"Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit". When one is free from physical disabilities and mental distractions, the gates of the soul open.” says B.K.S. Iyengar.
Yoga is the key to attaining inner peace, tranquility and joy by disciplining the body, mind and senses. “The "yoga" is a Sanskrit word which actually means "union with the divine". It guides you in the process of self-awareness, self-discovery, and self-realization and helps us live and experience every situation in life to its positive best. Yoga also helps in the co-ordination and control of the subtle forces within the body conferring on you serenity, calmness and immense concentration.
Life style stressors caused by workload, relationships, and problems that sometimes seem almost insolvable, situations like these in our day-to-day lives leave us mentally stressed and physically strained with a feeling of muscular tension in the body. Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured according to BKS Iyengar.
Yoga can be done by anybody at any stage of their lives. It is never too late to practice it, considering the benefits of Yoga. However, a sustained practice of Yoga only can help one experience the benefits and enable transformation of the mind and the body.
It can be done in standing position, sitting position, lying on stomach and lying on back. These affect different parts and organs of the body. There are various types of asanas that have different outcomes, as follows (in brief):
Types of yoga:
Based on desired outcome and part of the body involved, yoga practice is classified as follows:
1. Anusara - It enhances the mood via laughter and upbeat vibe.
2. Ashtanga - It involves the synergistic effect of breathing and a series of specific moves which improves blood circulation, flexibility and overall health. In addition, it provides inner peace and calmness.
3. Bikram - It improves the muscle strength, reduces weight and helps to regulate cardiovascular flexibility.
4. Hatha - It is the basic form of Yoga which is specifically aims to achieve self-realization.
5. Iyengar - It improves flexibility, strength and balance through synergistic effects of breathing and balancing postures.
6. Jivamukti - It provides combined benefits of chanting, vegetarianism, meditation, spirituality and music.
7. Kripalu - It helps to relax and overcome emotional stress. It has three stages:
- Focusing on the postures
- Holding on the postures
- Meditating in motion
8. Kundalini - It is the practice of different postures in coordination with meditation, chanting, and controlled breathing. It is aimed at awakening inner energy.
9. Power - It provides the combined effects of controlled breathing, meditation, and postures.
10. Prenatal - Gentle Hatha helps pregnant women to lower stress, regain shape, easy labor.
11. Restorative - It relaxes muscles by practicing various lying postures.
12. Sivananda - It provides collaborative benefits of various postures, controlled breathing, meditation, controlled diet, and chanting.
13. Viniyoga - It offers fast and easy recovery from injury and helps regain health after surgery.
14. Yin - It helps to maintain healthy joints via various postures.
Yoga: Health benefits
Yoga is a practice that connects the mind and body through breathing and body movement with certain care. It has been proved that regular and accurate practicing of yoga can help in the following health conditions:
- It helps to fight against cancer-related fatigue
- It helps to manage high-blood pressure (hypertension)
- Relieves chronic pain caused by various conditions
- Relieves backaches
- Improves lower-back mobility
- Keeps the body flexible
- Stretching keeps muscles and joints healthy Improves respiration
- Enhances energy and vitality
- Maintains healthy and balanced metabolism
- Helps to maintain healthy weight
- Helps to maintain and regain body tone
- Improves cardio and circulatory health
- Improves athletic performance
- Protects from injury, especially internal
Above all it calms the mind, brings a deep sense of peace, builds stamina and strength, provides relief from stress and tension. Try it, there is no pain, only gain!