Yoga is a spiritual discipline based on an extremely subtle science, which focuses on bringing harmony between mind and body. It is an art and science of healthy living. The word ‘Yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘Yuj’, meaning ‘to join’ or ‘to yoke’ or ‘to unite’. The practice of Yoga leads to the union of individual consciousness with that of the universal consciousness, indicating a perfect harmony between the mind and body, man & nature. Some of the yoga practices or asanas that can be easily done by a common man are as follows:
1. Yogamudra: The symbol of yoga
- Stretches the posterior muscles of the trunk and the neck.
- Favourable effects on the viscera due to deep intra-abdominal compression.
- Lateral stretch stimulates vital areas of the colon.
- The compression of the diaphragm and the abdominal walls provides massage to the abdominal contents useful in gastric conditions.
- Ascending and descending colon gets good pressure thereby alleviating constipation.
- Lumbar pain is alleviated.
- Overall, improves the health of the abdomen and pelvic organs due to good blood circulation and drainage
2. Hastapadasana: The hand to foot pose
- Extreme stretching of posterior muscles has a good effect on the waistline, hips and back.
- Intra-abdominal compression provides good circulation and massage to the abdomen and pelvic viscera.
- Stretches the hamstring muscles and tones up the abdominal wall.
- Reduces unnecessary fat deposited in the hips and the abdominal area.
- Enhances metabolism
- Alleviates flatulence, constipation and indigestion.
- Aids in emotional drainage; allows mind to be calm and quiet.
3. Paschimottanasana: The posterior stretch
- The posterior stretch to the spine helps in correcting minor deformities of the curvature of the spine and improves blood circulation.
- Deep intra-abdominal compression massages the abdominal viscera– provides relief in conditions related to constipation, weak digestion, sluggish liver.
- Stretches the superficial and deep muscles of the legs, shoulders and the back.
- Regular practice prevents recurrence of spinal problems.
4. Ekpadasana: The one-legged pose
- Strengthens the muscles of legs, spine and nerve control.
- Helps correct flat feet.
- For diabetics, increases circulation in extremities.
- Helps arrest further degradation in case of osteoporosis.
- Improves body balance, endurance and alertness.
- Enhances neuro-muscular co-ordination.
5. Bhujangasana: Cobra pose
- Tones up the deep muscles supporting the spinal column and trunk.
- Promotes the spinal circulation and keeps the spine flexible.
- Tones up the abdominal muscles through posterior stretch.
- Improves and deepens breathing.
- Relief in generalized muscular back pain
- Help in resolving slipped disc
- Alleviates constipation
- Helps in menstrual and gynaecological disorders.
The discipline of yoga offers individuals a holistic model of health and healing. There exists an indisputable connection between a person’s overall physical and mental health and the inner peace and well-being yoga is designed to achieve. Yoga suspends the fluctuations of the mind and by acting consciously, we live better and suffer less. Now-a-days, millions and millions of people across the globe have benefitted by the practice of Yoga. The practice of Yoga is blossoming, and growing more vibrant every day.