What is Yoga
Religious spirituality is an entity that has a life and existence of its own, It has been observed that the devout devotees experience euphoria and divine enlightenment when they pray. Similarly, exercises also make one feel spirited and provides positive energies. But such things require concentration and hard efforts respectively. There should be an ideal blend between the energetic exercises and some devout religious worship. This blend can be found in the practice of yoga. Yoga is a set of exercises and postures, which work out your physique and also keep you mentally fit and healthy. So, let’s see what are the wonders of the practice of yoga and how they keep us mentally and physically fit.
It would be more convenient to understand the exact origins of the yoga and its various forms and postures. The form of yoga took birth down under in Southern India. The learned men lived in the forests and woods and observed the mystical beauty and grace of flora and fauna. From such sights, they gained a sense of deep satisfaction and also physical and mental well-being. This motivated them to develop a whole art of exercise and meditative postures, which they practiced as a means of worship. They used these means to worship the elemental forces of nature. This worship was soon chronicled in ancient texts and it is from these texts that the art soon gained its concrete shape.
The person, who practices yoga, is often known as a yogi. The practice of yoga comprises of postures. These postures are exercises which involve physical agility and strength with mental concentration. The yoga postures are also known as Asanas. The Asanas are different positions to be made with specific parts of the body like the legs, limbs and shoulders. These positions are quite challenging but the yogi can achieve them by some intense concentration. The postures will require to be done in a stable and flexible manner. This can be brought about by good physical flexes and also some solid concentration. So, yoga is quite a challenging task.
The Asanas are followed by a meditative climax. In this climax, the yogi meditates silently for some time. The meditation helps the individual to get a sufficient physical and mental rest after the strong work in the Asanas. The postures will carry many benefits and advantages. The Yoga Asanas will help to improve the circulation of blood in the body. They will also make the limbs and muscles strong and fit. The mind will also feel energetic and spirited after the exercises. The yogi can attain a peace of mind with the final meditation. Thus, there will be an overall exercise and rest for the body and the mind. Yoga is thus quite essential for every person.
When can one practice Yoga? Well, there are no limits regarding time of the day. One can start the day with regular Yoga in the morning with empty or light weighted stomach. After the yoga and meditation, the person will feel spirited and optimistic with the state of things. This could help the individual to be content and happy with his or her loved ones. Yoga also helps to improve an individual’s concentration in his or her work.
But now in modern times the yoga is coming more in practice as it is not only limited to the exercise but also on the whole it is being proved as a medicine to many ailments which are often seen in today’s busy lives.
What Is Hot Yoga
Hot yoga is a form of yoga wherein the yoga asanas are performed under hot and humid conditions. This is the reason as to why the yoga has gained popularity as ‘hot yoga’ all over the world. The style of yoga is also referred to as ‘bikram yoga’, owing to the fact that Bikram Choudhary played a major role in promoting this form of yoga all over the world. This form of yoga has a connection with the traditional form of yoga of South India, ‘hatha yoga’. It is to be noted that hatha yoga is considered to be comprising of asanas that are very difficult to be mastered as compared to the other asanas.
Experts are of the opinion that when yoga is performed under a hot environment, it becomes relatively easy for the people to stretch as the flexibility of their body gets better in a heated environment. Thus, this provides for better results from the yoga asanas. The ideal temperature and humidity conditions for the performance of hot yoga are said to 40.6 degree Celsius and 40 percent respectively. When hot yoga is performed under the supervision of a well trained yoga teacher, the benefits from this ancient Indian art are numerous.
The outside world got to know about the ancient art that evolved in India when Bikram Choudhary, the founder of hot yoga started a studio in San Francisco. It is said that 1972 was the year when this form of yoga gained popularity owing to the long term benefits that it provides to a person. Though there are many asanas that can be performed in hot yoga, it has been said that the ideal form of hot yoga includes 26 asanas that can be performed in duration of 90 minutes to maximize the results. These 26 asanas include pranayamas which improve the breathing pattern and other asanas that help in keeping the body fit.
Hot yoga is said to be of great benefit to people, who have respiratory disorders of any kind. As per the opinion of the trainers of hot yoga, a normal person does not use his lung capacity to the fullest and by performing the asanas in a hot and humid atmosphere, the oxygen holding capacity of the lungs increases considerably, thereby, improving the mechanism related to blood circulation within the body.
However, some people are of the opinion that hot yoga can lead to damage to the tissues due to excessive stretching. Thus, to get the maximum benefits of this form of yoga, it is a must that one performs the asanas under the supervision of an expert.
What Is Yoga for the Eyes
Our eyes are under constant strain in the modern life that we lead today; and prolonged eye strain can lead to eye and vision problems. Very few of us work on the muscles around the eyes. As we age, these muscles loose their elasticity and tone and become stiff. This can lead to eye sight problems, headaches, pain near the eyes and many such ailments. Eyes, when under stress, can affect brain also.
Like other parts of our body, our eyes also need proper care and attention. Relaxing eyes can bring calmness and peace to our mind too. Yoga practices, which includes asanas, pranayama and meditation, can help strengthen the eye muscles. There are few simple yogic eye exercises which can restore good eye health.
