Human beings are made up of three components—body, mind and soul corresponding these there are three needs—health, knowledge and inner peace. Health is physical need, knowledge is our psychological needs and inner peace is spiritual need when all three are present then there is harmony.
Yoga gives us relief from countless ailments at the physical level. The practice of the postures (asans) strengthenes the body and creates a feeling of well being. From the psychological view point, yoga sharpens the intellect and aid in concentration; it steadies the emotions and encourages a caring for others.
The practice of breathing techniques (pranayam) calms the mind. In the realm of the spiritual yoga brings awareness and the ability to be still. Through meditation inner peace is experienced. Thus, yoga is a practical philosophy involving every aspect of a person’s being. It teaches the evolution of the individual by the development of self-discipline and self awareness. Anyone irrespective of age, health circumstances of life and religion can practise yoga. Yoga helps to discipline our sense of power with the„power of our own.
If we peep into the benefits of yoga, they are numerous. It improve physical fitness, stress, controls general well being, mental clarity and greater self-understanding. People of all ages can do yoga and it can also be adapted for people with disabilities or special needs. The asanas enhance muscle strength, coordination, flexibility and can help to keep our body fit control cholesterol level, reduces weight, normalises blood pressure and improves cardiovascular performance.
Apart from these when people actively seek to reduce the stress in their lives by consoling the mind. The body often works to heal itself. In this sense yoga can be seen not only as a way to get into shape on several levels, but also as a tool for self-healing.
In today’s world of information and inter planetary voyages most of the people find it difficult to devote time towards their health and fitness. This has led to drastic increase in health problems and healths related stress—the number one killer in modern days. Unlike the early part of the century when in- fectious diseases were the leading killers, today’s health problems are mostly related to life style.
Cardiovascular, heart disease, stroke, and arterioschelerosis, chronic lung disease, diabetes, cirrhosis of liver, suicide and several forms of cancer are all related to unhealthy lifestyle and behaviour. At one point of time or the other, a doctor comes into the scene in every individual’s life. Yoga is also self-diagnosis, healing prevention and maintenance. Although it is not replacement of one’s doctor, yet it has been practised safely and successfully by millions of people who never had doctors, for thousands of years. With the help of yoga the doctor and the individual can both monitor the progress and the doctor will definitely learn from individual how beneficial yoga really is.
In the context of self-diagnosis yoga postures and exercises can be easily done and that too with minimal possible effort. The magic of yoga is that as we begin the basic stretches we can immediately discover where our deficiencies are. If we are really up to, then we should not be discouraged by this.
We can do yoga, as perfectly as possible with a modest amount of care and patience, yoga triggers our body’s natural adaptive and rejuvenating powers. Unless we use it we will lose it and if we start using it again we can get most of it back. Some people even claim that yoga gave them more vitality than they ever had in their lives. Even those who began later in life also benefited from its practice.
As for athletes or sports persons, yoga can be a powerful enhancement in regular training exercises. Adding yoga in a routine training programme helps develop strength, flexibility, range of motion, concentration, and cardiovascular health and reduces stress, tension and tightness. The most significant benefit of adding yoga to a training programme is its effect on performance. It allows an athlete to train harder and a higher level because of motion is greater and the fear of injury lessenes.
Some people think it is divine others find it positively addictive and a powerfully effective substitute for negative habits. Whether borne of inspiration or by trial and error, yoga techniques substitute for the kinds of activities our early human ancestors must have done in the course of just living out in their arboreal lives. It is pretty to say that if we still hung around trees all our lives like other primates, then 70% to 90% of us would not end up suffering from chronic back, neck and head pain.
Obviously it takes time for our body to tuck itself in here and fill out there. Tissues have to grow. Others need to shrink. This is why it is important to drink lots of water and eats amount of wholesome food along with regular moderate exercise. In challenging those muscles to remodel themselves, we are literally clearing out lots of junks from from our tissues.
The essence of yoga is to make the process of life as efficient and enjoyable as possible. In the beginning it is essential that we learn not only what the stretches are, but how to stretch, how to relax and how to breathe etc. Then we will be ready to work out safely, yoga does not bring away the qualities of genuinity, wholesomeness, compassion, but rather instils them within us. It teaches us that love heals the giver at least as much as it does the recipient. In addition therein dwells the sacred power of community, union, harmony, yoga and free and fair civilisation. It is our birth right to have access to this information. It is a sign of our wisdom if we use it, our enlightenment if we share it.
As we start practising simple asanas we will immediately find out what needs attention the most while giving it the attention it calls for. The effects are immediate and the results keep becoming more apparent. The longer and more often we engage in the pure self-indulgent healing art of yoga. The more it will have a healing effect on us. Yoga is no less magical than the power of life itself. It unlocks life’s wonder and unleashes hidden energies.
Through this art everyone can experience the Divine and enjoy the ecstasy of freedom from pain and ignorance apart from other gracious rewards like longevity and happiness. It has taken time for us to wind ourselves up in a knot. Naturally it takes time to unravel. If we are still breathing, it is never too soon or late to start yoga.