Silencing the mind

Yoga is the latest, yet ancient keyword for relaxation and exercise. Yoga is a Sanskrit word that means physical, mental and spiritual discipline. Yoga originated from ancient India and is associated often with meditative practices in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Just as new operating system can make your old computer function effectively, yoga can also balance our body and meditation would alter the state of mind.

In our day to day life we encounter stress at every corner. We all want to get rid of stress and anxiety and we opt for all different methods to minimize stress. According to the yogic philosophy, our physical body is the projection of unconscious mind. This is the place where we store all the memories, dreams and experiences. We also store our stream of emotions like anger, happiness, fears and disappointments. The ideas and thoughts that receive most attention create the deepest channels of communication. These pathways also include creativity and healthy habits. As these stimuli are processed, the unconscious mind sends signal to our physical body. Depending on its interpretation, the body can relax and function smoothly or it works in the other way.

Yoga is an ancient practice that helps in creating a sense of union among our body, mind and soul. Exercising reduces stress but yoga is especially relaxing. It is often practiced in a dimly lit room with soft music, candles and incense. The environment provides a welcome respite from our overly loud, stimulating world. Studies have shown that yoga has greater benefits including flexibility, stress relief and more. The gentle, flowing movements of yoga increases flexibility. The breathing exercises increases lung capacity and improves oxygen exchange. Over the time yoga may also lower the blood pressure due to decreased stress. Many yoga postures improve our core strength. There have been some medical studies on positive effects of yoga and a growing number of doctors are recommending yoga into their patient’s recovery program.

But sadly many people still feel that yoga is all about meditating and breathing exercises. For young people and gym lovers who think that they are flexible they can try for power yoga and ashtanga yoga to enhance their normal exercise experience. These styles keep yoga philosophy and focus on the poses in more aerobic fashion.

Yoga uses breath awareness for silencing the mind. Yoga teaches you how to concentrate on your breathing while holding onto the poses. This attention to breathing is calming, it dissolves stress and anxiety. Yoga meditation is an effective way to change our thinking, and it has to be done on a regular basis. Although having a specific time of the day is helpful for creating a positive habit but its not essential.

So, no matter how old or young you are, create new limits with yoga!

Varsha Srikant