Kim Hubbard has rightly said,”It is pretty hard to tell what does bring happiness; poverty and wealth have both failed, only Yoga can bring peace and happiness in our lives”.
Yoga has a long history it is practiced for self development leading to spiritual awareness which have been utilized over the last thousands and thousands years. This tradition of Yoga has remained alive and unbroken since its beginnings not only in India but also in the other parts of the world. No one exactly know about the complete history and origin of Yoga. In the ancient time people were not aware about the need of Yoga but today every men, women and children knows the importance of Yoga. Everyone thinks that Yoga is a good way to keep themselves away from daily stress and help them to live a healthy lifestyle.
Meaning of Yoga:
The meaning of word YOGA is very deep. The word drives from the Sanskrit word “Yuj”, which means the union, contact, joining or connection . It is the pure bond or union between the individual self and the universal self. In the other words, it is the union of Aatma with Parmatma. The union or oneness is experienced in Yoga only when a higher state of consciousness is reached through the spiritual effort of Yoga.
Importance of Yoga:
The importance of Yoga is again deep and many. Having Yoga as a daily day routine makes the individual stay free from all work stress and helps to keep themselves calm. A person with a free mind can do anything comfortably and in a convenient way. This tradition helps to keep ourselves away from many diseases. It is again important for physical and psychological development. Simple breathing exercises improves breathing exercises. Yoga also makes a person beautiful. Here are some wide importance of Yoga:
- Physical Purity: Various Yogic exercises cleans the body internally. There are mainly three substances present in our body i.e. Kaph, Pitt and Vaay, if there is proper balance of these three in our body, we may remain healthy in our life. There are many Yogic exercises which keep the internal organs clean like Neti, Dhoti, Nauli, Dasti, Kapaal Bhati and Tratak etc.
- Reduces Mental Stress: As we all known about today’s level of stress that a common man is facing. Because of this stress the individual is not able to keep themselves healthy. This leads them to face tension and let them to live unhappy and uncomfortable life which mostly destroy the man internally slowly slowly. Pratihara, Dharana, and Dyyana play a vital role for getting peace of mind.
- Yoga Provides Relaxation: To remove fatigue from the body proper rest and relaxation are essential. When a person is indulging in any Physical or Mental work for longer time, he feels very tired. After having a lot fatigue, he will be not able to do further work. He needs some relaxation and rest for the completion of their work. Shavasana, Makarrasana, Padamasana and Nadam Sadhana are very good yogic exercises for relaxation and reducing mental fatigue.
- Yoga Cure And Prevent From Diseases: There are many diseases which usually disturb the proper functioning of human body. It is not only the remedy of such diseases but also cures them. A large number of diseases such as Bronchitis, Myalgia, Neurasthenia, High Blood Pressure, Leprosy and many more can be cures by doing Yogic exercises on a regular basis. Vajrasana cures Diabetic , if this Yogic exercises will be performed by the individual about 15-20 minutes daily, then he will not feel sick.
- Yoga Beautify The Body: Who does not want to have a beautiful figure in the world? obviously, there will be no one! everyone want to look slim and even beautiful so that everyone would appreciate them. Again there are many Yogic exercises which helps in getting rid of such problems. Yoga asanas make the body strong, beautiful and perfect. Mayurasana is helpful for facial beauty and it brightens the face.
- Yoga Helps In Spiritual Development: We can have a good control over mind by doing Yogic exercises regularly. If our mind is pure and free from overall negativity, we can make good efforts to achieve The God. Padmasana and Siddhasana are the best asanas for spiritual development. These asanas help to enhance the meditation potential.
Elements of Yoga:
The overall aim of Yoga is the attainment of physical and spiritual health. The methods are manifold.
The Elements of Yoga has been described as “Ashtanga Yoga”which is derived from two Sanskrit words i.e. “Ashta” which means eight and “Anga” means limbs. Therefore, ashtanga yoga is also known as ” Eight Limbed Yoga “ or “Hatha Yoga”. Patanjali outlines a complete path way which deals with all the elements of Yoga of our life, The eight Elements of Yoga are as under:
- Yamas…………………Self control/Restrains/Behaviour.
- Niyamas…………….Observances/Life style development.
- Asana………………..Physical posture/ Yoga postures.
- Pranayama………Breathing control/ Control of Prana.
- Pratyahara………Withdrawl of sense organs/ Control of the senses.
- Dharana………….Contemplation/ Concentration.
- Samadhi………..Attainment of super consciousness/ Realization.
Meaning of Elements of Yoga:
YAMAS: This element of Yoga are practiced to eliminate wrong, harmful or disturbing behaviour. This include five yamas and they are;
- Ahinsa or non- violence including avoiding bodily or mental injury.
