Wouldn’t it be great if someone told us a method to recharge our body energy after a tiresome day? Or maybe how to have a head start for an exhaustive schedule? Just like we use our devices and charge them from time to time.
Well, Yoga is the answer for you - get all the remedial benefits that are much needed in such hectic days. But have you ever wondered how can something as simple as taking different postures and breathing techniques can get rid of stress in your body and mind? Well, that’s where we come into picture to guide you and answer all your questions.
The beginning of Yoga
As evident in the ancient sacred texts- the Rig Veda, it originated over 5,000 years ago in India as a unique and complete holistic health system. It was written by Patanjali in his Yoga sutras, mentioning all the mantras, rituals, and songs used by the Priests and Brahmans.
The scriptures tell that yoga means the union of individual consciousness with the universal consciousness which leads to harmony between nature, mind, and body. In simple words, it is the synchronization between you and the universe.
Earlier yoga was practiced for spiritual purposes and was associated with some core values. The Hindu text Bhagavad Gita suggests that yoga contains ‘tri margas’ or three paths towards liberation, which means to achieve union with the almighty with three forms:
Karma Yoga: Action Yoga
To perform the right action and duties in the best possible ways with your abilities, without any expectations or rewards. This helps us connect to the God-power inside us.
Bhakti Yoga: Worshipping God
To devote your love to all the creation of God and humanity which are the creation of God and yourself as existing within, as a part of God.
Jnana Yoga: Learning
To learn and master spiritual and universal knowledge and the science of reality. This boosts the Aatma and informs your mind. This information brings us closer to and unites us with God.
Mahayana Buddhism talks about yoga as a spiritual and meditative practice known as Yogachara which means the eight significant steps of meditation.
This philosophy (also known as Ashtang Marg) was given by an Indian author Patanjali who also wrote Raja yoga.
So what are these eight limbs? Well, let’s see.
It includes abstentions from violence, dishonesty, lying, acquisitiveness, or sexual promiscuity.
It follows five rules which are contentment (santosa), purity (sauca), self-study(svadhyaya), austerity (tapa), and resignation to god.
It includes postures to boost physical mechanisms and maintain health and fitness. Learning one posture perfectly can have many health benefits.
Pranayama (regulation of breath)
It involves control and regulation of breathing which brings vital energy or prana directly into our body.
Pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses)
It is withdrawing all our senses from the objects and events outside as well as the mind within and focusing on just one. Based on his/her willpower, attention becomes an individual’s choice.
When our focus is on one object, we need to concentrate on that single object even if our mind drifts, we have to bring it back to the object of focus. We have to focus on the object with controlling mind movement.
Dhyana (fixed attention)
It is balancing the inner awareness and a reflective mediation that allows mind healing. The individuals concentrate on the object for such a long time that the mind itself becomes thoughtless and becomes non-existent in itself.
Samadhi (deep meditation)
It is the state where self-awareness is mitigated totally and only pure consciousness remains. This leads to the full healing power of mind and body and we become free from emotional, spiritual, and physical sufferings.