Everything About Yoga. Pros/cons; how to; why; benefits; celebs who do it; positions; etc.
Yoga (Sanskrit: योग Yoga, IPA: [joːgə]) is a group of ancient spiritual practices originating in India. As a general term in Hinduism it has been defined as referring to "technologies or disciplines of asceticism and meditation which are thought to lead to spiritual experience and profound understanding or insight into the nature of existence." Yoga is also intimately connected to the religious beliefs and practices of the other Indian religions.
Outside India, Yoga is mostly associated with the practice of asanas (postures) of Hatha Yoga or as a form of exercise, although it has influenced the entire Indian religions family and other spiritual practices throughout the world.
Hindu texts discussing different aspects of yoga include the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, the Shiva Samhita, and many others.
Major branches of Yoga include: Hatha Yoga, Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, and Raja Yoga. Raja Yoga, known simply as Yoga in the context of Hindu philosophy, is one of the six orthodox (āstika) schools of thought, established by the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
The Sanskrit term yoga has a wide range of different meanings. It is derived from the Sanskrit root yuj, "to control", "to yoke", or "to unite". Common meanings include "joining" or "uniting", and related ideas such as "union" and "conjunction". Another conceptual definition is that of "mode, manner, means" or "expedient, means in general".
There are numerous opinions on what the goal of Yoga may be, although generally they involve some kind of union, either of a personal or a non-personal nature.
Within the monist schools of Advaita Vedanta and Shaivism this perfection takes the form of Moksha, which is a liberation from all worldly suffering and the cycle of birth and death (Samsara) at which point there is a cessation of thought and an experience of blissful union with the Supreme Brahman. For the dualistic bhakti schools of Vaishnavism, bhakti itself is the ultimate goal of the yoga process, wherein perfection culminates in an eternal relationship with Vishnu or one of his associated avatars such as Krishna or Rama.
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Benefits of yoga:
Yoga through meditation works remarkably to achieve harmony and helps the mind work in synchronization with the body. How often do we find that we are unable to perform our activities properly and in a satisfying manner because of the confusions and conflicts in our mind weigh heavily upon us?
Stress is the number one suspect affecting all parts of our physical, endocrinal and emotional system. And with the help of yoga these things can be corrected.
At the physical level, yoga and its cleansing practices have proven to be extremely effective for various disorders.
Listed below are just some of the benefits of yoga that you can get.
Benefits of Yoga 1:
Yoga is known to increase flexibility; yoga has postures that trigger the different joints of the body. Including those joints that are not acted upon with regular exercise routines.
Benefits of Yoga 2:
Yoga also increases the lubrication of joints, ligament and tendons. The well-researched yoga positions exercise the different tendons and ligaments of the body.
It has also been found that the body which may have started doing yoga, being a rigid one may experience a quite remarkable flexibility in the end on those parts of the body which have not been consciously worked upon.
Benefits of Yoga 3:
yoga also massages all organs of the body. Yoga is perhaps the only exercise that can work on your internal organs in a thorough manner, including those that hardly get externally stimulated during our entire lifetime.
Benefits of Yoga 4:
Yoga acts in a wholesome manner on the various body parts. This stimulation and massage of the organs in turn benefits us by keeping away disease and providing a forewarning at the first possible instance of a likely onset of disease or disorder.
One of the far-reaching benefits of yoga is the uncanny sense of awareness that it develops in the practitioner of an impending health disorder or infection. This in turn enables the person to take pre-emptive corrective action
Benefits of Yoga 5:
yoga offers a complete detoxification of the body. It gently stretches the muscles and joints as well as massaging the various organs, yoga ensures the optimum blood supply to various parts of the body.
This helps in the flushing out of toxins from every nook and cranny of your body as well as providing nourishment up to the last point. This leads to benefits such as delayed ageing, energy and a remarkable zest for life.
Benefits of Yoga 6:
yoga is also an excellent way to tone your muscles. Muscles which have been flaccid and weak are stimulated repeatedly to shed excess fats and flaccidity.
But these enormous physical benefits are just a "side effect" of this powerful practice. What yoga does is harmonize the mind with the body and these result in real quantum benefits.
It is now an open secret that the will of the mind has enabled people to achieve extraordinary physical feats, which proves beyond doubt the mind and body connection.
In fact yoga = meditation, because both work together in achieving the common goal of unity of mind, body and spirit which can lead to an experience of eternal bliss that you can only feel through yoga.
The meditative practices through yoga help in achieving an emotional balance through detachment.
Disadvantages of Yoga
If you only have 20 minutes a day to spend on your body and your foremost goal is to burn lots of calories, yoga will disappoint you. Although yoga is a sound adjunct to any weight-loss program and has even been shown to promote gradual weight loss, it is not primarily a fat-burning enterprise.
Another potential pitfall is finding a qualified teacher. Before enrolling in a class, ask what type of training the instructor had. Currently, there is no national certification program for yoga instructors. Voluntary certification is available from various groups, but some organizations award teaching certificates to people who have completed only a weekend course. The Yoga Alliance -- a voluntary national coalition of yoga organizations and individual yoga teachers -- is seeking to establish voluntary national standards for yoga teachers, but not all yoga instructors agree with those standards or support the alliance's philosophy.
To reap the intangible benefits of yoga, it helps to be humble and to realize that yoga is meant to be practiced, not perfected. It's a noncompetitive activity. According to Georg Feuerstein, Ph.D., founder-director of the U.S.-based Yoga Research and Education Center, at the heart of yoga is "the assumption that you have not yet tapped into your full potential as a human being."
Even for the most open-minded beginner, yoga is not easy to learn. Although you don't need to be flexible or in shape to do yoga, the practice is physically, emotionally and mentally challenging.
Celebrities who practices yoga:
Madonna, Ricky Martin, Meg Ryan say yoga changed their lives. These people too: Jennifer López
Madonna, Naomi Watts, Mariel Hemingway, Thalia, Paulina Rubio, Ricky Martin, Meg Ryan, Sting and his wife Trudie, Jerry Seinfeld, Shirley MacLaine, Candice Bergen, Raquel Welch, Nick Cage, Gwyneth Paltrow.
For the basic positions in yoga: http://www.yoga-advice.org/Basic_Yoga_Postures_and_their_Variations.html
And here's what the Christians says about yoga:
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