- Satya or truthfulness in all the dealings of life.
- Asteya or non- stealing of anything in life such as money material, ideas, or speeches.
- Brahmacharya or right use of sexual energy or celibacy which means refraining from all the activities related to sexual enjoyment dorectly or indirectly.
- Aparigraha or non-progressiveness i.e. keeping one’s requirement to the minimum.
All these five yamas helps the individual to prevent themselves from including in too many undesirable activities.
NIYAMAS: This element of Yoga are the principles of personal practice for both self-healing and self-development. Patanjali has prescribed five niyamas including;
- Shaucha which means purity and cleanliness. One should keep their mind clean from passion, anger, greed, pride, and jealousy which may leads the person to the failure of normal behaviour.
- Santosha which means contentment. In other words to maintain a balance attitude whatever we do.
- Tapas which means self – discipline. This niyama helps the individual to have high concentration power. If the person doesn’t know how to keep himself in discipline then he will be not able to complete his work with steady mind.
- Svadhayaya which means self – study. To make a healthy, happy and peaceful. It is essential that we make an extensive study of the subjects in which we want to specialize.
- Ishvara Pranidhana which means Surrender to the divine will. Means to attain peace and sense of humility. It is always better to dedicate the actions to God Almighty.
ASANAS: Asanas consists of physical posture and movements to release tension, remove toxins and prepare the mind for meditation. It is first stage of personal practice aimed at the physical body – the foundation of all that we do in life. The practitioner can learn about the working of their minds and the obstacles created from past experience. Asanas can then become a kind of meditation.
PRANAYAMA:This word cones from Sanskrit word. It has two parts i.e. “Prana” means ” Vital force” and ” Ayama” means control of the “Prana”. This element is necessary for the completion and accomplishment of anything sufficient in life. Most of the Pranayama exercises include breathing exercises, helps to have a good breathing control. The pranayama has three phases:
- Puraka: It is inhalation of air into lungs.
- Rechaka: It is exhalation of air from the lungs.
- Kumbhaka: In a particular posture the holding of breathe is done. During this no exhalation and inhalation is done.
PRATYAHARA: Pratyahara is that element of Yoga which helps the individual to have a control over their senses which respond with the external world.Whatever we take in through the senses affects the mind.
DHARNA: Dharna consists of concentration practices that completely focus on stabilization of our attention. Attension is the main power of mind, without this mind cannot do the work properly. Typical Dharna methods consists of many chakras which help in having a sharp concentration. Concentration is the foundation of meditation.
DHYANA: Dhyana refers to meditation. Meditaion is the main method of classical Yoga that aims at controlling the mind. Asana stills the body in order to help still the mind for meditation.
SAMADHI: Samadhi is the final achievement of the soul with the God. This is the ultimate goal of yoga practice that arise through long- term meditation. We can probably understand the Samadhi better as total concentration that we offer while any work and completely forgets about us.We return to our deeper spiritual heart and forget all the worries of the external world.
The diseases which were likely to be cured by the asana are as under:
||Asana||||Diseases can be cured||
|Siddhasana, Sheershasana, Sputa Vajrasana,|
|T.B , Asthma|
|Siddhasana, Sarvangasana, matsyasana,|
|Siddhasana, sarvangasana, matsyasana, |
|Pain in the ear,eyes and |
|Sarvangasana, shalabhasana, pashchimottanasaba,bhujangasana |
(these asana should not be practice
|Painful menstruation and diseases related to the uterus and ovary.|
|Matsyaasana and shalabhasana||Chronic bronchitis, cough, difficulty in breathing.|
|Sarvangasan, halasana, paschimottanasana and padmasana.||Disorders of the digestive system.|
|Halasana, mayoorasana, dhanurasana, matsyasana||Chronic constipation.|
|Pashimottanasana, mayoorasana, suptava-jarasana, dhanurasana and ardh matsyendrasana||Fatness (Obesity)|
|Vajrasana, siddahasana, padmasana, matsyasana, shavasana||High Blood Pressure.|
|Sarvangasana, halasana, vajrasana, padmasana, siddhasana, pashimottanasana||Low Blood Pressure.|
|Matyasana, suptajrasana, sarvangasana||Throat trouble.|
|Pashimottanasana, halasana, sarvangasana, shavasana||Headache|
|Dhanurasana, matsyasana, |
|Baddha padmasana, utkatasana, sarvangasana, sheershasana, surya namaskar||Diseases related to the chest and the lungs.|
|Kukkutasana, bakasana, utkatsana, sarvangasana, sheershasana||Blood impurities, loss of blood|