Nowadays as the generation is busy continuously accomplishing hectic targets the value of physical and mental health has gained a major position in people’s priority list. One thing that comes to mind when thinking about both physical and mental health is Yoga.
Originated in ancient India, yoga is a path of self-awareness and spirituality which are just a few out of many benefits of yoga.
The word ‘yoga’ had been derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Yuj’ which infers “to attach, join, harness or yoke”. It indicates harness or yoke between soul and body.
Yoga originated from pre-Vedic Indian tradition literally as present in Rigveda, one of the four Vedas of ancient Hindu tradition. It is one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophical traditions. As mentioned in Vedas, yoga mostly developed around the 6th and 5th centuries BCE, during ancient India’s ascetic and Sramana movements.
The spiritual sense of yoga first arises in Epic Sanskrit, in the second half of the 1st millennium BCE, and is associated with the philosophical system presented in the yoga sutras of Patanjali, with the chief aim of ” uniting” the human spirit with the divine.
Yoga has a history of 5000 years of practice in ancient Indian philosophy. The “yoga sutra” a 2000-year-old treatise on yogic philosophy by the Indian sage Patanjali, is a guidebook on how to master the mind, control the emotions and grow spirituality. The yoga sutra is the earliest written records of yoga and one of the oldest texts in existence and provides a framework for all modern yoga.
A) Physical benefits – Physical wealth is merely half of the advantages of yoga. The relaxation techniques in yoga can lessen chronic pain, arthritis, headache, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Regular yoga practice can lower blood pressure and reduce insomnia. It increases flexibility in joints and increases muscle strength. It also tones the body and increases bone strength.
Yoga can improve respiration, energy and vitality. It maintains a balanced metabolism. Yoga is also beneficial in weight reduction. It is great practice for avoiding cardiovascular disease and circulatory health crisis.
B) Mental benefits – Yoga helps with stress management. One can develop coping skills, positivity, mental clarity and calmness through the discipline of yoga.
Yoga increases body awareness, relieves chronic stress patterns and centres attention, that is, it sharpens concentration.
The main idea of yoga is to develop spiritual awareness practice. The central idea is to train the body and mind to self observe. It is a mechanism for increasing awareness and decreases diseases. It is substantial to practice yoga which can benefit beyond the physical exemptions.
Introduction of yoga to the modern world:-
Yoga started gaining popularity in the western world due to the unbound efforts of yoga gurus who decided to spread the message of spiritual, physical and mental awareness. One of the most remarkable efforts is of Swami Vivekananda, who promoted yoga in the western culture during the late 19th and early 20th century.
For Indian yoga is a practice of physical, mental and spiritual discipline, however, it has been perceived as a posture based physical fitness, stress relief and relaxation techniques outside India. On December 2016 yoga was listed by UNESCO as an Intangible cultural heritage.