regulate (and therefore become more aware of) your breathing. You lean to position your body according to certain prescribed postures called asanas. Asanas trigger and repair the function of your internal and external organs.
How Does Yoga Work?
Yoga works on the principle that the body can repair and maintain itself if the intake of energy is correct. Most of the times the modern human being, owing to their styles of living and eating, create acute imbalances in their bodies. The yoga postures are meant to correct those imbalances and sometimes simple regulation of breath can help a good deal.
Yoga is also known to relax the mind. It cures a host of physical ailments even while practicing the simplest of postures (asanas) and it also holds the potential to cure, or at the very least, relieve some of the symptoms of such things as depression, anger, anxiety and stress.
Who Can Practice Yoga?
Anyone can practice yoga. Gender, age, and even physical disability does not matter with yoga (Excepting what is often referred to in gyms in the US as “fitness yoga.” Exercise caution if disabled or pregnant.) There is only one pre-requisite for this method to work for you. It should be practiced regularly – every day, preferably at the same time.
The emotional and physical benefits of practicing yoga are undeniable. Although you must always consult your physician before beginning any exercise regimen, there are few healthcare practitioners in either Eastern or Western medicine who would not recommend yoga for most of their patients.
By Brandy Stoner