A Brief Introduction to Yoga

A Brief Introduction to Yoga

The word Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word, 'Yuj' which means 'to join'. Yoga is Harmony. According to the Bhagavad-Gita, Samatvam Yoga Uchyate. Yoga helps in balancing the three fundamental Gunas (Tamas, Rajas and Sattva) in the human being.

Maharishi Pathanjali of ancient Bharat is considered to be The Father of Yoga. Yoga removes stress and helps to unify the mind, body and soul. According to ancient Bharathiya seers, Yoga helps to remove pain. There are different limbs in Yoga. They are Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi. Even if one limb is perfectly followed, other limbs will follow.

Asana is maintaining a steady posture of body. Yoga improves our health and keeps us peaceful and happy.

Yoga must be done only on an empty stomach. The best time to do Yoga is in the cool hours of the morning or evening. One must do only those yogas, which are suitable to one's physical condition.

Yoga prevents and cures diseases. Regular practice of Yoga leads to better flexibility of body and quickness in thinking.

The main yoga postures are Tadasana, Trikonasana, Surya- Namaskara, Savasana, Sirshasana, Sarvangasana, Matsyasana, Halasana, Paschimottanasana, Bhujangasana, Makarasana, Salabhasana, Dhanurasana, Chakrasana, Ardha- Matsyendrasana, Mayurasana, Padmasana, Siddhasana, Svastikasana and Vajrasana. There are also breathing exercises known as Pranayama. They include Kapalabhati, Bhastrika, Sitali,  Sitkari and Ujjayi among others. Dhyana is Meditation and is the seventh limb of Yoga according to the Yoga Sutras of Maharishi Pathanjali. The eighth limb is Samadhi.

It is best to do asanas under experienced instructors.

Maharishi Pathanjali said, 'Yoganga Anushthanad Asuddhi - Kshaye Jnana-diptir Aaviveka Khyateh', which means that by observing the eight limbs of Yoga, one effects the destruction of impurities, which leads to spiritual illumination, which in turn leads into the awareness of the Reality! This is the Ultimate Purpose of Yoga.

June 21st is celebrated as the International Yoga Day.

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More by :  Dr. Padmapriya S

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