Yoga is essentially the science of tuning the mind and body towards emancipation or complete deliverance. This liberation of human mind and body can be interpreted in different ways. It is as per the seekers desire or chosen objective. Yoga only provides practical pathways to the final goal of complete liberation. Many believe that Yoga is a way to take the mind off the worldly desires. This is not true, at least not in totality. Yoga, as said previously provides a pathway to attain the final goal, whatever that goal might be. For some it could only mean good health. For some it may mean mental peace and stress control. For some it many mean renouncing the world. Whatever it may be, Yoga provides the practical pathway to achieve it. For some, the goal may simply be to find out what this goal may be. In such cases also Yoga is very handy as through its methodology one can develop enough insight and know one's true calling in life. The philosophy of Yoga is based on development of awareness of mind and body. This is often done in various traditions using the tool of breath. The breath energizes and unites the entire being in one chord. Concentrating on breath one becomes aware of the inner self and feels a transition and merger of the self with the surroundings. Many supporters of Yogic philosophy strongly report attaining a blissful state of expansion of inner faculties and their merger with something vast and universal. This leads to the state of meditation or dhyana. The in-depth knowledge of meditation leads to immense awareness and ultimate wisdom of liberation. Therapeutic Yoga is a way of cleansing the body completely of any ailments by getting rid of all external causes of disease. It uses many principles of all kinds of Yoga and is very popular these days in the health conscious upper category lifestyle people both in India and the West. The human body starts its functioning from the stage when it is in the seed form resultant of the union of male cell, the sperm and female cell, the egg or ovum. The zygote thus formed has all the information in the form of genetic codes inside it. This divides and forms different human tissues with distinct functions. This entire process of creation of a complete human being from two cells is the ultimate in creativity. Once the human body is fully formed the miracle of birth takes place and an individual which was dependent on the parent body for its survival is born with all animal survival instincts and complete functionality of all systems. Yoga and Asanas if done with interest and regularity, they can be completed in about forty minutes and would exercise all the systems of the body Yoga provides a way of healthy living. All yogic practices work towards a common goal of creating and maintaining complete harmony throughout all these complicated systems. In day to day life the practices of yoga can lead to energizing and strengthening of all these systems. How yoga can help each system is described here for general awareness. The Muscular System: The yogic asanas involve exercising various muscles groups of the body. Different muscle groups are targeted by different asanas. A certain practice of targeting different muscle groups leads to exercising the complete muscle system of the body. It is also advised to do these yoga asanas in the evening time after a full day’s work to retain the suppleness of the muscles. In the mornings the muscles are generally a little stiff and they loosen up during the course of the day. So doing these asanas in the mornings just after getting up is a little difficult, while in the evenings they can rejuvenate the muscles and relax them as well. The Digestive System: The digestive system is the group of organs in the body that helps in the digestion and assimilation of food. The digestive organs are lodged in the middle portion of the body but the alimentary canal begins from the mouth cavity itself. Some orthodox medicine practices believe that disorders in the digestive system are the root cause of all ailments in the human body. There are various yogic asanas that help in strengthening of the digestive system. The Circulatory System: The cardio-vascular system of the body is responsible for reaching the oxygenated blood to each part of the body and removing the deoxygenated blood from each part of the body and to bring it back to the heart for recirculation after oxygenation. The blood flows in the arteries, veins and capillaries. The circulatory system is responsible for circulation of life giving elixir throughout the body. Various asanas improve circulation of the blood and enhance the condition of the heart, which is that vital organ of body that never rests even while the rest of the systems are resting. The Respiratory System: Yoga promotes various techniques of respiration through many breathing exercises. Some asanas that promote breathing exercise invigorate the respiratory system and also relax it. Respiration also coordinates another vital system, the circulatory system. Oxygen reaching every cell of the body produces energy by a process of oxidation, and carbon dioxide and water vapour is released, which has to be removed immediately because of its toxic nature. This is a vital process that goes on in every living tissue and is imperative for survival. Yoga strengthens respiration and these asanas can be done by people of all age groups even by the people who cannot otherwise do other vigorous forms of exercises. The Excretory System: The excretory system consists of kidneys, ureters, bladder, large intestines and the skin. The yogic asanas revitalize the excretory system with the aid of many yoga asanas. This system is vital for normal functioning and health of the body because it is the prime system that removes all toxic