Origins of Yoga and its Practice

Did you know that yoga originated from ancient India?

The word yoga is from an ancient Indian language known as Sanskrit. It is believed that yoga was introduced to the west somewhere in the late 19th century but evidence claims that it was probably developed between the 4th and 5th century. Modern yoga is mainly based on the “yoga sutras” of Pantanjali a series of philosophical aphorisms.

Yoga is a widely practiced physical, spiritual and mental discipline. It is ideally understood to be for the purpose of uniting the mind, body and soul.

The union of the three (The mind, body and soul) could be in the means of meditation, and at times in preparation for meditation, the practice of Asana. Asana is the stretching combined with building strength. Various exercises can boast of helping the practitioner gain strength, others agility and some flexibility but not most can help one acquire the combination of these attributes. Yoga is amongst the few to boast of the trilogy. Pantanjali classifies Asana as one of the eight limbs of yoga. Most of the limbs are mainly concerned with the mental and spiritual well-being.

While it is widely thought that Yoga is about stretching, this notion couldn’t be wider from the mark. Creating a balance in the body by developing both flexibility and strength with the help of the stretches. This is accomplished by the means striking poses.These poses are similar but depending on the yoga tradition the teacher trained in, the approaches are varied. This is amongst the most exciting aspects a beginner should be looking out for. This is because unlike yoga for beginners which may be just learning the new stuff, your personal or individual experience with yoga develops over time, embracing the poses and the personal relationship with them.

Yoga for beginners is not really about how strong you are or how flexible you are, but more of how willing are you to take up a personal spiritual journey, mental mastery and individual growth. Amongst the most fulfilling aspects of yoga is letting go or learning how to deal with one’s ego and learning that it is not about who is better than who. This ultimately brings out the no competitiveness spirit of yoga and allows one to grow.

Meditation is a very good mental exercise which has been said to enhance cognitive functions of the yogis. The stretching coupled with breathing is thought to increase blood flow to the brain and all other parts of the body. This could cause increased memory capacity and high levels of concentration

As a means of exercise, like any other exercise, it burns up calories making one feel good about themselves while at the same time normalizes the body weight by restoring hormonal balance. This is through lowering of the cortisol hormone widely attributed to stress. it has also been recorded to have normalized blood pressure in yogis and at the same time being an effective way of relieving pain.

One way or the other, the personal journey you embark once you enroll for that yoga for beginners class is certain to give you a different perspective.