YOGA,THE ANCIENT SYSTEM
Yoga is an ancient spiritual science. It has been known and conserved for thousands of years in many countries around the world and specially in India. It has become well recognized and popular now a days as a result of the scientifically proven benefits of practicing Yoga, as well as its realistic application to get relief from the tension and disease of everyday life.
Yoga is a complete science because it works upon both external and internal means physical as well as mental health. It is one of the true methods of achieving better physical health, mental clarity and psycho-emotional balance, as well as a system of total personality integration, that is, spiritual growth. Through Yoga, one can accelerate the enhancement of both personal and social life thereby helping to encourage greater harmony within oneself; within one's family and society.
The word “Yoga” literally means union or to bring together. It is used to define a range of psycho-biological personal development strategies that ultimately help you to realize your true potential which is known as 'self-realization’. So, all approaches or methods that promote attention, internal awareness and unity are basically yoga.
There are many forms of yoga, including Hatha Yoga, Kriya Yoga, Raja Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Mantra Yoga, Nada Yoga, Sannyasa Yoga and others, which have been studied and taught worldwide.
Hatha yoga is the branch of yoga which usually comes to mind when you generally think of yoga. Asanas, breathing and meditation are involved in the practice and classes are usually 45 minutes to 90 minutes.
In general, Asanas should be practiced on empty stomach or 3-4 hours of gap after eating a meal. You can do asanas when the body feels stiff, tense, tired or hyped-up. You will find the body is inflexible in the morning, and even though it may be a little harder, it is most beneficial to release this tension at the start of your days’ activities.
The best time to practice Yoga is first thing in the morning before breakfast. After waking up, empty the bowels, take shower if you want, then you can start your day with your yoga practice. The second most favorable time is dusk (around sunset). Be aware not to do too many over- stimulating postures just before bed time.
Do not practice Yoga in direct sunlight or after sun-bathing. Outdoors is OK but avoid cold wind and insects. Wear loose, comfortable clothing. Try to keep your awareness of what you are doing throughout your yoga practice. Don’t be concerned with others in the class or outside the room. Proceed slowly and carefully. Follow the instructions. Never force or strain. Relax briefly between each practice.
There are no hard and fast dietary rules necessary to begin the practice of Yoga. One does not have to give up something or become vegetarian to learn Yoga.
There is no age limit (young or old) for the practice of Yoga. However, the use of the techniques will vary according to the student's skills and status, which will play a major role in the choice of asana. Never practice any yoga techniques under the influence of alcohol or mind-altering drugs.
Those with disabilities, severe, acute or chronic medical conditions should consult both with their medical practitioner and their yoga teacher to assess any dangers or difficulties which may arise.
The various mental and physical benefits of yoga have been confirmed by several studies. Yoga may boost your fitness, increase your strength and endurance, and minimize symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety. Finding time to practice yoga only a few days a week can be enough to make a significant change when it comes to your wellbeing.