For centuries, people have practiced Yoga. Throughout the ages, yoga has been proven to be effective and beneficial for all. There are many who have embraced it as a lifestyle. A well-thought lifestyle that fulfills the promise of good health. Yoga teaches and inspires us to live mindful, embracing the eternal Truth. It unites the body with the mind. It helps us to direct our thoughts towards the Almighty. We are celestial beings, and yoga brings our attention to that fact.
Definition of Yoga
Yoga is a unification of our body and mind. It is the Sanskrit word which means unification.
Meaning of Yoga
When we say Yoga as the unification of body and mind, what exactly does it mean? How do certain exercises achieve unity of the body with the mind? Let us search deep in the essence of Yoga.
We are living in times where people are busy, and almost everyone is in this rat race of succeeding. It is also the time, which has experienced all sorts of diseases of the body and disorders of the mind. It is a period of anxiety, depressions, sickness, and discontentment. It is a period which should be termed as lifestyle disorders. A faulty lifestyle is a reason behind all these ills. The body and mind are created to function in a certain way. When we do not live as per the laws of nature which govern our mind and body, we become ill.
Unfortunately, diseases of the body and mind are increasing at a rampant speed. In the desire to succeed and earn money, man has forgotten to live. The famous biblical proverb is saying – As the man thinks so is he holds even today. We live as per our thoughts and actions. But actions are the outcome of our thoughts. Yoga plays an important role in disciplining these thoughts and body. It is the unification of a disciplined mind with a disciplined body. The mind refers to our thoughts and attention. While the body, of course, refers to our physical body and its senses.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is the ancient practice of training the self, that is, body and mind, in ways that benefit the overall health. Good health is where the body and mind are disease-free and stable. Yoga helps to have self-control. Yoga is the practice of the following aspects:
- Yama (moral commandments )
- Niyama (the discipline of self-purification)
- Asana ( various physical exercises )
- Pranayama( breathing exercises )
- Pratyahara ( disciplining of the senses )
- Dharana ( concentration )
- Dhyana( meditation )
- Samadhi ( Joining of self with the Almighty )
It is necessary that Yoga should be done under the guidance of an able teacher. If done correctly, its benefits are many. But, if done incorrectly then it gives wrong results.
How far the different cultures of the world accept Yoga practice?
Yoga mainly is a practice prevalent among the Hindus. It is a Hindu practice. Yoga was said to be practiced among Hindus rigorously to attain sainthood and salvation. Those who practiced Yoga were known as yogis. It is still a popular practice among Hindus.
Yoga for All
The conservative ideologies and practices of religions like Islam and Christianity prohibit its followers to practice Yoga. Respecting the ideologies of such religions, one can still do yoga if one belongs to any of these religions. If one tries to look beyond the garb of Hinduism on yoga, then one can find Yoga quite accommodating and can accept its practices. All religions advocate Yama, Niyama and there is no harm in doing the various asanas and some exercises of pranayama. During meditation, we meditate upon the God that we are following. It will not only brings health to our body and soul but also will unite us to the God that we follow. But if we follow no God, then also it helps us to quieten our mind and be mindful or create awareness within.
This makes yoga quite acceptable to all. However, the acceptance of yoga lies by individual preferences and choices. It also depends on how much a person understands yoga.