Benefits of Yoga


Yoga aims at harmonization of the mind, body, and spirit. Through a series of physical poses called asanas, hatna yoga teaches us to quiet the mind by placing attention on the breath and on the movement (and stillness) of the body.

Hatha Yoga tries to achieve balance between body and mind, as well as attempts to free the more subtle spiritual elements of the mind through physical poses or Asanas, Breathing, Techniques or Pranayama, and Meditation.

Numerous studies have shown measurable effects on nervous, musculoskeletal , circulatory, and endocrine systems of the body.

Asanas are various body positions designed to improve health and remove diseases in the physical, causal, and subtle bodies. The word “asana” is Sanskrit for “seat”, which refers not only to the physical position of the body but also to the position of the body in relation to divinity. They were originally meant for Meditation, as the postures can make you feel relaxed for a long period of time. The regular practice of Asanas will grant the practitioner muscle flexibility and bone strength, as well as non-physical rewards such as the development of will power, concentration, and self-withdrawal.

Pranayama is derived from the words “prana” (life-force or energy source) and “ayama” (to control). It is the science of breath control. This is an important part of Hatha Yoga because the yogis of old times believed that the secret to controlling one’s mind can be unlocked by controlling one’s breath. The practice of Pranayama can also help unleash the dormant energies inside our body.

Benefits of Yoga

Hatha yoga can engage on many different levels:

  • Therapeutic – for elements
  • Path to higher states of consciousness
  • Strengthening and invigorating body
  • Brief and relaxing
  • Makes body stronger and more flexible
  • Allows a person to face life with greater poise, openness and equanimity
  • Helps to achieve balance on the inside

Hatha Yoga Approach

Basic Poses and Benefits:

  • Standing poses – for flexibility, strength, and stamina
  • Seated poses – for a healthy back, poise, and reflection
  • Forward bends – for calming, and nurturing the body and mind
  • Inverted pose – for circulation, and stress reduction

Principles:

  • Breathing awareness and deep relaxation – for energy and renewal
  • Non-violence – honesty, purity, and study. This lays the groundwork for your personal practice regulated breathing, bring mind in harmony with body
  • Concentration – for keeping mind focused
  • Meditation – for realizing our true nature is ultimate realization itself

Material Needed to Practice Yoga:

  • Wear loose, comfortable clothes
  • Non slippery surface or yoga mat
  • 2 or 3 Blankets
  • Chair
  • Small towel
  • Cushion or pillow
  • Bare wall
  • Yoga strap or belt

Because yoga is a technique of opening up the blockages and balancing the energies in the body, it is essential that a counter pose follows each posture to ensure that the flow of energy does not become too strong in the targeted areas of the body. A popular sequence is to start with standing postures, go on to lying on the back, inverted postures and then sitting postures.

After each range of posture, there should be a short relaxation session with a longer period of relaxation at the end. One should aim for 10-15 minutes of relaxation.