YOGA

A way of life



YOGA

The origin of word "yoga" is sanskrit word "yuj" which means to join.According to Patanjali(who is supposed to be the founder of yoga),the menaing of word yuj is to stabilize the mind for the union of Atma(soul) and Paratma(super controller).In simple words yoga is a way to join God that is merger of soul with God and experience of oneness with him.
Practically speaking yoga is a life science which deals with the health of body and harmony of mind.The purpose of yoga is to provide sound body with tension free and sound mind.The ultimate aim of yoga is "self-identification and self-perfection" which comes through "self-purification and self-realization".So we can say yoga is a way of life,a means to enjoy complete happiness,healthy and peaceful living.Union of Atma and Parmatma is possible by the purification of body and mind.

Importance of yoga

Regular practice of yoga develops and purifies body and mind to its optimum level.It develops proper functioning of glands in a balancd form.It cures many chronic diseases to benefit the health of the individual.The effects are as under:
Improves cardiovascular system:
Yoga asanas and pranayams improve the efficiency of cardiovascular system,thus endurance is highly developed with sufficient level of strength ability.It strengthens respiratory muscles and other organs to optimum level.
Away from cardiac problems:
Yoga practice cures and improves the efficiency of heart.It keeps us away from cardiac problems.Heart and abdominal viscera get gentle massage by asanas and pranayams.
Proper functioning of digestive organs:
Yoga's asanas,pranayams and its kriyas impove the efficiency of digestive organs.The digestive glands functiion properly.Moreover,it develops high level of immunity.
Control over sense organs:
Yoga pratices develop the ability to control the sense organs.It develops them to function properly according to individual needs.It also relaxes the body from its pains and thus stabilises mind.
Relaxes Stresses and Tensions
Yoga relaxes the body and mind.It removes the stresses,tensions and worries.Thus it freshens our mind and soul completely.
Develops Concentration
Various techniques of yoga develop the concentration to great extent,thus memory recall abilities increases.The meditation techniques stabilises the deflected mind in proper direction.
Good Posture
Yogic asanas tones up body and its muscles.It shapens the body to look attractive.It reduces excessive fat from the body,thus prevents obesity.It also regulates proper diet according to inividual needs.
Removes ortho problems
Many types of chronic ortho problems like arthritis,joint pain,spondilitis,backache etc.,can be prevented and cured through yoga.
Cures diseases
Yoga practices prevents and cures amny types of diseases like cold,cough,asthma and gastric problems,constipation,piles,high blood pressure etc.
Prevents premature ageing
Yoga techniques prevent premature ageing,thus old age factors can be delayed and optimum healthy living can be attained.
Improves health and hygiene
Yoga practices improves the health and develop hygienical habits of the individual.Thus,healthy,happy,peacefull and prosperous life can be achieved.

Asanas as preventive measures

Asanas are slow stretching activity in which hoolding a body posture brings stability of body and poise to mind.Asanas are categorised under three types such as:
1)Cultural asanas:For body fitness
2)Meditative and Relaxative asanas:For improving mental activities.
3)Therapeutic asanas:For curing various health problems. These asanas are performed in standing,sitting,lying(proline and supine lying) or inverted postures.The warming up in yoga is performed with Surya Namaskar(Sun salute stretching).

These are slow stretching activities inwhich heart rate,breathing rate and body temperature remain normal.The effects of Asanas are internally felt and not observable.It improves physical and mental ability to a great extent.It increases the concentration and controls our behaviour.To show the positive effects of asanas is a long process whereas the results are permanent.It also cures various diseases and chronic health problems,thus it has therapeutic effects.It improves physical fitness along with good health to great extent.Asanas should be performed in a duration of 30 seconds to 2 minutes.The breath should be controlled while performing.It should not be performed immediately after meal.
Asanas as preventive measures:
Many asanas have great curative,preventive and therapeutic effects.These can cure and prevent many chronic health problems or diseases such as:
Ortho related: Asanas can prevent and cure many ortho related health problems like Kyphosis,Round shoulder Lordosis,Scoliosis,Knock knees,Bow legs,Flat foot,Neck spondylitis etc.
Diet related: Asanas can prevent and cure many diet related health problems like diabetes,obesity,underweight,constipation,food intolerance,gastric problem and many more.
Concentration related: Asanas prevent and cure amny health problems related with concentration,remove stress and tension,control anxiety,stabilise mind and improve memory.
Immunity related: Asanas improve the immunity to a great extent thus prevent cold,cough,viral infection,communicable diseases,asthama and many more.
Cardio related: Asanas prevent and cure many cardio related problems like heart attack,cornary artery,congestive heart failure,varied blood pressure,abnormal heart beat.
Neuro Muscular related: Asanas prevent and cure many neuromuscular,health problems like paralysis,sciatica,parkinson,sclerosis,weak muscle cramps etc.,improve various sense organs improves eye sight,smell power,touch sense,etc.
Removes body waste: Asanas remove the body waste efficiently thus prevent and cure many health problems.It improves excreatory system of body thus health is improved.
Improves body system: Asanas improve the whole body system and they work very efficiently and in good coordination.Thus the whole body work efficiently and effectively.