Shavasana (corpse pose), Surya namaskara (sun salutation), bhujangasana (cobra pose) are few poses which are beneficial for eyes. There are other exercises like palming, candle flame visualization, specific to eyes only, which should be performed after the asanas (Poses).
‘Tratak Kriya’ or Fixed Gazing is a kind of meditation, where one has to concentrate on a point. It could be a picture of deity, ‘Om’ symbol, candle flame or any object. The object is placed in front at a comfortable eye level. The gaze should be fixed at the object and blinking of eyes should be avoided. By fixing the gaze at a single point, one is able to banish all thoughts and distractions for some time. Undoubtedly, this exercise is helpful for eyes; but it also enhances concentration, memory. Throughout the procedure, the breathing should be deep.
Agochari Mudra is the art of focusing the gaze on the tip of the nose continuously without once blinking. The exercise should be done without straining the eyes too much. The ideal time to practice this exercise is in the morning or at night, as it brings about calmness to the mind.
Similarly, there is Sambhavi Mudra which involves focusing the gaze on the third eye, which is the area between two eyebrows. It might seem difficult to focus on that point initially but with time it becomes easier. Once the exercise is finished, eyes can be closed for relaxation. This ‘mudra’ or gesture strengthens the muscles of the eyes and release stress, tension and improves concentration.
Palming is another very useful technique which should be done after asanas and exercises. It is a way to give rest to the eyes by blocking all light and other stimulants. The palms of the hands are rubbed together vigorously and then placed on the closed eyes without applying any pressure on the eyeballs.
Apart from these, simple and proven techniques like rolling your eyeballs, moving them rapidly in diagonal, horizontal and vertical positions improves eye muscle tone and correct vision problems.
What Are the Benefits of Yoga for Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a type of medical condition, which has the characteristics of general pain which is caused as a result of high pressure applied on the area of pain. A few symptoms of Fibromyalgia is extreme pain, fatigue, weak limbs, pain in the nervous system, twitched muscles etc.
There are many treatment measures for Fibromyalgia. One among them is yoga. Yoga is considered to be the best remedies when compared to all the exercise machines available in the market. The number of machines available is so high that the Fibromyalgia patient may get confused. In order to get maximum benefit from the yoga for Fibromyalgia, you should understand the two main symptoms – pain and nervousness. Yoga is a form of exercise which helps in combining the mind and body of a person. Thus the two symptoms of pain and nervousness concerned with body and mind can be cured with this form of exercise. However, one should know the proper technique in performing the yoga exercises which can otherwise lead to far more complications.
As the Fibromyalgia patient performs the yoga exercises, there is a sense of physical and mental goodness that prevails over him. The yoga exercises also enable the person to grasp optimistic energy, increase the elasticity of the body, decrease the pain and stimulate the targeted organs and glands. To top it all, it also helps in increasing the flow of blood in the body.
With the help of yoga, the Fibromyalgia performs stretches and actions which are otherwise not performed in our daily life. These actions help in putting the unused bone joints to use. Another benefit of the yoga is that it helps in improving the body posture and toning the body.
Sleep disturbance being one of the symptoms of Fibromyalgia, the patient also acquires good and sound sleep. This is possible because of the peace and calm that prevail the controlled mind. On the other hand it also decreases the levels of stress that the person has on the mind as well as the body.
A particular posture named as ‘Surya Namaskar’ aims at the overall sustenance and improvement of the body and mind. Thus, when the Fibromyalgia patient performs this ‘Surya namaskar’, it not only cures him of the prevailing symptoms of pain, but also prevents the pain from occurring in any other part of the body. Thus yoga is a very helpful exercise for medical treatments.
Tips for Doing Yoga at Work
Yoga is a discipline. Following this discipline everyday would result in an equal balance of mental, physical and spiritual state in the body. Yoga keeps one’s body active and flexible. In the present busy world, performing this ancient discipline for long hours is not possible due to work pressure. As the statement goes ‘Where there is a will there is a way’, it is possible to perform yoga even at your work place effectively. This article would be discussing the various methods and tips regarding Yoga being done at work.
Performing yoga is very essential for those who spend long hours in front of the computer. In these kinds of jobs, high level of mental tension is involved. Hence the right balance is necessary to maintain the health. Performing yoga before starting ones work would help them to be alert and perform the work effectively. Yoga also avoids the common problem of back pain after performing yoga at work.
There is no necessity to use the mat to perform yoga at work. Here a few simple exercises that can be selected, and can be performed effectively. Head rotation is one of the simple Yoga exercises. In this exercise before starting the work, the head needs to be rotated clock wise and anti clockwise in a smooth manner. While performing this simple yoga exercise, the attention should be on the exercise; else the best results are not seen. Apart from the head exercise there are many other exercises that can be performed at work. Some of the simple yoga exercises are seated forward bend, eagle arms, seated spinal twist and many more. You should identify the region in the body which is weak and exercise the same with yoga to make it strong.
While working at office, it is recommended to perform yoga before starting the work. Arriving a few minutes before time would provide ample time for doing yoga at work place. To enhance the productivity, the yoga exercises can be done on a regular basis. This is possible with the right planning. If you feel performing physical yoga exercises in office is not possible, then meditation can be done. This would relax your mental muscles to help you concentrate better. It is not recommended to perform yoga right after food. This might not offer the best results. These are some of the tips to be followed while performing yoga at your work place.