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The History of Yoga and Its Benefits

Updated on March 14, 2013
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5 out of 5 stars from 1 rating of Yoga

Yoga is a type of exercise that helps to relieve stress, while toning your body and tightening your muscles. Many people are now taking part in this exercise more than before because it is less stressful on your body and yet still gets your body in shape really fast. Whenever you are new to yoga despite your body being in shape, you will find that some of the postions are quite hard to do. This is due to balancing your body and stretching your body in different positions that you have probably never done before. After your body gets use to doing these positions, you will find that you are extremely flexible and more relaxed. The question that many are wondering is what is the history behind yoga and how it all began. This I will speak on in the next few paragraphs, also speaking on others subjects that surround yoga such as its benefits and misconceptions about the workout.

History

Originally, yoga was known as a way of physically, mentally, and spiritually disciplining your mind and your soul. The practice of this art form dates back to 13 BC in India. This is due to molds that were found during this time found that showed a man with his legs crossed and other relatable postures. The mold of the man with his legs crossed is known as a common yoga or meditation pose, which showed discipline of your body and spirit. Other molds or seals showed other yoga poses that dealt with standing instead of sitting, which was also seen as a form of meditation.

Before yoga was even named, priests would practice these different positions while meditation in order to conduct rituals of sacrifice. These positions such as crossing of the legs and standing were practice on a regular basis, which would eventually evolve into yoga. The techniques that go along with practicing the yoga technique such as breathing and controlling energy dates back to 1000 BCE. There is some controversy that mediation developed from Hindu scriptures due to a reference to mediation being included in the philosophical text. The information in this text describes the five kinds of energies which would later be used in the tradition of yoga. Also, in this Hindu text, yoga is being described as mastering your body and the senses.

Benefits

Yoga is a method of exercising that has numerous benefits. The benefits are endless so I will name only a few below:



Physiological Benefits
Psychological Benefits
Biochemical Benefits
Decrease pulse rate
Memory improves
Glucose decreases
Decrease in pain
Hostility decreases
Cholesterol decreases
Posture improves
Mood improves
Vitamin C increases
Balance improves
Social skills increase
White Blood Cell Count decreases

Different Yoga Poses

Likewise, there are many different yoga poses that you can start of with. The most well known and common yoga pose is to cross your legs, shoulders back, and to meditate. Relax your muscles and the tension in your face, which will help you relieve stress and tension. Other yoga poses can be viewed in the postions below:

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Mediation Pose

In the picture above is of two woman sitting cross legged relaxing their minds and their bodies. This position helps with relieving stress and relaxing your muscles.

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Restorative Pose

In the picture above is of a woman who is streching out her legs and her arms. This helps with winding down from an intense workout and connecting with your sense of self.

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Eagle Pose

In the picture above is of a woman standing and balancing on one leg. This position is helps with endurance, strength, and flexibility.

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Standing Yoga Pose

In the picture above is of a woman stretching out her calves, arms, and neck. This pose helps with strength, balance, and focus. These poses really do help in shaping and toning your body.

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How Yoga Makes You Feel

When I first decided to try yoga, I thought that it would be easy and that I wouldn't have much difficulty. After doing an hour long video of yoga, I realized I was sadily mistaken due to my heavy breathing, sweatiness, and overall tiredness. I had never been so tired in my life and yet so relaxed at the same time. I've noticed each time after I did the yoga poses that I was more relaxed and in a better mood. It was as if endorphines were released inside of my body to make you feel better. Also, I noticed after doing the poses for a while that my body was more toned, in shape, I was stress free, and my mood improved greatly. Even though my mood changed, when I did the yoga poses doesn't necessarily mean that it will for everyone else. This means that there are some people, who don't like exercising at all and probably won't like doing the yoga poses. All in all, you never know if you like doing something until you try it. After learning of the history of yoga and its benefits, I hope everyone or anyone reading decides to try this relaxing and body toning exercise.

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    • torrilynn profile image
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      torrilynn 4 years ago

      @passionate77 im glad you liked my article, thanks for stopping by.

    • passionate77 profile image

      passionate77 4 years ago

      nice post Torrilyn, you mentioned well about yoga history and various poses and postures, nice sharing, stay blessed dear!

    • torrilynn profile image
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      torrilynn 4 years ago

      @RNMSN thanks for liking my hub, i find that yoga really helps with toning and flexibility. It also helps with relaxation.

    • RNMSN profile image

      Barbara Bethard 4 years ago from Tucson, Az

      Wonderful hub Torrilynn! I love my yoga practices...I go 2-3 times a wk at my gym...in fact the machines at the gym are intimidating and boring but I joined specifically for the yoga classes :) best way to spend a few hrs a wk!

    • torrilynn profile image
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      torrilynn 4 years ago

      @CarlySullens im glad that you like yoga, I like yoga as much as you do and thanks for sharing my hub with others

    • CarlySullens profile image

      CarlySullens 4 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

      This hub is superb! I love doing Yoga. Also, my kids go to local kids yoga classes when they offer them. My favorite poses are Tree and Warrior. Voted Up and shared!!!

    • torrilynn profile image
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      torrilynn 4 years ago

      @MelChi you are more than welcome and Im glad you liked my article

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      I am a huge fan of meditating and stretching and need to make the time in the evenings to do a few minutes of yoga. This article was helpful and interesting, thanks so much for sharing!

    • torrilynn profile image
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      torrilynn 4 years ago

      @prospectboy thanks for rating up and yeah I can see why your friends might have laughed about it mainly because it is seen as a feminine exercise I'm glad you agree as i do on the benefits of it an Im glad you liked learning the history behind it

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      Bradrick H. 4 years ago from Texas

      Thanks for the yoga history lesson. I do beginners yoga from time to time, and you're right about all of the benefits that you mentioned. It greatly improves my mood, and gives me energy. Flexibility is a great strength to have, and yoga definitely helps provide that. Some of my boys laughed at me awhile back when I told them that I was trying it out, but it's definitely some good stuff. Great hub. Voted up, rated useful, and shared.