As the year draws to an end, it is worth
examining the meteoric rise of yoga as a major
stress-reliever, fitness provider and as a tool for
While the cynics would have us believe that
yoga is a fad, is it really? Well, the answer is a resounding NO
- it cannot be because it's existed for centuries and it has
tremendous PROVEN benefits for body and mind health.
The best part about yoga is that it
understands the complex relationship that exists between the
body and mind. The reason why various fitness programs often
fall over their head is because of the unsustainable momentum
created when you first start working with them. The difference
between expectations and actual results is far too wide. As a
consequence, boredom sets in followed by a frustration and the
eventual giving up. The benefits gained are too shallow for the
practice to be sustained.
Yoga grows upon you slowly in a way that the
mind and body remain in perfect sync. As this harmony is
developed, an inexplicable bliss or contentment is created which
makes you WANT it to go on.
Yoga understands the union between the body,
mind and energy. In fact, the word yoga means union. It
simultaneously works in an interconnected manner so that
the development of the body automatically leads to the
development of the mind and energy and vice versa. This creates
a remarkable re-enforcing effect, which leads to the
stable development of the student.
How it works
As you do the yoga exercises with awareness on the movement
pattern it creates a 3-fold effect -
it provides the physical toning to the
applicable muscles, organs, joints and ligaments.
Simultaneously, this unlocks the energy
blockages and help in channeling the energy (Prana)
Also, as the physical exercises are
carried out with awareness - an awareness of the breath flow
and awareness of the body parts during the movements - it
exercises the mind by creating the right thought pattern for
The meditative positions in yoga help in
channeling this harmonious thought pattern towards a higher
As you proceed, you will feel the effect that
yoga has on your mind. The thinking will become clearer, the
head lighter and you will experience a unique calmness. This in
turn will motivate you to proceed with your daily yoga asanas
(exercises), which will tone your body in a better manner.
In this way an
upward spiral or virtuous cycle is created.
Similarly, yoga breathing and relaxation
techniques re-enforce the benefits so gained. These work on the
balancing of various energy flows in the body to provide
maximum benefits. The relaxation practice of Yoga Nidra is known
to provide equivalent relaxation in 10 minutes as a 4-hour
sleep. Likewise, the breathing (Pranayama) techniques are very
effective in transforming moods and dull mental states -
a need that is felt today more than ever before.
As you can see, the diverse benefits prove
the desirability of bringing yoga into our daily routine. As you
proceed in your practice, over time, you will feel the
development of an expanded consciousness or move towards
"Enlightenment", which is in fact the ultimate goal of yoga.
With the New Year soon approaching, it is
perhaps the best time to give yourself a great opportunity for
self-development - it will be one resolution that you wished you
had made earlier.
To help you
understand the yoga practices, PLUS develop a weekly schedule
and to equip you with the necessary tools for starting out
on the yoga path, the 'Health and Yoga' team have compiled
a special 'yoga kit' this season. You may like to evaluate
it by clicking here
Life is beautiful and yoga helps you realize
it. Embrace yoga for what it provides to your mind and body.
All the best,