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What is Yoga & its Benefits

Ayurveda defines Health as Purity of body, mind and soul, which has become so dark because of negative thoughts and actions and it is here Yoga that comes in handy to treat this state of mankind. With its regular practice one is able to eradicate all the impurities both in mind and body and regulate the self towards GOD.

According to the ancient hindu philosophy, Yoga is the union of body and mind  which helps one to attain oneness with the “Supreme Being”, the ultimate aim of our birth.

Regular yogic practice  helps to acquire a balanced body and mind which  naturally trains him to be in present moment and with a minimum input of energy/time,  he can achieve a maximum output of work. Is it not a greater benefit in this fast pace world where one lacks time.

Yoga is  a combination of asanas (postures), pranayama (breathing techniques) and dhyana (meditation).  Its benefits can be cited as below :

At Physical Level –

** Provides strength and flexibility, body awareness and energy level increases, heals the injuries very quickly, helps to fight the pain caused by various ailments, immunity increases, blood circulation to brain, digestive system and skin is increased, skin glows, aids in the overall efficient functioning of the internal organs. Gives relief from the  muscular pain , open constricted air passages, aging process is delayed, toxins in the body are flushed out.

It is also highly therapeutic ie.. it treats various ailments like digestive disorders, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, asthma, skin problem, nervous tension etc, thyroid function is improved hence the weight is controlled, knee cartilage is made strong, it helps to fight pain of  arthritis and rheumatism, leg muscles are toned up, flexibility of spine is increased, also controls autonomic or involuntary functions, such as temperature, heartbeat and blood pressure

At Mental Level –

Helps one to  let go of emotional blockages and negativity hence –  helps to lead a  relaxed state of living, helps one to face the stressed situation more enthusiastically,  provides strength to fight depression, frustration and anxiety, you feel that you are in control of your own self,  you are able to look life always on its positive side, you will have an internal harmony and  a great sense of balance,

Also concentration increases,  provides courage and a hopefulness, creates a consistent sense of well being, brings harmony in relationship, deals with mood swings, intellect develops, regulates all the senses,  will power increases, increases mental clarity, gives a peace of mind.

At  Spiritual Level –

It helps one to realize that you are more than this body and mind and  helps in awakening the divinity, it also enhance the movements of energy through ajna (the centre of intuition). helps the soul to flourish and helps to understand his  true nature.

It also softens the rough edges in our character and dissolves the solid crust of your heart region which is important in our ultimate journey towards the ultimate God.

Ayurveda and Yoga

Ayurveda and Yoga have a common history and vedic origin, and are the sister practices in the pursuit of physical and mental well being. Yoga is on the practical side of Vedic teachings, while Ayurveda is on the healing side  and both shares a common goal which is attaining union with the Self and they complement and embrace each other

YOGA:Yoga includes a set of ethical imperatives and moral precepts, including diet, exercises  and meditative aspects. It assumes that the mind is more subtle than the body, when both are brought into balance and health, the individual will be able to perceive his true nature which will allow life to be lived through him more freely and spontaneously.  The aim of yoga is union with higher self, and can be achieved  through its  Eight Stages which are
Yama – Right conduct towards others.
Niyama – Right conduct towards oneself.
Asana – Physical Postures.
Pranayama – Control of the Breath.
Pratyahara – Control of the Mind and Sense Organs.
Dharana – Concentration and Control of the Attention.
Dhyana – Meditation.
Samadhi – Perfect Balance and Unification.

AYURVEDA :Ayurveda , the science of life is not only the ancient science of preventative health and healing but also a philosophy of living. It helps maintain health in a person by using the inherent principles of nature to bring the individual back into equilibrium with their true self. It believes that all of life are combinations of three energy-elements (doshas) – air (Vata), fire (Pitta), and water (Kapha). Imbalance of these doshas leads of illness and ayurveda treats each individual as a unique makeup of the three doshas and suggest cleansing process (panchakarma)  specific lifestyle, nutritional guidelines, yoga, herbal supplement, to assist the individual in restoring the balance of  the doshas

There are many commonalities in Ayurveda and Yoga, to mention few
a) Both are ancient Vedic teachings. Yoga originates in the Yajur Veda, while Ayurveda originates in the Atharva Veda and Rig Veda.
b) Both recognize that keeping the body healthy is important for fulfilling the four aims of life: Dharma (duty), Artha (wealth), Kama (desire), and Moksha (liberation).
c) Both recognize that the balance of doshas (humors), dhatus (tissues), and malas (waste products) is essential for maintaining good health.
d) They share virtually the same metaphysical anatomy and physiology, which consists of 72,000 nadis (subtle channels), 7 main chakras (energy centers), 5 bodily sheaths, and the Kundalini Shakti (energy).
e) Both advocate the use of diet, herbs, asana, pranayama, meditation, mantra, astrology, prayer, puja, and rituals for healing the entire being.
f) Both encourage physical health as a good foundation for mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
g) Both share the same view on psychology. They both understand that the attachment to the body-mind complex is the root cause of all suffering and that the ultimate state of health is experienced when we abide in our true nature, which is total peace, regardless of the state of the physical body.
h) Both use cleansing methods for the body, all of which encourage the removal of waste products and toxins through their natural routes of elimination.Ayurveda has panchakarma (five cleansing actions) and yoga uses Shat Karma (six purification measures)
i) Ayurveda and Yoga both emphasize cleansing of the body for health and support of spiritual practices. Their methods are similar and work by expelling excess dosha and ama, or toxins, using the body’s natural routes of elimination.

Modern yoga practitioners would most certainly benefit from a basic knowledge of Ayurveda to help establish a healthy daily routine and adjust their practice according to the constitution, dosha imbalance, season to prevent disease and promote longevity.

In a Nutshell – Yoga is part of Ayurveda. Yoga is important for dissolving physical stress and calming the mind before meditation, and is the ideal ayurvedic exercise, because it rejuvenates the body, improves digestion, and removes stress.Ayurveda is part of Yoga , At the same time, yoga practitioners can benefit from the ayurvedic daily routine as part of their yoga practice. For instance, abhyanga (ayurvedic massage) helps remove toxins from the body and relaxes the muscles for yoga practice.

And it is obvious that Ayurveda and Yoga  share similarities and fundamental principles on many levels and should be practiced in a combined manner  to achieve optimal health, peace and to develop the capacity to love and accept all as Divine.

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