Conceived in India and now, ruling all over the world yoga has become a word synonymous with health. Anyone belonging to any age group can practice yoga and reap its benefits-it is not restricted only to our physical body but also offers a combined advantage over our body, mind and spirit. Yoga has got much more beyond the asanas (postures). It helps in bringing peace unto your body and to cherish well-being of thyself.
Being an ancient spiritual, mental and physical practice, the word yoga is derived from Sanskrit and means to join or unite- a union of the body and consciousness. When you dwell upon the popularity of this tradition you realize that its diversity and practical applications make it indispensable to humanity today. Believe me or not, yoga is for everyone-you might be a couch potato or a reputed athlete, a 70-year-old woman or a 5-year-old child, yoga has got something to offer for everyone.
Yoga nowadays is practiced primarily for weight loss and health but it was not well into fitness during the early days. Yogis and others started practicing yoga to expand their spiritual energy using breathing techniques and mental focus. During the early 1920s and 30s yoga gained popularity in India for its different asanas and postured thereby attracting the attention of the West in a couple of years.
One Tree, Many Branches
Yoga uses the image of a tree with roots, branches, a trunk, blossoms and fruits where each branch of the tree represents a different yoga style-Hatha yoga (body & mind), Raja yoga (meditation & discipline), Karma yoga (negativity- & selfishness-free future), Bhakti yoga (devotion to channelize emotions & cultivate tolerance), Jnana yoga (wisdom & intellect) and Tantra yoga (rituals, ceremony and liberating oneself from relationships). Meditation too has tremendous advantages on the body when it is practiced regularly and to understand the best type of meditation that suits you, please visit www.firsteatright.com.
Practicing yoga for weight loss has been predominantly happening everywhere and specific yoga poses for pregnancy are also being taught in the form of prenatal classes that help the carrying woman tune her body and mind for a healthy delivery. Stress is an inevitable part of each of us and doing yoga even for a couple of minutes daily frees our mind and body of stress. When we overcome stress, we experience peace and yoga is the best way to attain inner peace by calming your disturbed mind. Once you are calm and peaceful you start noticing good things around you and the goodness of the people present around which in turn helps in improving your relationship with your loved ones.
Other advantages of yoga include improved energy, better flexibility and better postures, excellent intuition skills, better immunity and increased awareness of the things happening around us. Physical benefits of yoga include better metabolism, improved respiration, increased flexibility, cardio and circulatory health, weight reduction, protection from injury and better muscle strength and tone.
International Yoga Day
Realizing the widespread prominence and advantages of yoga, the United Nations proclaimed June 21st as the International Day of Yoga since 2015 to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practicing yoga. The theme for this year is ‘Yoga for Climate Action’.
On this day, there are several programs arranged throughout the world to commemorate the benefits of yoga and this has been happening with great enthusiasm every year.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.