WHAT IS YOGA? FUNDAMENTALS AND BENEFITS FOR BEGINNERS
Article by Joyce Rothschild
Namaste:) Yoga is the sum total of all activities-mental, verbal and physical. The Sanskrit word yoga has many meanings, and is derived from the Sanskrit root “yuj,” meaning “to control,” “to yoke” or “to unite”. Translations include “joining,” “uniting,” “union,” “conjunction,” and “means.” Outside India, the term yoga is typically associated with Hatha Yoga and its asanas (postures) or as a form of exercise. Someone who practices yoga or follows the yoga philosophy is called a yogi (male) or yogini (female).Patanjali is widely regarded as the founder of the formal Yoga philosophy. Patanjali’s writing also became the basis for a system referred to as “Ashtanga Yoga” (“Eight-Limbed Yoga”), best, easy, fast and most effective yoga. The Eight Limbs are:1.Yama (The five “abstentions”): non-violence, non-lying, non-covetousness, non-sensuality, and non-possessiveness. 2.Niyama (The five “observances”): purity, contentment, austerity, study, and surrender to god.3.Asana: Literally means “seat”, and in Patanjali’s Sutras refers to the seated position used for meditation.4.Pranayama (“Suspending Breath”): PrÄna, breath, “ÄyÄma”, to restrain or stop. Also interpreted as control of the life force.5.Pratyahara (“Abstraction”): Withdrawal of the sense organs from external objects. 6.Dharana (“Concentration”): Fixing the attention on a single object. 7.Dhyana (“Meditation”): Intense contemplation of the nature of the object of meditation. 8.Samadhi (“Liberation”): merging consciousness with the object of meditation.Some of the tremendous benefits of yoga are; increased flexibility (yoga has positions that act upon the various joints of the body including those joints that are never recognized let alone exercised.) massaging of all organs of the Body (yoga is the only form of activity which massages all the internal glands and organs of the body in a thorough manner, including those – such as the prostate – that hardly get externally stimulated during our entire lifetime. Yoga acts in a wholesome manner on the various body parts. This stimulation and massage of the organs in turn benefits us by keeping away disease and providing a forewarning at the first possible instance of a likely onset of disease or disorder), sense of awareness (yoga develops in the practitioner of an impending health disorder or infection. This in turn enables the person to take pre-emptive corrective action) complete detoxification (by gently stretching muscles and joints as well as massaging the various organs, yoga ensures the optimum blood supply to various parts of the body. This helps in the flushing out of toxins from every nook and cranny as well as providing nourishment up to the last point. This leads to benefits such as delayed ageing, energy and a remarkable zest for life.) and excellent toning of the muscles (muscles that have become flaccid, weak or slothy are stimulated repeatedly to shed excess flab and flaccidity.I strongly recommend you to start practicing yoga now for your health, relaxation, meditation, stress relief, liberation and limitless happiness. You may start with ashtanga yoga and start with the initial 2 parts of the primary series; sun salutations A and sun salutations B. It will only take 20 mins of your day and the return will be fantastic and so fast. For more information and charts showing the details of the poses, you may see my blog at http://easyashtanga.blogspot.com and ask me if you have any questions.
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Yoga is the sum total of all activities-mental, verbal and physical. Some of the tremendous benefits of yoga are; flexibility, massaging of all organs of the body, great toning of muscles. You may start practicing and enjoying all the benefits now.