What is Yoga?
Yoga means union; it means living in unity with ourselves and with others, our family, friends and environment. It is a means to expand our consciousness to feel unity with our source. It means we are all one. Separation exists only at the level of the senses. We are all interconnected, though it is not visible to our physical eyes.
Oneness of all is the reality
The modern science has recognized the interconnectedness of everything in this universe, at the level of energy vibration, which is invisible to human eyes. Nevertheless, this oneness of all is a truth, irrespective of the fact that our sense organs fail to capture this truth for us. Yoga preaches and practices this truth of oneness or unity of all and helps us to perceive this experience. Through this understanding of oneness, yoga helps us to enhance our experience of human interaction and also our relationship.
A complete science of human health and well being
The ancient science of Yoga is a complete science of human health and wellbeing. You can hardly improve over it. Conventionally, there are eight limbs of Yoga, though the physical (postures etc., called Asana in Sanskrit) aspect of it has gained immense popularity among people, so much so that, by the word ‘Yoga’, people often means its physical aspect only. Yoga also include right and rhythmic breathing or breathing exercises, called Pranayama. Yoga includes systematic and periodic withdrawal from the external world in to the inner sanctuary of your heart; this is called Pratyahara. Then you need to practice meditative absorption in to a single chosen object; this is called Dhyana, which is the source word for the Buddhist practice of Zen. You need to learn to concentrate or focus your attention on that chosen object for a considerable time in exclusion of all other thoughts; this is called ‘Dharana’. When you succeed in doing so for a considerable period time, all the thoughts in your mind stops and the blissful nature of your inner being peeps in; the Sanskrit name for such a state of consciousness is Samadhi.
Better health, improved focus and natural happiness
You can easily see that Asana/postures, the first aspect of Yoga, takes care of your physical body. Pranayama or the breathing exercises takes care of your energy body. The third and fourth aspects increases your mental strength and poise. When you are able to cultivate one pointed attention you will easily succeed in any worldly endeavor as well. The fourth aspect of Yoga brings the practitioner the most cherished objective of human life, viz., bliss, peace and inner freedom. Experience of Samadhi will make you more and more non-attached to any external things or persons. It is very natural; because, as you find your blissful center within yourself, dependence on any external object for your happiness lessens.
How Yoga heals and rejuvenates
The practice of Yoga melts away all the toxins accumulated in your body from daily stress, tension or anxiety. Even if you practice only the physical aspect of yoga and a little of breathing exercises, it will significantly increase your health, vitality and overall well being. You will experience yoga benefits by as little as ten minutes regular practice.Let us see how.
The systematic physical movements of Yoga postures help to circulate oxygen, nutrients, and life force throughout your body. Increased flow of blood in organs and limbs removes toxins and wastes from tissues and cells. Yoga postures act as internal cleanser. The various poses compress the organs and squeeze out the stale blood and fluids; it makes room for the flow of fresh oxygen-loaded and nutrient-rich blood to the respective organs and limbs and tissues.
Better breathing through effective poses and breathing exercises increase the available oxygen in the body. Therefore the body feels more energized and rejuvenated.
Ultimate physical fitness and mental well being
Between two consecutive poses, there is a brief period of resting. Shavasana or the corpse pose is the yoga posture for rest and relaxation. It facilitates deep breathing and balanced distribution of the energy throughout the body. Practice of Yoga also enhances the quality of your sleep in the night. Deep rest and great sleep enhance the functioning of our immune system and provides time and conditions for cell-repair and restoration. Yoga makes us physically more fit and our mental wellbeing increases day by day, as a result of practicing Yoga.