Yoga is not only one of the fastest growing health practices in the world, but also an essential part of spa menus across the countries today. The primary aim of Yoga is to promote health and prevent diseases by experiencing union and a sense of oneness with the self. Learning proper breathing techniques is the key to Yoga practice. As a matter of fact when we breathe fully, more oxygen intake is supplied to every cell and part of the body. It helps to maintain a healthy mind, body, and spirit. So everyone should practice Yoga for healthy body and mind.
The roots of Yoga can be traced 5000 years back when the ancient Hindu sages would practice Yoga to achieve enlightenment. Though the origins of Yoga are as old as the Indus Valley civilization, what we practice today came from the translation of Sanskrit texts by “Patanjali’, the Indian yogi who lived around 300 B.C. In Sanskrit, ‘Yuja’ means to join or weld together. The philosophy of Yoga is to unite the consciousness (spirit) of the individual with the universal consciousness (spirit) through the regular practice of specific physical and mental exercises.
Thus, Yoga is the art of life that balances and harmonizes the body, mind, and emotions. To maintain this balance, the yogis devised an eight-fold path, also called “Eight-limbed Yoga.” Now a day it has become essential that you practice Yoga for healthy body and mind. Patanjali’s writing becomes the basis to promote inner strength and happiness. The Eight Limbs are
- Yama (The five ‘abstentions’ – non-violence, non-lying, non-covetousness, non-sensuality and non-possessiveness).
- Niyama (The five ‘observances’ – purity, contentment, austerity, study, and surrender to god).
- Asana (different seating positions used for meditation).
- Pranayama (control of the life force or breath).
- Pratyahara (withdrawal of the sense organs from external objects).
- Dharana (Concentration).
- Dhyana (Meditation).
- Samadhi (the ultimate goal which merges consciousness with the object of meditation).
Yoga for Healthy Body and Mind: Asanas
Asana means body posture. Yoga offers a wide choice of Asanas to choose from, depending on the overall stamina and health. This could be from mild Pranayams to high-intensity Asanas involving higher physical movements. Traditionally practiced in Hatha Yoga, Asanas have a profound impact on the entire body and mind as it affects different body organs such as muscular, respiratory, circulation, digestive, excretory and others. While some Asanas are in standing position, most of them are in sitting positions. But there are several others which are in supine position, also called as lying down position. Yoga postures that are widely practiced include Bhujangasana, Sarvasana, Setubandhasana, Sukhasana, Tadasana, Trikonasana, Uttanasana, Virabhadrasana and many others.
Yoga for Healthy Body and Mind: Types of Yoga
Yoga has become the essence of a healthy lifestyle. Everyone should practice Yoga on a regular basis. It ensures a healthy lifestyle and also attains the much-described peace of mind. It is the greatest stress relieving and a remedy for curing many chronic ailments. There are eight types of Yoga. Breathing exercises (Pranayama), different poses (Asanas), and meditation are common practices to most of them. Let us discuss the several prominent types of Yoga, their techniques, and their health benefits.
Yoga for Healthy Body and Mind: Bhakti Yoga
Bhakti Yoga is a means of bringing oneself closer to god. It includes singing Bhajans, chanting slogans to express love and devotion to the Almighty. Equally important is reading religious books, reciting prayers and doing religious activities. It thus helps in attaining oneness with the self.
Yoga for Healthy Body and Mind: Hatha Yoga
Hatha Yoga is very popular nowadays. It involves physical postures (Asanas), breathing exercises (Pranayama), meditation, mudras and purification procedures known as ‘Shat Kriyas.’ Regular practice leads to a more disciplined and focused mind.
Yoga for Healthy Body and Mind: Jnana Yoga
By practicing Jnana Yoga, the individual stays focused in all situations and attains self-control. This Yoga of true knowledge aims to detach the person performing it from all the temporary aspect of life.
Yoga for Healthy Body and Mind: Karma Yoga
Karma Yoga is the dedication of all actions (Karma) and their results to the Almighty. A Karma Yoga aims to provide selfless service to the poor, needy and downtrodden section of the society without expecting anything in return. It purifies one’s heart at the same time helps attain the knowledge of one’s self.
Yoga for Healthy Body and Mind: Kundalini Yoga
Kundalini means the vital force at the base of the spine. The Yoga aims at awakening and tapping the energy in the lower body, particularly at the base of the spine, and drawing it to move upwards to the head. Apart from the physical postures ( Asanas), the person performs meditation and chants mantras. The mantras awaken each of the seven chakras of the body. You must hold your breath while practicing these Asanas.
Yoga for Healthy Body and Mind: Mantra Yoga
In this, the individual chants mantras to attain peace of mind and enhance concentration power. The purpose of chanting mantras is to achieve specific goals or desires. Mantra Yoga helps eliminating many disorders, such as psychosomatic ailments and the problems of anxiety, stress, and tension. In addition it also boosts the individual’s self-confidence.
Yoga for Healthy Body and Mind: Purna Yoga
Known as integral Yoga, Purna Yoga offers wisdom and techniques for the union of the body, mind, and soul. It involves meditation together with Pranayama, and alignment-based Asanas. Purna Yoga is an act of spontaneity of the conventional frameworks of Yoga.
Yoga for Healthy Body and Mind: Raj Yoga
In order to achieve a complete and holistic healing of one’s mind and soul people have been practicing Raj Yoga for centuries . It helps the individual to alleviate himself from emotional and mental conflicts, thus bringing him in harmony with the co-existing creatures and environment.
Yoga for Healthy Body and Mind: Power Yoga
Power Yoga has many followers these days as it is an intense aerobic workout. It is challenging and physically demanding because of the constant movement from one pose to the next with synchronized breathing. This intense, vigorous and fast-paced Yoga consists of a progressive series of poses like push-ups, handstands, side bends and toes touches.
Yoga for Healthy Body and Mind: Bikram / Hot Yoga
While doing the Bikram Yoga, the practice room is heated up to 37 degrees Celsius with a humidity level of 40 percent, which results in profuse sweating and loosening of tight muscles. Today, even in spas, it has become one of the most practiced Yoga forms due to its capability of cleansing the body of toxins, making one healthier and feeling rejuvenated.
Yoga for Healthy Body and Mind: Vinyasa Yoga
Vinyasa means breath-synchronized movement. It is a vigorous practice that starts in the first place with a series of movements matching with the breath called ‘Sun Salutations’ to warm up the body. The practice balances each pose together with a counter pose. Additionally in the advanced stages of this Yoga, stretching is made more intense.
Yoga for Healthy Body and Mind: Iyengar Yoga
This Yoga emphasizes more on holding each pose for a longer time rather than moving from one pose to the next. Props such as blocks, blankets, and steps are used to help align the body into different poses in a sequential way. This Yoga is also suitable for people with disabilities or injuries as it improves their flexibility and strength.
Yoga for Healthy Body and Mind: Yoga in SPAs
Yoga has become an indispensable part of spas today. It retreats at spas are famous for their benefits. Yoga sessions are a part of most of the SPA menus which include detoxifying and de-stressing therapies coupled with serving of fresh organic food. Considering the highest therapeutic value of Yoga, spas employ highly qualified Yoga instructors to offer a complete wellness paradise to their guests. SPA suites are adding Yoga platforms so that the guests can learn and practice Yoga as it is a proven method to cope up with stress and strain of daily life.
To sum up, we can say that practicing Yoga is very important in our everyday life. The stresses of modern civilization, environment pollution, and the changing weather have created many challenges to human body and mind. You should practice Yoga for healthy body and mind.