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Achieving Overall Wellness With the Ancient Philosophy of Yoga

Updated on December 27, 2015

Evolution of Yoga

The most basic tradition of yoga can be traced back to the Yoga Sutras that Patanjali authored, which shows the eight-limbed path towards the utmost goal in performing yoga, which is Samadhi. It believes in the idea that the human body is composed of two different matters. The first one being the physical body, and the second but more important spiritual body.

Over the years and as yoga continue to spread throughout various parts of the world, this belief in the existence of two bodies remain such that one has to nourish the spiritual body apart from enhancing the physical body. A deeper spiritual meaning also existed during the Postclassic period that believed in the need for the humans to be attuned with a larger cosmos. Meanwhile, modern views of yoga has depreciated it to a mere fitness tool, although a few others still remain consistent with preservation of the spiritual aspect.

Yoga Spine Extension Pose

Basic Yoga Fundamentals

In the physical aspect, the execution of asanas remain to be the core element of yoga. This is responsible for the several health and wellness benefits that one can experience when practicing yoga. But in order to ensure the acquisition of those benefits without developing injuries, one has to acquire the following basic fundamentals:

*Grounding – This is important in providing stability to your body during execution of various yoga poses. It begins by creating an awareness of your body as being part of the ground and rooted in it. Therefore, you need proper concentration and breathing techniques to establish the foundation of your performance. Only after you have secured yourself into position must you proceed onto starting your movement.

*Spine Extension – The spine is a crucial part of the body that is being worked out during the performance of yoga exercises. The aim of most exercises is to create proper spinal alignment since any form of misalignment could result to various conditions. Several types of exercises such as backbends, twisting, or stretching are aimed at improving your spinal flexibility.

*Movement and Stillness – The precise execution of yoga techniques require a skillful combination of movement and stillness. And in order for that to happen, you need proper body control, that will mostly utilize your abdominal and its surrounding muscles.

Importance of Spirituality

Modern practice of yoga has tend to focus more on the physical aspect of the practice, such as weight management and other forms of physical enhancement. But the earlier practice of yoga devoted more into the spirituality of this experience. The mind-body-spirit integration has helped deliver the lasting power for yoga, which has enabled it to survive several years of practice. Although many would like to believe that it has somehow lost its essence of spirituality, it remains to be an integral part of making yoga what it currently is.

There are a few practice of yoga though such as Raja Yoga or Zen Yoga that focus on meditation practices that help to enrich your mind and spirit as the tool for improving your health and well-being.

Exploring the Sun Salutation

Best Yoga Poses for Overall Health

Yoga is one of the oldest form of art that offers a holistic approach towards improving health condition by creating harmony between the mind, body, and spirit. Because of this three-dimensional approach, one is expected to attain a complete level of fitness that goes beyond just physical enhancement. This is also made possible by the combination of breathing and meditation techniques as you execute basic yoga poses.

Below are some of the oldest known yoga poses that are executed for its capacity to boost overall health and wellness.

Sun Salutations

This is one of the most commonly practiced position in the ancient art of yoga. It comprises of a total of 12 poses that are executed in a smooth flow of sequence. But these just aren't any type of yoga postures but every movement involved in the series have their own corresponding breathing pattern. For instance, inhalation is done as you stretch out your muscles and you exhale when you fold those muscles or while they are in a resting phase.

There are several known benefits for practicing Sun Salutations, but they can serve many different purposes too. It is often executed to warm up the body before engaging in an intensive yoga workout routine. Or it can also be done to serve as a transitory position as you move from another position to another. This yoga pose is highly beneficial such that one cycle is proven to result in positive effects.

Triangle Pose

Triangle Pose

Overall wellness surely awaits you if you include the Triangle Pose as part of your regular workout habit or yoga routine. First and foremost, this one improves your capacity for balance and coordination. Other benefits include releasing tension in your lower back area, stimulation in your abdominal region for improved digestive function, improved strength, and stress relief.

To execute this pose, you will begin on a standing position with feet spread wide apart. Bend you torso towards the right as you try to keep your knees straight in the process. Stretch one of your arms in an upward direction while the other is lowered. Stay in position for as long as you remain comfortable. You can repeat the entire process, this time out starting on the other side.

Yoga Bridge Pose

Bridge Pose

This one is known to bring several health benefits by increasing your body's strength and flexibility. This one particularly works best for improving your abdominal and lower back muscles.

To perform the Bridge Pose, begin on a supine position with your back against the floor. Keep your hands on either side of the body as your knees are bent. Then, lift your pelvis slowly off the ground to make it parallel against the floor. Keep yourself in this position for as long as desired before going back to your natural starting position.

Cobra Pose

Cobra Pose is highly recommended for improving blood circulation, which will help boost the process of assimilating nutrients all throughout your body. This position effectively opens up your chest while strengthening your spine. And yet, the Cobra Pose is very easy to perform regardless of your skill level.

Simply get yourself into a prone position, wherein you lie facing the floor. Plant your arms on the ground as it rests near your ribcage. Make sure both feet are close together. When you inhale, start to lift your head and upper chest upwards. Try to push your head and upper chest towards your back and stay in position for as long as you can hold. Return to natural position.

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