Majority of the people believe yoga is valuable because it cures or prevents disease, making it a superb keep fit exercise. Others will only value its eﬀectiveness in weight reduction. Some, a few, will concede that yoga practice bestows peace of mind and a feeling of well being, even of increased energy levels. No one will deny that Yoga does indeed produce all these good things. But! This is not and never has been the goal of Yoga. All these results are merely side benefts. The real purpose of Yoga was, is and shall always be Moksha, liberation, the achievement of the Highest Goal of Human Life, oneness with the Universal Self.
Once you get into Yoga, you learn that it is so much more than just a way to workout and keep in shape. It is a philosophy, a passion and a way of life for many of those involved in Yoga. While you may be getting into yoga for the exercise, you may soon find yourself wrapped in the philosophy and spirituality that Yoga brings a long with it.
Yoga mind is centered around the five beliefs of:
- proper relaxation
- positive thinking
Relaxation is an important part of maintaining health and wellbeing, and being able to calmly deal with life’s stresses. It improves your mental health and gives the body a chance to take a break, releasing muscle tension (that you may not even be aware of), lower blood pressure, improve digestion (the body diverts its focus back to digestion and other maintenance and repair processes instead of being in an alert/alarm phase. It’s one of the main keys for our body and mind to keep in healthy balance.
Excersising yoga asanas in a daily routine will provide you with the body, that is strong, supple and flexible. Regular yoga practice, stretches and tones the body muscles and also makes them strong. It also helps improve your body posture when you stand, sit, sleep or walk. This would, in turn, help relieve you of body pain due to incorrect posture.
Practising breathing technique is an inseparable part of yoga practise. In yoga you learn to control prana, the vital force, through pranayama. Breath in pranayama is used to learn to control prana. But don’t confuse prana with breath. Prana is the energy that animates the lungs. It is NOT the breath. Using the breath is the easiest method for training prana.
Once you are able to control prana through pranayama you are better able to control the movement of prana to other organs and areas of the body. Basically we can look at the breath like the oil in a car, prana as the gasoline, and the mind as the engine. By understanding their relationship to one another you are better equipped to navigate your life to a higher elevation, and repair it when it breaks down. The yoga mat is just the starting point of your journey.
Although many people don’t realize it, diet is an integral part of yoga. It’s about getting in line with nature and learning to eat in a way that connects you with yourself and the planet. The idea behind the diet is to create balance and strength in the body and also provide healing to the organs and the blood. In addition, yoga would suggest that a good diet can improve your mood, energy level, and overall well-being, and even help make the world a better place.
You don’t want to be eating food that harms you or others. Out of concern for the welfare of animals, many—though not all—yogis choose to be vegetarians. The health benefits of vegetarianism have been demonstrated in numerous scientific studies. Also the laws of karma would suggest that factory farming, which is both inhumane and environmentally irresponsible, is good neither for animals nor for the people who eat them.For similar reasons, yoga would suggest that we choose organic food whenever possible. Organic food tends to taste better and to be higher in vitamin content. But just like many yoga teachers have different variations of yoga postures, the diet of a yogi can vary from teacher to teacher.
Positive thinking and meditation is the most important of all the 5 Points of Yoga, for we become what we think. Yoga teaches us that a positive outlook on life can be developed by learning and practicing the teachings of the philosophy of yoga and the mind will be brought under perfect control by regular practice of meditation and living life a Yogi way. Everyone has the power to transform his or her thoughts from the negative to the positive. As thought is immediate, one needs to master these different thought tools at our disposal as a negative thought becomes more serious over time, by the power of repetition. There are methods offered through all paths of Yoga.
A positive Yogic lifestyle automatically generates positive thoughts. Asanas help move the praṇa and remove mental blockages. Praṇayama balances energy and supplies new energy to the body and mind. Relaxation removes stress. Proper diet provides vital energy and meditation recharges and purifies thoughts.