Yoga as Whole Mind-Body Practice

21st June, since 2015 we have been celebrating International Yoga Day, and now it realized me the real relevance of embracing yogic practices in our lives for balancing of mind and body in unison. Though I have been practicing yoga since two decades back, but today it felt me to explore yoga as more than physical health practices.

What is Yoga?

Yoga is a spiritual practice that began in India more than 5000 years ago. The word Yoga means in addition or union in Sanskrit. So as per the name, Yoga, it leads to the union of a person as an individual with the universe. Patanjali is the author of Classic Yoga or Yoga-sutra. It defines as quieting of the fluctuation of mind through a ceaseless internal monologue with body.

Misconception: Yoga as only a physical exercise.

Basically yoga is taken as physical or bodily exercise, which is undoubtedly a serious misconception. Yoga is truly more in addition to physical exercises, poses or postures. Apart from body strengthening, and flexibility, it includes breathing practices or pranayaama, meditation techniques, moral precepts against over-demanding, over expecting, over-eating, mal practicing of doing harm to one self or others. So in totality Yoga is visualization practice of selfless service that volunteer to karma Yoga or doing good deeds. That can be interpreted as yoga is a practice of a character building of an individual with noble thoughts and mindfulness with healthy body.

Yoga as Mind to body practice.

Yoga is directly associated with a healthy mind in a healthy body. The meditation or pranayaam practices are the effective yogic practices that calm down the stressful mind and lead to self in unison with the Universe. Thus the psychological benefits of yoga include mind relaxation and de-stressing. It takes the transition of autonomic nervous system to the parasympathetic calm mind. So in return the work ability of the individual increased and simultaneously all the adverse effects of stress and tensions diminish to null. There are numerous yogic practices that overlap physical exercices with mind body therapies.

Types of Yoga practices.

Out of several yogic practices while assuming the lineage is not relevant in today’s time as it used to be then, still few yoga practices based on traditional yoga can be explained as following.

  1. Vinyasa Yoga or Vinyasa Karma Yoga or Ashtang Yoga: Vinyasa means “to place in a special way” is the often considered the most athletic yoga style. Vinyasa was adapted from ashtanga yoga and bikram yoga in the 1980s. Many types of yoga can also be considered vinyasa flows such as ashtanga, power yoga, and prana. Vinyasa yoga is as good for your body as it is for your mind. Here each movement is paired with the breath. It includes Sun salutations sequence or Surya Namaskaar, mountain pose, cat –cow pose, side plank pose.
  2. Hath Yoga: The Sanskrit word ‘हठ’ haṭha literally means “force full” or “willful” and thus alludes to a system of physical techniques that are designed to align and calm body, mind and spirit in preparation for meditation. Hath yoga introduces meditation, relaxation and asanas. Few of hath yoga poses are ardh-chandrasana, dhanurasana, setu bandh asana, and gomukh asana.
  • Iyangar Yoga: Iyangar yoga was founded by B.K.S Iyangar focuses on alignment as well as detailed and precise movements. Generally, poses are held for a long time while adjusting the minutiae of the pose. Iyengar yoga practice relies heavily on props to help students perfect their form and goes deeper into poses in a safe manner. Although you won’t jump around, you will definitely get a workout and feel incredibly open and relaxed after an Iyengar yoga. This style is really great for people with injuries who need to work slowly and methodically to overcome.
  • Kundalini Yoga: Kundalini yoga is also known as ‘yoga of awareness’. This practice penetrates into mind and has strong spiritual attainments. It uses the body movement, sound, breath and meditation to relax and restore the mind and body focusing on improvement of strength, flexibility, and endurance.
  • Bikram Yoga:Bikram Yoga is a variant of traditional Yoga. This modality of Yoga works in a series of Yoga postures and breathing exercises that was initially structured by Bikram Choudhury and subsequently refined and perfected by health professionals and taught exclusively in its chain of Centers. The technique consists of a combination of postures that encompasses the benefits of different types of Yoga getting a healthy body through the practice of it, as well as the scope of inner peace and personal happiness. This is a series of 26 postures of the 84 classic postures of Patanjali’s Hatha Yoga (considered the father of Yoga 4,700 years ago).Bikram Yoga is a session of 90 minutes at 40 °, in which 26 postures (asanas) and two breathing exercises (pranayamas) are developed, suitable for all ages and skill levels. . Bikram Yoga is also called Hot Yoga or Yoga with heat due to the requirement to perform at the aforementioned temperature. These 26 postures systematically move fresh and oxygenated blood throughout the body. All the organs, glands, tendons, ligaments, bones, all the cells of your body, your emotions, your mind and your spirit are worked on.

2020 Theme of International yoga day: “yoga for health- yoga at home”

Even WHO also accept yoga as means to improve health in its global action plan on physical activity 2018-2030 as more active people for healthier world. WHO believes in the benefits of yoga practice that includes increased flexibility, fitness, mindfulness and relaxation.

On this international yoga day students from ASPAM Scottish School, among the best CBSE Schools in Noida, following ‘yoga for health- yoga at home’ did yoga at their home and promised to give this world the healthier mind in the healthy body. It’s an urge to all to have a yoga as daily morning ritual and feel healthier and more relaxed as an individual.

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