What is Yoga?
The term “Yoga” literally means Union. People, so far, have their own version of what Yoga means to them individually. Does it have to do with Spirituality? Does it have something to do with Religion? Is it an entirely different Philosophy altogether that only a few manage to master? Let us observe what certain spiritual leaders have to say about Yoga.
According to Sadhguru, Yoga is defined as a practise that brings one close to reality. That very reality from where life stems out; that same reality from where one begins to understand the essence of their existence. Individuality is the only reality and we humans should acknowledge and come closer towards.
If we observe Swami Vivekananda‘s philosophy on Yoga, we’d notice a rather fresh and broader perspective that happens to resonate with people abroad as well. Swami Vivekananda brought forth four 4 different Yoga practises that helped an individual attain moksha from all the worldly attachments and pleasures:
- Karma-Yoga: Focuses on one’s work. An atheist’s dedication, entirely on their work with utmost honesty and passion is what being a Bhakti-Yogi is all about.
- Bhakti-Yoga: The process of purging your inner-self through connecting yourself with God, is what being a Bhakti-Yogi is.
- Jnana-Yoga: Discarding ignorance of any kind and embracing knowledge is what Jnana-Yoga is about. Knowledge is the only power that allows people to free themselves from the impurities of mind and all the worldly pleasures.
- Raja-Yoga: Practicing meditation regularly can only help one come closer to The Divine. A lot of sacrifices have to be made while practising Raja-Yoga.
Yoga and Health Benefits-
Yoga comes with several health benefits with it. Even if an asana doesn’t serve its purpose for you, do remember that it will never render any side-effect on you as well. Different Spiritual Leaders/Gurus have given their take on the health benefits of Yoga. Let us take a look-
According to Swami Ramdev, an Indian Yoga Guru-
- Yoga and Pranayam provides relief in ailment of any kind. From controlling anxiety, stress, depression, fatigue, heart disease, obesity, asthma, blood pressure, backache to weakness of any kind- Yoga can help control all of these ailments and bring you back to your feet all fit and better.
- Yoga can help an underweight gain a few kilos and an obese person shed a few kilos.
- Apart from the physical and mental cleansing, Yoga will help you attain a healthy, toned and flexible body that will help you stay balanced in life.
If we look at what Sadhguru has to say on Yoga, we’d learn-
- Sadhguru focuses on the balanced energy of the body. If the body is balanced, any sort of physical or psychological ailment cannot touch your body.
- This physical and psychological connection can be developed within your body by bringing a certain balance to your system. And this balance is brought to you by breathing right and keeping your body balanced by being disciplined in life.
- This discipline can help people cure diseases that have been a part of their lives. Yoga, if practised regularly, can help manage, but not cure that disease.
Apart from what our Spiritual Leaders have to say, Yoga overall has helped us with several health problems. Some common health benefits include-
- Posture improvement
- Lower pulse rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure
- Improved sleep cycle
- Better immunity
- Better cardiovascular efficiency
- Social adjustment
- Better dexterity, eye-hand coordination and balance
- Better attention, concentration, learning and memory
Yoga comes along with several health benefits that can help you in the long run. It indeed is a slow process and one has to be really patient to notice the changes. But, if practised regularly, Yoga can help rejuvenate your mind, body and soul. One can function better in their lives by simply practicing Yoga for at least half an hour a day. The changes will be felt in a few months, but the patience will be worth it.
Yoga has been a traditional practice and is a part of our identity. Therefore, it is essential for us to carry on this tradition for the generations ahead. Presently, Yoga is practised globally. Since 2015, the 21st of June of every year is celebrated as International Day of Yoga across the globe. This shows how effective Yoga has been throughout the world. After all it is said very aptly, “A healthy mind lives in a healthy body.”