Yoga is one of the most wonderful gifts to the mankind. Yoga is considered to be a philosophy, a science and an art. Another frequently used definition of yoga is that of union of the individual spirit with the universe, since that is its highest aim. Patanjali, the legendary founder of yoga is believed to have brought to humanity the serenity of spirit through this discipline.
Indian literature is a storehouse of knowledge about yoga covering every conceivable level. Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali are of special interest to yoga students. The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit root “yuj” meaning to join, implying the integration of every aspect of a human being from the innermost to the external.
Yoga believes that exercise is essential for speedy removal of toxins and for keeping blood circulation and all internal processes functioning smoothly. Having dealt with the physical side of life, we turn to the mental ones, not only do different breathing exercises quieten the brain and mind, they also offer inner peace and an ability to manage stressful work schedules.
Different Yoga schools through the ages have stressed on different aspects but all branches have a common ideological base and i.e. of seeking or rather discovering the art of conversing with one’s body.
These days various yoga centers , institutes and ashram offer yoga classes. These have a systematized range of postures and breathing techniques, making them accessible to yoga practitioners of all levels, throughout the world. In my opinion these centers and ashram are doing an excellent job by imparting the knowledge and skill to people which would help them live healthily. Though many would argue that this leads to commercialization of yoga but I believe that there is no harm in introducing something so beneficial.
Pioneers of yoga have worked extensively on the therapeutic effects of Yoga. Each asana has a specific effect on the human metabolism. The other aspects such as meditation, concentration (Being able to hold on to a subject mentally) and Trance (State of bliss) can be experienced on practice and are of immense value to the body.
The Indian Government is making appropriate efforts to promote this valuable gift. Also the Health Ministry’s decision to make yoga education compulsory seems like a good move. As we all would agree practicing yoga would help children maintain a good health and offer them sound minds.
In today’s times of corporate stress and mechanical lifestyles the knowledge and practice of yoga is no less than a boon. The philosophy of yoga has stood the test of time, bidding humanity to review its thinking and conduct, to turn away from violence, dishonesty and greed- review of life much-needed in the present-day.
Yoga therefore has a role to play in everyday practical life, and in the more thoughtful idealistic scheme of things. Its value needs to be experienced and savoured.
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