Purpose of yoga Role of yoga Benefits of yoga Keep-fit-yoga routine
Yoga for your Health and Happiness
What is Yoga?
Since some years ago, many people were not aware of what yoga is. Some used to believe that practice of Yoga was akin to “magical performances” of the past such as bending bars and tearing plates, Breaking stones, walking on fire, remaining underground in a pit for several days, etc. In recent times, many people have begun to understand instead of wanting to know what yoga is, they are interested to know what among The different yoga practices should they follow for maintaining health, or for overcoming some common health problems.
Yoga is one of the very ancient Sanskrit works. It has two different meanings - a general meaning and a technical meaning. Both these meaning are not related with each other. In the general sense the word ‘yoga’ is deriven from the root “Yujir-yoge”, which means joining, coming together or union of any two or more things. The word ‘yoga’ has been used in the rigveda, one of the four vedas, of ancient test, to mean “unity of the intellect of the sages” or dheenam yogaminvati or “arrangement of verses” of Chhandasam yogam. In the Atharva veda, another of the four ancient texts, words such as ashtayogaih and shadyogebhih are used to indicate a plow pulled by eight for six bullocks respectively. Word such as viyoga, samyoga, agoga, prayoga, vinigoga, Sshayoga, are common examples of the use of the word ‘yoga’ even today in the general sense of ‘coming together’, derived from the root Yuji.
The technical meaning of the term 'Yoga' is derived from another root “yoji” (samadhau). Here the meaning of word is not “Union” ,but “a state of stability, stillness, and peace”. The word ‘yoga’ here indicates both the state of stillness and the means of practices which lead to that state. These practices include asanas, pranayama, dhyana, yana-niyanmas, etc. While in the Veds the word ‘yoga’ is used only in the general sense, there are texts ( such as the Bhagavad Gita) in which both the meanings are ascribed to that word. In the Gita, words such as buddhiyoga, Karmayoga are used which refer to the technical meaning . Many experts have said that at the time of Panini, the famous Sanskrit Garmmarian of the seventhcentury BC, both the meanings of the word – general and technical – yoga were already in use.
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Common Asanas for maintaining Health and Fitness
Standing erect and with weight evenly on both feet; straightens spine.
Straightens legs, straightens knees, lateral stretch to spine develops chest.
Gentle spinal twist. Tones thigh, calf and hamstring muscles.
Tones legs, develops chest, reduces fat around hips, relieves sciatica and constipation.
More intense spinal twist. Massages internal organs, aides digestion.
Relieves stiffness in shoulders and back. Reduces fat around hips. Strenuous.
Strengthens leg and back muscles. Tones abdominal organs.
Extends legs and spine, tones inner organs, rests heart and brain.
Tones leg muscles and develops balance and poise.
Rests legs after standing poses. Good for knees, corrects flat feet.
Works shoulders and develops chest. Keeps spine straight.
Sitting at right-angle on perineum, strengthens back muscles and straightens spine.
Tones kidneys. Strengthens abdominal muscles. Strenous.
Gentle twist on dorsal and lumbar region makes spine more supple.
Shoulder stand works on glands and inner organs, especially heart and liver.
Further extension in spine. Preparation for forward bending poses. Chair under feet may help.
Important to end with 10-minute relaxation in copse pose. With breathing exercises, calms brain activity. Beginners apt to fall asleep, but pose should be reinvigorating.
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