Pranayam,meditation and yogic kriyas

The word pranayam is derived from Sanskrit word which means breathing air as power of life.Thus,pranayams are systematic rhythmic control of breathing to provide deep effects over individual.
Pranayams are systematic breathing activities in which inhale,exhale and holding of breath (Purak,Rechak and Kumbhak) are controlled.There are various types of Pranayams based on this process of inhale,exhale and holding of breath like anulom velom,Kapal-Bhati,Surya Bhedan,Ujayii,Bhramari,Sitli,Sitkari,Dhaukani etc.These pranayams develop a lot of inner strength and cure many chronic problems.
1)Anulom Velom Pranayam: It is simple inhale from nose and long exhale from mouth.It cures cough,asthma,headache,reduces stress,relaxes from breathlessness,regulates temperature,helps meditation.
2)Surya Bhedan Pranayam: It is long inhale from left nostril,stop it for sometime and then exhale from right nostril and and vice-versa after each repetition.It cures cough,cold,asthma,headache,reduce stress,relaxes,from breathlessness,regulates body temperature,helps in meditation.
3)Ujayii Pranayam: In this pranayam,the frictional sound with vibrations is produced from the throat while exhaling from mouth.It cures throat,cough,helps in meditation,reduces stress,gives soothing effect over mind.
4)Sitli Pranayam: It is forceful inhale from mouth with tongue.The tongue is shaped like "O" in between lips.It provides cold feeling to the body.It cures dry cough,asthma and regulates body temperature.
5)Sitkari Pranayam: It is forceful inhale from mouth while lips are opened wide whereas teeths are closed.It gives soothing and feeling to body.It cures dry cough,asthma,and regulates the body temperature during summer.
6)Bhramari Pranayam: In this Pranayam,the exhalation produces the vibrating sound from the throat.It cures throat,cough,helps in meditation,reduce stress,gives soothing effect over mind.
7)Kapal-Bhati Pranayam: In this a ong inhale is taken whereas forceful exhale is done from nose with pressure while stomach is vibrated in and out.It cures many problems like cold,cough,asthma,digestive problems,obesity etc.It regulates glandular functioning,thus body functions properly.

YOGA FOR PREVENTING OBESITY

Obesity is excess acumulatiion of fats resulting in increased body weight.In this problem,the excess fats of body get deposited under the skin,especially in areas like abdomen,chest,shoulder,buttocks and legs.Obesity leads to many health problems like loss of physical efficiency;decline in physical personality(appearance); feeling tiredness while performing physical activity;cardiac problems etc.
The causes of obesity are wrong dietary habits;less physical activity;overeating or taking lot of fried things;drinking alcohol;sedentary lifestyle;hormonal variation;hyper thyroid activity,imbalance of physical,mental and emotional energies etc. Yoga can cure these problems by increasing physical activity and controlling glandular functioning (thyroid,pancreatic and digestive hormones).The following yogic methods are helpful to cure obesity.

