Top 10 Profound Health Benefits of Yoga

Image via Wikipedia

Yoga is currently taking its final exam. Even though this science dates back many thousands of years, it has only recently come to the West. This is where Yoga is being empirically tested.

The Western mind demands results and evidence, if none are produced, the system does not survive. This is a valuable approach and Yoga is currently being put though the rigors of this process. So far Yoga is passing with flying colors. Don't get me wrong, its not that the East did not expect that, its just that this approach filters out the fraudulent and frivolous methodologies, which might otherwise survive simply because of superstition and fear, and the East is just as happy that this is being done as the West. This scrutinizing process results in separating the stones from the diamonds and the diamond that is Yoga is starting to shine though bright and clear.

Over the last three to four decades a great deal of research has been done by the medical community and they now, more and more, recognize the health benefits of Yoga. Below, I will highlight the top 10 health benefits that Yoga bestows and I hope it will inspire all of you to take up this wonderful practice is some capacity and reap the rich rewards as well. [Read more...]

Ashtanga Yoga – History and Theory

Original title and description: "Suryatho...
Image via Wikipedia

If you are interesting in taking up yoga, Ashtanga yoga may be the kind of yoga for you. This popular form of yoga has an interesting history.

Sri Krishnamacharya at Mysore Palace originally established Ashtanga yoga. Krishnamacharya is responsible for influencing many modern forms of yoga practiced today. The Ashtanga Yoga taught by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, India, is the most faithful to Krishnamacharya's teachings. It was originally developed for teenage boys, but is now popular with people of all ages. It is an aerobic type yoga, which is physically demanding. The main focus is on vinyasa, which are a series of movements combined with specific breathing patterns. There should be one breath for each movement. This breathing and movement seeks to make the blood hot. Hot blood will be thin and aid in purifying the body with better blood flow. It will also produce sweat, which will rid the body of harmful toxins, leaving the body in a disease free state.

Ashtanga Yoga seeks to purify the mind and body through the eight limbs or steps of yoga. The first two steps are Yama (control) and Niyana (rules of conduct) and are the ways in which we deal with how we interact with the world and ourselves. These steps cannot be practiced but are ethical issues. They are meant to create an environment that promotes positive growth. [Read more...]

Types of Yoga – Their Effects and Benefits

Image via Wikipedia

Yoga originated around 4000 years ago in the Far East as a spiritual practice designed to realize the Divine nature of the self. Today in the West, yoga usually includes three elements of the traditional yoga techniques: postures (or asanas in Sanskrit), breath control (or pranayama) and meditation. Imagine an activity that increases your flexibility, strengthens your muscles, centers your thoughts, and relaxes and calms you.

Types Of Yoga

Raja Yoga – This is attaining Yoga or unification and reach Samadhi or oneness by practicing the Ashtangas of Yoga like Yama, Niyama, etc. (which we discussed in the last article). One who achieves the yogic state by this mode is considered to be the Raja or King of Yoga – we can take Swami Vivekananda as an example.

Bhakthi Yoga – This reaching the ultimate oneness by sheer devotion and faith. Kuchela can be an example for this. The traditional bhakti yoga does not preach the traditional pranayama, mudra, yogasnas or controlled meditation. Instead of all these, bhakti yoga devotes attention towards loving God, surrender to obey God’s will and love of God towards humanity.

Jivamukti Yoga: Developed in 1986 by Sharon Gannon and David Life, the Jivamukti Yoga method expresses the spiritual and ethical aspects of the practice of yoga that have been disregarded or devalued in contemporary times.

Ananda Yoga: Ananda Yoga classes focus on gentle postures designed to move the energy up to the brain and prepare the body for meditation. Classes also focus on proper body alignment and controlled breathing.

Effects

Any one of several paths of spiritual discipline intended to lead a person to deliverance from samsara and the realization of moksha--i.e., to at-onement with ultimate reality. Specifically, it means a "yoking" of the self by spiritual discipline, a method of training designed to lead to union of the human spirit with ultimate reality and release from the limits of the individual ego. Also called margas (paths to salvation). Normally following a yoga involves apprenticeship to a guru (spiritual teacher or guide). [Read more...]

Yoga helps you lower blood pressure

Tanumânasî Meditación en postura del Loto (Pad...
Image via Wikipedia

Hypertension is a common disease nowadays, which, if it's not treated corectly can cause many damages to the other organs of the body. People who suffer from high blood pressure need to lower blood pressure in order to neutralize the effects of hypertension on their body.

Changing the life style and sometimes taking medicines is recommended for the people who need to lower blood pressure.

It is very helpful in the treatment of hypertension the yoga lifestyle, which can really help you lower blood pressure. Yoga exercises, called asanas, involve stretching and moving the body into various positions. During these exercises any tightness or tension observed in the body should be consciously relaxed. Yoga practice offers stress management techniques, which are essential to lower blood pressure. There are many yoga asanas, maybe hundreds or even thousands, but only certain asanas can help you lower blood pressure. [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...]

Get Adobe Flash player