substances from the body. Without proper and optimum functioning of this system the other systems also fail to perform to their optimum levels. The Endocrine System: The endocrine system controls the hormones of the body which are vital for the proper functioning of various systems. The endocrine system consists of glands like pituitary, pineal, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal and sex glands. These are ductless glands and they secrete their secretions directly into the blood stream which are made available to the organs on requirement. This system is thus very important for proper functioning of the entire body. Many yogic asanas improve and rejuvenate the endocrine system. The Nervous System: The complex network of neurons, nerves, spinal cord, ganglia and brain form the nervous system. There are two parts of nervous system, the central nervous system (CNS) and the autonomous nervous system (ANS). The neurons, nerves, spinal cord and brain form the central nervous system while two chains of ganglia running on the sides of the spinal cord form the autonomous nervous system. The ANS controls the working of the heart, digestive organs, kidneys, endocrine glands and it performs without our consciousness of it. The CNS controls the other complex processes of memory, thinking, reflex and response actions. The two parts of the nervous system are important and should work in perfect coordination with the rest of the systems for healthy living. Many yogic asanas and practices improve the nervous sytem. The life is becoming very stressful and ridden with various tensions for all. This gives rise to a range of physical and mental maladies. In order to overcome these people resort to taking drugs or other external assistances that provide only short term relief but increase the risk of many more grave dangers to the body. It is a very good thing that slowly people are realizing this to be a vicious cycle and needs to be broken in order to save oneself from greater dangers. Yoga offers many time-tested techniques to satisfy the need to learn to relax. Yoga provides a perfect base to gratify this need for most people. The basic issue here is to learn to cope up with stress and through the teachings of various forms of Yoga the desired solutions of betterment of life can be attained fruitfully. Yoga for Stress Relief Yoga can be termed as a form of social science. It helps to develop awareness, concentration, willpower, good conduct, good behaviour, memory power, stress management and building up of personality of a person. So Yoga can be useful to each and every individual in one form or the other. Yoga is a process of gaining mastery over the mind, emotions and intellect. It is a conscious process of evolution from an instinctive animal nature to a visionary nature. This raises the potential of the man manifold and eventually raises him to the level of divinity. People suffering from distress also may become prone to diseases like insomnia, high blood pressure, headaches and migraine, atherosclerosis, thyrotoxicosis, various auto-immune disorders, irritable bowel movements and menstrual problems. Since stress is necessary in certain measures and only when it becomes chronic and prolonged it creates problems, a balance between SNS( Sympathetic Nervous System) and PSNS[Para Sympathetic Nervous System- another branch of Autonomous Nervous System (ANS)] is necessary for a normal and healthy life. Yoga is a scientific methodology and a systematized art form through which this can be achieved so it is a well sought after and proves to be the right choice for everyone.
Types of Yoga Bhakti Yoga Gyan Yoga Hatha Yoga Karma Yoga Kunadalini Yoga Mantra Yoga Purna Yoga Ashtanga Yoga Patanjali calls his form of Yoga as Ashtang Yoga owing to the eight limbs of the entire system. But according to the most frequently used definitions it comes closer to Raj Yoga because of the approach to meditation. These became very acceptable eight branches and are used till date by the practitioners of Hatha Yoga also. 1. Yama: : Practicing the eternal vows of Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmacharya and Aparigraha.Cleansing the mind consciously from the five vices of violence, dishonesty, theft, impure sexual thoughts, and unnecessary possessions. 2. Niyama: Observing the behaviour of Shoucha, Santosha, Tapas, Svadhayay, Ishvarapranidhana. Observation of five rules of purity, austerity, satisfaction, study and surrender to God. 3. Asana: Doing the postures prescribed by yoga.Refers to the seated position during meditation. In the advance stages all the postures of Hatha yoga are also covered. 4. Pranayama: Practicing the control of vital prana. Prana means breath that unites the body into a chord of vitality and vigour. These are basically breathing exercises to cleanse the system and provide the necessary oxygen to each and every part of the body. 5. Pratyahara: Detachment of senses.This refers mainly to the process of redirecting the sense organs inwards as against their normal outwardly orientation. 6. Dharana: Practicing intense concentration.This refers to concentrating whole attention on a single object. 7. Dhyana: Practicing meditation.This refers to intense concentration on the inner reality and cutting off from the external distractions temporarily. 8. Samadhi: Attainment of state of merger with supreme consciousness. Attaining a state of complete unison with the supreme consciousness. This is also the state of complete liberation. To ease out the discrepancies an attempt is made to impart impartial and comprehensive information in the most comprehensible way to the people who are making an attempt to understand the ancient methodology of yoga.
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