Yoga is a rejuvenating exercise for total health. Many claim cure from illness after attending yoga sessions. Dating back more than 6,600 years, Yoga is one of the oldest and most advanced even amongst modern exercise systems. The system, Indian in origin, is accepted in many parts of the world as a mechanism for physical fitness and mental discipline. The system has of late found popularity in the UAE too in 1990 by the birth of Friends of Yoga. The beauty of Yoga is that you can dip as far as you like into the pond and the deeper you go, the more profound the changes it brings about in you. Yoga has several paths, branches, styles, traditions and schools, knowledge of which is essential to understand what the system is like. The main important 'paths' in Yoga deals with those of physical (Asanas), controlled breathing (Pranayamas), the mind control (Meditation, dhyan) and devotion (Spiritualism). The first three are considered the most important because it focuses on controlling both the mind and body. Yoga has no religion, caste or creed. It is a rejuvenating exercise and ultimately, it "benefits health, the total health". Patanjali is the one who is first known to have chronicled Yoga. Now it is accessible to all through in hundreds of books and periodicals available throughout the world.
Modern lifestyle makes people unhealthy. More money, a more lavish lifestyle and less activity results in stress, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, heart problems, ulcer, cancer and a lot of other related illnesses. Food is another cause of concern. Artificial and adulterated food which we get in the market is gradually taking the life, out of us. Yoga takes one back to nature. It is the science of holistic living through self-awareness to realize the ultimate reality. It is the technique in which one can achieve sound physical health in a drugless manner.
Posture (Aasana in the Yoga terminology) is recognized as the primal requisite for the development of the physical, moral and mental aspects of man's personality, say yoga experts. In recent times, medical science also underlines the need for correct posture as an aid to physical as well as mental well-being. The varied influences of postures on individuals were scrutinized in the ancient time by analytical comparisons and might have later formulated a complete course of posture training. Early meditative postures passed through a series of modifications before the whole system of physical education was finally perfected by the early students of Scientific Yoga. According to practitioners and books, the influence of Asanas on many vital physiologic functions has been tested on thousands of students and patients for a very long period and then perfected. Vigorous gymnastics are unsuited for all ages and for those in poor health. They are aimed at bodily perfection and a vigorous physique and militant spirit. Athletics, games and acrobatic methods involve considerable amount of strain and even violence. "Their vigorous and war-like display is intrinsically unsuited to positive health. Further, they are likely to lead to abnormalities through specialization in set muscular movements and higher nervous co-ordination," says Madhavanji. Mass drills, by constant usage, tend to create a submissive psyche and breed automatism, both are derogatory to an individual's initiative and harmony, life would be tedious and mechanized. But yoga is just reversal of all these modern exercises and it is the perfect way because it tones muscular systems; it balances the mind, it refreshes the mind and body into harmony where you will be like a fully charged battery, instead of worn out body due to the work outs.
What happens in Yoga
In yoga, the human body becomes elastic, the glands secrete their juices in regular manner, the entire waste matter is excreted by the arteries, breathing activity becomes harmonious, internal organs are toned up, in addition to the physical body the astral body is also influenced, all parts of the body are developed in a balanced manner. All kinds of ailments are prevented; remember, prevention is better than cure. Exercises lack concentration and proper judgment in practical life, but Yoga can concentrate and focus the mind on problems. Last, but not the least, you do not feel exhausted by practicing Yoga like the fatigue after prolonged physical exercises.