What is Yoga?

What is yoga

Yoga is a discipline of body and mind that includes a wide variety of exercises and techniques.

The techniques used include physical postures (called asanas), breathing practices (pranayama) and meditation, as well as deep relaxation (yoga nidra). The Yoga is a school of Indian philosophy practiced in India from the third millennium BC.

Although of Eastern origin, it has been very well integrated and practiced in the West, whether in its original form or in a suitable form.

What it does to the body

It is an essentially practical system that can profoundly help people in everyday life and in exploring deeper aspects of life. It offers answers to the problems of the modern man in the face of stress and difficult life situations.

  • In its purest form due to contact with the West, we compare yoga to soft gymnastics, an effective way to achieve health and well-being.
  • Its practice has profound beneficial effects both physically and mentally: it can relieve various types of diseases so prevalent today, such as hypertension, respiratory problems, digestive disorders, migraines, back pain, depression, anxiety etc. It gives us the means to manage stress and improve its relationship to others.
  • In its deepest form, closer to the original yoga, it can awaken us to true wisdom, joy, and compassion.
  • By deepening the practices as well as practicing the more advanced techniques in pranayama, as taught in India, one can thus move into an exploration of their interior and on the path of their personal evolution, thus touching on a dimension larger than themselves.

ETHYMOLOGY

The Sanskrit word YOGA means “unite”, “connect”. By its practice, a follower can begin to balance and connect all aspects of his being [physical, energetic, emotional, mental and spiritual] that is to say all the elements necessary to have a full and harmonious life.

The search for harmony is to be found in oneself, but also with what surrounds us: our immediate environment, nature, the universe or something more Absolute.

In the word HATHA YOGA = HA means the sun, and THA the moon. Hatha-Yoga therefore has the meaning of: linking (yoga) solar energy (ha) and lunar energy (tha). The practice is at this level in terms of energy.

But Hatha is also translated as “effort”. Hatha-yoga also means “exercise yoga” because it is a postural practice.

The Practice

Yoga strengthens your body and improves your flexibility. Spiritual and philosophical search are associated with Yoga. By practicing the posture, you will however also strengthen your muscles, including your deep muscles. Yoga will make you stronger physically and also strengthen your flexibility.

Conclusion

Although it originated from India, it seems that yoga has become an integral part of the Western society with more and more people turning towards it so as to promote their own well-being. Overall, it is one of the best exercises you can practice on a daily basis. The latter is compatible with most type of bodies, from athletes, your average person, to even pregnant women.

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