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Origins Of Yoga

Todays society is much faster paced that ever before. Yoga Journal People have more stress problems which lead to more health problems, mental and physical. There are more concerns with toxicity in the food we eat and the air we breathe. Millions of Americans today live a sedentary lifestyle, which is associated with obesity. The body, the cavities of our soul, was not meant to deteriorate in such a way that leads to disease. Yoga was developed over 5,000 years ago in India and it included spiritual beliefs, physical techniques, and scholarly philosophy. There is a growing trend to practicing Yoga for many different reasons, which include attaining the yoga body or physique, relaxation and peace of mind, or to prevent injury and ailments. Americans mainly practice Hatha Yoga, which focuses on postures and stretching the body. Yoga is a way or path to transcendence and liberation from the self and the ego by purifying the mind and body. Practicing yoga leads to a union with the mind and body or the individual and universal consciousness.

Coffee in bed - free stock photoThere are many of us who feel we are not as bright as we would like to be; or that we lack the will power a friend or a colleague seems to have. What is not known widely – or taken with skepticism even when known – is that mental power can be enhanced by Yoga and meditation. Don’t worry if your allopathic doctors dismiss this claim, or worse, laugh at it in contempt. Allopathic doctors tend to downplay such claims because allopathy has been brainwashed into a sort of negativism. Yoga or meditation is very beneficial to business executives because it makes decision-making much easier and quicker. It takes away vacillation and helps the brain to grasp the pros and cons quickly. A surgeon needs to take a decision quickly on the operating table. Similarly, a businessman may not have more than five minutes to decide. Supposing he has a dollar 1 million business deal where a decision has to be made in five minutes, he needs a brain which is stimulated and in a trim state. In this state, decision-making becomes easy and anxiety level goes down.

Turn the lights low (or you can do it in the sunlight), whatever suits you. You may want to turn some relaxing music of nature, perhaps the beach. Belts or ropes are used to grab your legs and pull them into a better stretch, which should feel delicious. Blocks are used to prop yourself up and sit better or for standing postures. Without the prop support, you may not be able to attain some postures. Just remember that although the postures are important, performing them absolutely perfectly is not the goal. Yoga is not just an exercise; it includes the mind and intelligence and the reflection in action. These tools make it easier for you as a beginner in yoga, but you will find that eventually you will not need them. Some people prefer taking a yoga class so they are guided properly. There is nothing wrong with this, but keep in mind that only you can take your mind and spirit as far as it was meant to go, alone.

Patanjalis Yoga Sutras is a text that covers many aspects of life, beginning with a code of conduct and ending with the goal of yoga, a vision of ones true Self. The PantajalisYoga Sutras is probably the most authoritative text on yoga. It defines yoga as a focusing of the attention to whatever object is being contemplated to the exclusion of all others. Yoga isnt only about postures, or meditation, it is a way of life, or religion. In this influencing scripture there are eight steps to awakening or enlightenment through yoga. These eight astanga or limbs of yoga are: yamas, niyamas, asanas, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, and samadhi. The yamas consist of lessons in moral and social conduct in our environment. It teaches us to restrain from lying, stealing, and greed. Non-violence and consideration toward all living things is the key. Communication with sensitivity towards others and moderation in all things we do is revered. The niyama focuses on attitudes towards ourselves: compromising, cleanliness, serenity, devotion, and asceticism. One should study and reverence to a higher intelligence. There is an acceptance of our limitations in relation to God. It is key to have removed the impurities from the mind and body. In the asanas, one focuses on posture practice, positioning the body while incorporating the breath to achieve a greater awareness in the mind. One is alert and relaxed without tension, while observing the reactions of the body and breath to various postures. This minimizes the effect of the external influences on the body, such as diet and climate.

In the cobra pose, for example, you ask yourself, What would it feel like to be a cobra. You lie on your stomach with your forehead to the floor. As you inhale, you slowly roll your head back, supporting yourself with your hands. You hold that pose, then come down slowly, trying to move as a snake would move. All yoga exercises promote strength and calmness. Each move’s effects on a muscle, a gland or a nerve center are carefully thought out. You can choose certain exercises to rid yourself of particular pains, such as back pain from back-packing or leg pain from jogging. Yoga can help condition you for skiing or help you control feelings of depression or fear. Any good book on yoga will describe various asanas and tell how each works. You may even have done yoga exercises already. Ever done a handstand, or the wheel. Many exercise programs borrow from yoga.

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