Yoga is holistic practice that helps synchronize the physical, mental and spiritual powers which lies within each individual so as to transform the body, mind and soul, and to purify one’s inner strength.
In Hindu tradition, Yoga is a way of life that has been in existence for over 5,000 years in India, but it was Patanjali who, in about 400 BC, made a major contribution to standardizing its practice with his 196 Yoga Sutra. The term Yoga is thought to be derived from one of two roots: yujir yoga (to yoke) or yuj samadhau (to concentrate). However, the literal meaning of the Sanskrit word “yoga” is “to add”, “to join”, “to unite”, or “to attach”. These terms are accredited to a variety of schools, practices and goals found in Hinduism, in Buddhism including Vajrayana and Tibetan Buddhism, and in Jainism with its better-known Hatha Yoga and Raja Yoga. Someone who practices Yoga with a high level of commitment is called a yogi.
The regular practice of Hatha Yoga with its different body postures known as Asanas, helps one stay fit and keeps the body flexible. Breathing techniques of inhalation and exhalation improve, and the benefits of better blood circulation and hormonal balance can help in the elimination of a variety of ailments related to respiration.
Over the millennia, Yoga, as way of life, was forgotten in India, and it wasn’t until Swami Vivekananda in the late 19th and early 20th century who, when lecturing about Yoga and its benefits at international conferences, revitalized a national interest in it. Some of Yoga’s most famous yogis such as B. K. S. Iyengar and Baba Ramdev went on to help generated a wider awareness in the practice around the world.
Throughout India there are many great centres for Yoga and Meditation, where people can be taught the basics or learn advanced techniques of Yoga and meditation to keep their body, mind and soul recharged.
The ancient Indian technique, helping find one's inner strength!
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