An Overview of Yoga


Yoga for better health
 
Yoga is a science; and indeed, in many places in the world (such as India), it is referred to as a science. This is not merely playing with words; it truly is approached as a science, which means that it is understood in terms of scientific methods.
 
Yogic science seeks to verify cause and effect, and build principles based upon objective observations. Indeed, in many places in the world, to be a yogic master of any credibility, one must be highly educated in the sciences, including physics and the biological sciences.
 
This discussion on yoga as science is important for us to include because it allows us to sensibly ask the question: what are the benefits of yoga? After all, if yoga is a faith or a belief, then asking this question isn't fair; because it's one that yoga cannot answer in terms that we can objectively understand.
 
Yoga is a science; as empirical and pragmatic as kinesiology, or exercise science, which seeks to understand how the body acts and reacts to changes in the internal physical environment. And even more simply than any of this: each of us has a right to ask the basic question, "why should I bother practicing yoga and what experience or benefits can I expect?"
 
Indeed, while the experience of yoga cannot be reduced to words – just as reading a book on preparing for a marathon isn't going to actually physically prepare you to run a marathon – the goals and principles of yoga can easily be discussed.
 
Yoga involves a series of postures, during which you pay special attention to your breathing — exhaling during certain movements and inhaling with others. You can approach yoga as a way to promote physical flexibility, strength and endurance or as a way to enhance your spirituality.
 
The Mind-Body Connection
 
Yoga is centered on the mind-body connection. This mind-body harmony is achieved through three things:
 
  • Postures (asanas)
  • Proper breathing (pranayama)
  • Meditation
Mind and body draw inspiration and guidance from the combined practices of asanas, breathing, and meditation. As people age (to yogis, ageing is an artificial condition), our bodies become susceptible to toxins and poisons (caused by environmental and poor dietary factors).
 
Yoga helps us through a cleaning process, turning our bodies into a well synchronized and well-oiled piece of machinery.

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Seema Dixit



Dr. S.S. Aggarwal


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