Basics Of Yoga - For Healing And Health

To learn the basics of Yoga, first we must understand and appreciate that Yoga is a holistic approach to attain synchronisation of a healthy and powerful mind inside an equally healthy and powerful body. Yoga techniques pertaining to the body cures it of ailments, ensures a smooth flow of blood and oxygen to the different parts and gently stretches the muscles to increase endurance, make them work, smooth out built-up tension and drive-out toxins.

Because of the simplicity and non-exertion, Yoga can be practiced by almost anyone (however, it is advised to speak to your physician or health expert if you have any ailments or are above 35 years of age).

The golden rule of Yoga techniques is that the postures should never hurt the muscles and the movements should be slow and smooth. For beginners, most schools of Yoga advice basic breathing techniques (pranayam) involving inhaling and exhaling to the capacity of the lungs. Most of us use about half the capacity of our lungs for regular breathing. Yoga breathing exercises train the body to inhale and exhale to its capacity.

In Yoga FAQ, the most commonly asked question is whether it is possible to cure or control hypertension/ diabetes/ obesity and other common lifestyle diseases through yoga. The answer is - yes. Research proves that regular disciplined yoga, accompanied by lifestyle regulation and diet monitoring, largely helps and supplements the effects of other treatments of these diseases.

In fact, regular Yogic meditation relieves stress and tension, reducing stress related triglyceride, cholesterol, blood pressure and helps smooth functioning of the body. Specific asanas (postures) target different problem areas of the body, increasing blood flow to that region and encouraging it to heal.

Through pranayam, the body receives an increased oxygen supply, which helps it repair damaged tissue, burn excess fat and contributes to the general wellbeing. The basics of Yoga advise postures that loosen and tighten muscles, but only up to the point where the posture does not hurt. The idea is to exert the body regularly up to its limit, thereby, increasing the limit gradually.

Controlling and healing the mind is an important aspect of Yoga. This philosophy believes that in the psycho-physical structure, the body is the carrier of the superior existence, the mind or the spirit. The body is tamed through various means and through self-discipline. Thus, yoga necessarily precludes abstinence from alcohol, hard drugs and other damaging influences on mind and body.

The most commonly practiced form of Yoga is the Raja Yoga initiated by Patanjali, and Hatha yoga, the elements of which are drawn from various scriptures and modified by different proponents.

After one has learnt the basics of Yoga and achieved a control over the body, the subsequent stages of Yoga aim to attain higher levels such as Dharana (concentration), Dhyan (intense meditation) and Samadhi (merging of consciousness with the object of meditation, mostly the Superior Being or God). Thus, Yoga, through all its stages, aims to achieve enlightenment or Moksha.