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April 13, 2017

Essay - Yoga in Daily Life

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Yoga in Daily Life

Overview
  • What is yoga ? 
  • Origin and expansion of yoga. 
  • Contribution of Ramdev for popularising yoga. 
  • Yoga classified into four types. 
  • Benefits of yoga in our physical, mental and spiritual health.
  • Indian Government promotes yoga.
Yoga is an art and science of healthy living which focuses on creating a harmony between the mind and body. The word 'Yoga' is derived from the Sanskrit root `Yuy, which means 'to join' or 'to yoke' or 'to unite'. The practice of Yoga leads to the union of individual consciousness with that of the universal consciousness, indicating a perfect harmony between the mind and body, man and the nature.

According to the modern scientists, everything in the universe is iust a manifestation of the same quantum firmament. One who experiences this oneness of existence is said to be in yoga and is termed as a yogi, having attained a state of freedom referred to as mukti, nirvana or moksha. Thus, the aim of Yoga is selfrealisation, to overcome all kinds of sufferings and leading to the 'state of liberation' (Moksha) or 'freedom' (Kaivalya).


The science of yoga has its origin thousands of years ago. In the yogic lore, Shiva is seen as the first Yogi or Adiyogi, and the first Guru or Adi Guru. Several Thousand years ago, on the banks of the lake Kantisarovar in the Himalayas, Adiyogi poured his profound knowledge into the legendary Saptarishis or 'seven sages'.

The sages carried this powerful yogic science to different parts of the world, including Asia, the Middle East, Northern Africa and South America. However, it was in India that the yogic system found its fullest expression. Yoga has spread all over the world by the teachings of great personalities like Swami Shivananda, Shri T Krishnamacharya, Swami Kuvalayananda, Shri Yogendara, Swami Rama, Sri Aurobindo, Maharshi Mahesh Yogi, Acharya Rajanish, Pattabhijois, BKS Iyengar, Swami Satyananda Sarasvati.

In the present times, it is the Baba Ramdev who holds the credit of popularising Yoga. Baba Ramdev is best known for promoting Yoga among the Indian masses. He established the Divya Yoga Mandir Trust in Haridwar where he teaches the Yoga, He has also founded the Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust, an institution for treatment and research in Yoga and Ayui veda. Besides, he has written books and featured in DVDs from where one can learn the techniques of Yoga.

The yoga works at the level of one's body, mind, emotions, and energy. This has given rise to four broad classifications of Yoga namely karma yoga, where we utilise the body; bhakti yoga, where we utilise the emotions; gyana yoga, where we utilise the mind and intellect; and kriya yoga, where we utilise the energy. The practice of yoga is restricted to Hatha Yoga and Asanas (postures). The widely practiced Yoga Sadhanas (Practices) are Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana (Meditation), Samadhi/Samyama, Bandhas and Mudras, Shat-karmas, Yukta-ahara, Yukta karma, Mantra japa etc.

Pranayama involves developing awareness of one's breathing followed by wilful regulation of respiration as the functional or vital basis of one's existence. It helps in developing awareness of one's mind and helps to establish control over the mind. Bandhas and Mudras are the higher yogic practices associated with pranayama. Pratyhara indicates dissociation of one's consciousness from the sense organs which helps one to remain connected with the external objects. Shat-karmas are detoxification procedures which help to remove the toxins accumulated in the body and are clinical in nature. Yuktahara advocates appropriate food and food habits for healthy living. However, the practice of Dhyana or Meditation is considered as the essence of Yoga Sadhana. 

Benefits of Yoga

Physical Health

Yoga has an important role to promote the overall fitness and flexibility of an individual. It strengthens the muscles and protects one from conditions such as arthritis, and back pain. It prevents cartilage and joint breakdown as it lubricates the joints, ligaments, and tendons. It ensures an optimum blood supply to the different organs and parts of the body. This is helpful in removing the toxins and waste material from the body. Yoga is helpful in losing weight and shedding the extra flab from the body. It boosts an individual's immunity and slows the ageing process. The capacity to tolerate pain is much higher in the individuals who practice Yoga regularly. The individuals practicing Yoga have much higher levels of energy than the non-practitioners. Yoga reduces the chances of occurrence of heart diseases, osteoporosis, al zheimer, asthma, migraine, epilepsy, and diabetes. It reduces and maintains the cholesterol levels and the blood pressure of an individual.

Mental Health

Yoga has a profound effect on the mental health of an individual. It calms a disturbed mind and makes the mind work in sync with the body. Yoga increases the concentration level and improves the memory. It increases one's self-confidence, will power and determination. It is helpful in overcoming the painful experiences of the past. One has a better control over one's emotions and thus, can handle the situations in a better way. The negative emotions of anger, resentment, and frustration take a back seat and are replaced by the positive emotions of joy, inner peace and happiness in life. One develops an optimistic attitude towards life, which is the key to a happy life.

Spiritual Health

Yoga stimulates the energy centres of the body. One is able to discover the purpose of one's life and connect with it. With Yoga, one becomes more attuned to the inner consciousness. With time, yoga fosters a deeper sense of gratitude and helps one to connect with others in a better way. One's social skills are improved considerably. This eventually helps to develop stronger bonds and improve relationships. The United Nations had declared 21st June, 2016 as the International Yoga Day on the request of Indian Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi. The Indian Government is ardently promoting Yoga. Different universities and private institutions are offering certificate and diploma courses in Yoga.

The government has come up with special tourist visas for the foreigners which will be made available to the foreigners so that they can attend the short- term courses in Yoga.

Yoga is not related to any religion, belief system or community instead it is a science which focuses on promoting the inner well-being of an individual. With the rising competition and stress levels in today's time, it becomes imperative to incorporate Yoga as a part of the daily regime.

Difficult Words with Meanings :
  • Manifestation demonstration
  • Quantum a small portion of something
  • Firmament heaven, the sky
  • Profound deep
  • Resentment anger passionately
  • Attuned adjusted
shared by Nisheeta Mirchandani
 
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