Health Benefits of Yoga – Both for Body and Mind

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Yoga has been practiced by ancient mystics and philosophers for thousands of years. Most people who hear the word yoga immediately think that this particular activity is simply a way to increase flexibility. In reality however, yoga offers so many more health benefits. Aside from its weight loss properties, yoga is also known to offer certain preventative medicine properties.

There are different kinds of health benefits of yoga. Usually, the benefits received from a type of yoga depend on the kind of yoga a person is practicing. One of the kinds of yoga that is gaining in popularity thanks to its health benefits is laughter yoga.

Yoga is often credited with physical benefits such as better flexibility, stable heart rate, toned muscle and increased stamina. In yoga sessions and class, people are taught to stretch their muscles so that they can be agile and flexible. But for new observers, the benefits of yoga only seem to be physical. Yoga offers more than the benefits to the body. Studies have shown that Yoga also provides key benefits to the mind.

Yoga is the coming together and oneness of body and mind. It is the consolidation of the movement (positions) and the breathing that makes the body tense and relax leading to the calmness of mind and spirit. Effectively done, it makes your whole being refreshed and rejuvenated. Yoga also gives you the ability to shut the noises of the world and get yourself into a trance of silence and solitude. [Read more...]

Yoga Creates A Balance Between The Body, Mind And Soul

A statue of Shiva in yogic meditation.
Image via Wikipedia

Yoga is an ancient science that aims to create a balance between the body, mind and soul, thereby curing physical mental and spiritual disorders that are caused by this imbalance. In common language, yoga means union; it's a union of the individual consciousness with the super-consciousness. To be exact, yoga aims at reminding the individual of this union that already exists and has merely been forgotten. To put it simply, yoga is experiencing and knowing what already exists, not inventing anything new.

At the physical level, yoga can create a balance and harmony among the various organs and systems of the body, allowing the healing powers inherent in the body to work and cure physical ailments. At the mental level, yoga is the harmony between mind, heart and hands or between thought, speech and action. At the spiritual level, yoga aims to destroy the individual ego that stands between the individual and the cosmos, thus attaining to the ultimate truth.

Yoga is basically a set of systematically devised physical exercises that lay emphasis on balance and posture. Combined with breathing exercises they have the capacity to cure almost any ailment of the body and mind. The underlying concept of yoga is to create the situation in which the human body can function at its optimum capacity. [Read more...]

Raja Yoga – Simple Spirit of Psychology

Raja Yoga - Simple Spirit of Psychology

By Sally Janssen

It is important for the human psyche to have a concept or perceptions of our origin and our ultimate life destination. This motivates the study of psychology.

What is missing in the more material purposes of western psychology, are the components of the soul and spirit of a human being. Yet the spiritual life purpose is as important as a material one. It is a Truth to be sought and remains one of the main focal points for Vedic scholars and philosophers as for the genuine seeker for understanding of human being.

Although Indian scholars of Vedic lore will be capable of more profound discussions of psychology and analyses of human nature, most of us wish to use the tenets of Raja Yoga philosophy and teachings to help us towards the spiritual goal by relying upon the three simplest definitions of the psyche as an adjunct to what is already known to us through western psychology.

Consideration of these components serves to guide us through the labyrinth of information about the human mind and personality to illumine a clear path towards a higher destination. This spiritual path or Marga is known and highly regarded as that of kingly purpose in discovering life's truth, hence its name Raja Yoga. However, it is a royal status that must be earned. [Read more...]

Jnana Yoga, Yoga For The Intelligent

Jnana Yoga, Yoga For The Intelligent

Jnana means the knowledge. This yoga is the yoga for the intelligent and selected people. This yoga is the ultimate goal of all the other varieties of yoga. This yoga teaches you to look at the world as it is without any ignorance and bias.  You can achieve this state by practicing rigorous mental discipline and virtue. This yoga is also called Raja Yoga or the king of all the yogas, since it is of the highest variety and rules over all the other varieties. This is the Yoga that Patanjali has described in his Yoga Sutras.

This yoga is made up of eight parts of which five are external and the other three are internal. Two of its parts, viz yama and niyama deal with types of behaviour that the student of yoga should avoid like lying, cheating, stealing etc. and those behaviours that he should cultivate like cleanliness, non-collection etc. Asanas and Pranayama are the next two parts of this yoga. Asanas are the physical movements that help in developing the suppleness of the body and thus cure any diseases. You can control your breath by using pranayama which increases the capacity of the lungs to take in air and thus increases the vitality of the body. The next part Pratyahara denotes the withdrawal of the sense organs from objects of enjoyment. The remaining three parts deal with intense mental concentration. [Read more...]

Try Core Power Yoga

Power Yoga Class Warrior 2 Pose - Virabhadrasana
Image by myyogaonline via Flickr

Core power yoga is an energetic yoga exercise that physically and mentally challenges to help connect to inner power without stopping and accompanied by a heated, climate controlled Vinyasa. It heals, detoxifies and stimulates the body and mind through balance and intention.

Power yoga has created a dynamic, challenging program that combines strength, sweat and spirituality. It recognizes power in different levels; first is the physical power which develops the body's strength and improve health; second is the mental power or the will to concentrate on the practice; and last the spiritual power which is the power behind the physical and mental power. [Read more...]

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