Yoga and Health
The Sanskrit word 'Yoga' means union. It denotes being in harmony with onself, others, world, life and God or Higher Being. 'Patanjali' an ascetic is regarded as the founder of the formal yoga philosophy. His aphorism defines yoga as 'inhibition of modification of mind'. In the western world the tern yoga is associated with 'yogasanas' or the yogic postures. Hathayoga is a branch of yoga which attempts to establish harmony in human body with the help of yogasanas or postures. Regular and persistent practice of yogasanas is said to help in regaining the lost vitality and sense of wellbeing and ultimately a higher consciousness.
The major branches of Yoga are gnana yoga, raja yoga, bakthi yoga, hatha yoga. All these correspond to four of the five basic elements earth, water, fire, air and ether. Hatha yoga corresponds to earth, bakthi yoga to water, raja yoga to fire and gnana yoga to air.
Ancient Indian philosophy regarded the Universe was made of the five elements along with moon and sun. It also regarded man as the microcosm of the Universe. A Hatha yogi strives to establish the harmony in himself which he finds in the Universe, through the rigorous practice of yogasanas.
You can be benefited by yogasanas even if do not believe all that were mentioned above. Many yogasanas have been found to help in curing insomnia, breathing difficulties, backaches, menstrual problems, impotency etc to name a few.
Some of the common yogasanas are padmasana, sarvangasana, matsyasana, dhanurasana, bhujangasana, halsana, savasana etc.
Surya namaskar is a sequence of movements that links together 12 asanas. Surya namaskar is generally performed in the mornings.
Padmasana or lotus position is a sitting posture with legs crossed, that helps in proper breathing and meditation. Yoga texts recommend this posture to stimulate the pelvis, spine and abdomen. In women this posture is said to help with menstrual problems and ease childbirth.
Sarvangasana, known as the queen of asanas, literally means posture for the whole body. You perform it by lying on your back with hands under the mid-back. You will then lift the legs and lower body so as to support the weight of body on head, neck, upper back and upper arms.
Matsyasana, the fish pose, is performed after Sarvangasana as a counter pose.
Dhanurasana or bow pose is useful in treating problems of the spine, and chest.
Bhujangasana or the serpent pose stretches the chest, shoulders and abdomen.
Halasana the plow pose is said to cure impotency.
Savasana or corpse pose is usually the last pose done to relax the exercised muscles. It is found the refresh and rejuvenate the body. This asana is found to help people with asthma, diabetes, insomnia etc.
All the benefits stated above can be obtained from regular practice of surya namaskar.
How to do Surya Namaskar
More by this Author
Though not considered essential for existence, human hair has had an important social significance throughout the history of mankind. All old traditions have regarded hair as a symbol of respect and love. In the Hindu...
Normalizes 'body heat'. (According to Ayurveda the body gets heated when there is loss of sleep, strenuous bodily activity, intake of excessive non vegetarian food, excessive indulgence in sex etc, this results in...
The reasons for sudden increase in body weight can be many. One factor to consider is age. As one ages the metabolic rate decreases leading to weight gain. This type of weight gain is observed in people in their late...