Vajra asana(Rock sitting)

In this asana, we sit with flexed legs while hands are over knees and back straight.Body is resting over the ankles.
Benefits:

Trikon asana

Feet apart, try to touch opposite hand to foot while other hand is raised up and look upward.
Benefits:

Ardh Matasyendra Asana

In crossed leg sitting,one leg is placed over the other so that the foot touches the opposite hip joint whereas hand supports the spine while looking back.
Benefits:

Hal asana(plough pose)

From lying position start raising the legs so that they touch the surface behind the head.
Benefits:

Yoga for preventing diabetes

Diabetes is a condition when the pancreas in the human body fails to produce insulin.Incidentally,insulin is the hormone that converts the sugar in the sugar in the food into energy.Insufficient secretion of insulin by pancreas results in excess of glucose level in the blood stream ,resulting diabetes.If the level of glucose is high, it eventually affects the important body parts.The person suffering from diabetes shows symptoms like fatigue,hazy vision,excessive thirst,weight loss,increased appetite.
The main causes of diabetes are overweight or obesity;drinking lot of cold drinks or soda water risk the developing of diabetes;genetical or heredity factors;sedentary lifestyle; gastro problems;smoking and alcohol;less physical activity;taking lot of sweets,etc. Yoga can effectively aid diabetes cure such as Yog mudra, Paschimotan Asana, Ardh matasyendra asana, Hal asana, Trikon Asana, Viprit Karni, Dhanur Asana, Udyan Bandh, Kapal-bhati Pranayam, Bhastrika Pranayam, Nauli Kriya.

Bhujang Asana (Cobra Pose)

From pro-lying position start raising the upper part of the body without the supports of hands while lookin up.
Benefits:

Paschimotan Asana

Sitting with straight legs in front.Legs stretched while trying to touch the forehead to the knees, hands hold the feet.
Benefits:

Pavanmukhtan asana

In this asana lie your back with your feet together and arms beside your body.Breathe in and as you exhale,bring your knee towards your chest and press the thigh on your abdomen with clasped hands.Breathe in again and as you exhale,lift your head and chest off the floor and touch your chin to your right knee.Hold it there,as you take deep, long breaths in and out.Checkpoint:As you exhale,tighten the grip of the hands on the knee and increase the pressure on the chest.As you can inhale,loosen the grip.As you exhale,come backto the ground and relax.Repeat this pose with the left leg and then with both the legs together.You may rock up and down or roll from side to side 3-5 times and then relax.
Benefits:

Ardh Matasyendra asana

In crossed leg sitting,one leg is placed over the other so that the foot touches the opposite hip joint whereas hand supports the spine while looking back.
Benefits:

Yoga for preventing asthma

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways in the lungs.Symptoms include coughing,shortness of breath, and chest tightness.Effective treatment of allergic asthma includes identifying and avoiding allergens that trigger symptoms,using drug therapies and developing an emergency action plan for severe attacks. Asthma affects people of all ages but it most often starts during childhood.The prime cause for this problem is pollution.Though different current asthma treatments are available,yoga therapy is the most preferred natural remedy for asthma as it is effective and has no side effects. Here's a list of few basic breathing techniques and yoga postures to help you counter asthma more effectively.

Sukh asana

In this we sit similar to sitting cross legged position.While opening the hips and lengthening the spine,the asana's relative ease on the knee makes it easier than siddhasana or padmasana for people with physical difficulties.
Benefits:

Chakra Asana

Chakra asana or the wheel pose is a backward bending yoga asana.Chakra in sanskrit means Wheel and Asana means a pose.In chakrasana,the final position looks like a wheel,hence the name.Chakrasana gives great flexibility to the spine.
Lie down on the yoga mat looking upwardly.FOld your legs and keep it down below your butt.Make sure that your sole of the feet touches the floor.Bring both of your hands and keep it beneath the shoulders like the fingers see the legs. Then slowly raise your hip,shoulder and the head from he floor.Then keep your neck loosely and bend your back as much as possible.
Benefits:

Goumukh Asana

While performing this asana the body resembles like a cow because of which it is named so.The thighs and calves are replaced in such a way that they are wide at one end and tapering at the other.
Benefits:

Parvatasana

It is a simple seated asana,which is considered to be one of the most important seated postures in yoga.While the legs are grounded in Padmasana,or lotus pose,the whole of the upper body is stretched upwards with the arms over the head and palms pressed together.
Benefits: Some other asanas and pranayams for controlling asthma are: Nadi Shodhan Pranayam,Kapal bhati pranayam,bhujanga asana

Bhujanga Asana

From pro-lying position start raising the upper part of the body without the support of hands while looking up.
Benefits:

Paschimotan Asana

Sitting with straight legs in front.Legs stretched while trying to touch the forehead to the knees,hands hold the feet.
Benefits:

Matsya Asana

This asana is pronounced as mut-see-ahs-ana.The fish pose,if carried out in water,allows the body to float quite easily like that of a fish;hence the name. Lie on your back.Your feet together and hands relaxed alongside the body.Keeping the chest elevated,lower the head backward and touch the top of the head to the floor.Lift your chest up fom in-between the shoulder blades.Press the thighs and legs to the floor.
Benefits: Some other pranayams for preventing and curing Asthma are: Yog mudra,Udyan Bandh,Kapal Bhati Pranayam

Yoga for preventing hypertension or high blood pressure

Hypertension happens when the pressure in our system gets high enough leading to risk other body systems.It is commonly known as high blood pressure.In the diagnosing of hypertension,if the rate of blood pressure reaches above 140/90 the hypertension is present. The symptoms of hypertension are dizziness, head heaviness, headache, chest palpitation, nose bleeding, shortness of breath, irritation and getting irritated easily, face turning red, visual problem, disturbed sleep, etc. The causes of hypertension are physiological,psychological and environmental like overweight(obesity), high sodium salt usage, alcohol, lack of physical activity, smoking,stress, ageing heredity (family history), gastro problems. Hypertension leads to serious health problems like heart failure, heart attack; other organs are affected like kidney, liver, unchangable aggressive attitude paralysis, etc. Yogic asanas are very helpful to cure hypertension such as:

Tada Asana(Mountain pose)

In this asana, person stands on toes, slowly raises both hands as much as possible while coming on toes.
Benefits:

Vajra Asana(Back sitting)

In this asana, we sit with flexed legs while hands are over knees and back straight.Body is resting over the ankles.
Benefits:

Pavanmukhtan Asana

In this asana lie on your back with your feet together and arms beside your body.Breathe in and as you exhale,bring your right knee towards your chest and press the thigh on your abdomen with clasped hands.Breathe in again as you exhale,lift your chest and press the thigh on your abdomen with clasped hands.Breathe in again and as you exhale,lift your head and chest off the floor and touch your chin to your right knee.Hold it there,as you take deep,long breaths in and out.Checkpoint:As you exhale tighten the grip of the hands on the knees and increase the pressure on the chest.As you inhale loosen the grip.As you exhale,come back to the ground and relax.Repeat this pose with the left leg and then with both the legs together.You may rock up and down or roll from side to side 3-5 times and then relax.
Benefits:

Ardh Chakra Asana(Lateral wheel pose)

From standing position start bending sideward.One hand should be close to head.
Benefits:

Bhujang Asana(Cobra pose)

From pro-lying position start raising the upper part of the body without the support of hands while looking up.
Benefits: Some other asanas and pranayams for preventing and curing hypertension are: Sukh asana,Ushtt Asana,Vajra Asana,Padma Asana,Shalv Asana,Anulom-Velom Pranayam,Surya Bhedan Pranayam,Sitli Pranayam,Jal Neiti,Kapal bhati.

Yoga for preventing back pain

Back pain is pain felt in the back that usually originates from muscles,nerves,bones,joints or other structures in the spine.Back pain may have a sudden onset,can be chronic pain or can be constant.Symptoms may include: dull or severe pain and sometimes burning sensation, weakness, etc.Back pain can be divided anatomically:neck pain,middle pain,lower back pain or tail bone pain. The causes of back pain are wrong posture during sitting, standing, sleeping wrong habits, weak muscles, pregnancy, sedentary lifestyle, spondylolisthesis, trauma, cancer, fracture, inflammatory diseases etc.

Tada Asana(Mountain pose)

In this asana, person stands on toes, slowly raises both hands as much as possible while coming on toes.
Benefits: Cures postural problems like Kyphosis,Scoliosis,Neck spondylitis and Flat foot.

Vajra Asana(Back sitting)

In this asana, we sit with flexed legs while hands are over knees and back straight.Body is resting over the ankles.
Benefits:

Ardh Matasyendra asana

In crossed leg sitting,one leg is placed over the other so that the foot touches the opposite hip joint whereas hand supports the spine while looking back.
Benefits:

Shalv Asana

From pro-lying position start raising the lower part of the body,hands are by the side of the legs.
Benefits:

Bhujang Asana(Cobra pose)

From pro-lying position start raising the upper part of the body without the support of hands while looking up.
Benefits:
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