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Back to Expert Articles - Yoga and it's basics by Dr Poonam Babaria
Yoga and it's basics by Dr Poonam Babaria
Yoga is a way of life, an integrated system of education for the body, mind and inner spirit. This art of right living was perfected and practiced in India thousands of years ago but, since yoga deals with universal truths, its teachings are valid today as they were in ancient times.
Yoga is a practical aid. Yoga is a kind of self-discipline based on high thinking and healthy living. Just as a car requires a lubricating system, a battery, a cooling system, the proper fuel and responsible driver behind the wheel, so the body has certain needs if it is to function smoothly such as:
- Proper exercise - Asanas
- Yogic breathing – Pranayama
- Proper relaxation
- Vegetarian diet
- Positive thinking
- Meditation – Dhyana
Asanas are the most complete, beneficial exercise for the physical body. The asanas emphasize deep breathing, relaxed movements and mental concentration. It is often said that “You are as young as your spine”. Asanas initially focus on increasing flexibility of spine, toning and rejuvenating nervous system.
Asanas derived into three stages:
- meditative poses.
Cultural Asanans deals in body nourishing, rejuvenating, curing the diseases, improving organs function, increasing spine flexibility, removing morbid matter through excretory system.
Relaxative Asanas deals with body and mind keeping relax and calm, giving soothing effect on internal organs, muscles.
Meditative Asanas deals meditation purpose; in it one can concentrate oneself into the inner body and
No one can live for more than a few minutes without breathing, but many people are unaware of the importance of breathing properly .Many of us use inappropriate mental and physical breathing habits by using only a fraction of our potential respiratory capacity.
Proper breathing demands a three part movements.
Firstly, the diaphragm causes the abdomen to expand, filling the lower lungs. Secondly, the intercostal muscles expand the ribcage and fill the middle lungs, and finally the collar bone lifts and brings air into the top part of lungs.
Most people breathe using only the top part of the lungs, literally starve the body for it's essential oxygen. Without sufficient oxygen, the cells cannot metabolize food properly.
Pranayama cleanses and strengthens the physical body, but it mostly affects the mind to keep it calm and steady.
Pranayama such as anuloma –viloma(nadishodhana), bhramari, ujjayi, chandrabhedana, suryabhedana not only improve the respiratory system and throw out toxins from the body through exhalation.
Pranayama gives revitalization to all cells, re-energized body organs and keeps mind calm and alert.
Relaxation is necessary for good health and peace of mind. Without proper relaxation the body and mind become overworked and inefficient. One can relax the body in savasana and makarasana, then yogic breathing techniques are used to relax mind.
Peaceful music and some meditative techniques like yoganidra can give complete relaxation to the body and mind.
The food that we eat to build both the body and the mind should therefore be pure, wholesome, and vegetarian and nutritious. The human body needs food for two purposes as fuel for energy and as raw material to repair itself. A pure, natural vegetarian diet provides the fuel that keeps the body functioning at its best.
The yogi sees the body as a vehicle for the soul and that’s why treats it with respect and care. Simple vegetarian food supply energy and maintain purity of body and mind. The human digestive system functions best on a vegetarian diet.
Vegetarian diets have very low cholesterol levels and you may have fewer heart problems consuming it.
“Purity of mind depends on purity of food”- Swami Sivananda.
Yoga develops our pure inner nature and diet plays an important role in this process. The yogic scriptures divide food into three types:
- Sattvic or pure
- Rajasic or stimulating
- Tamasic or impure and rotten
The yogic diet is based on pure, sattvic foods. Sattvic diet calms the mind and sharpens the intellect. It includes fresh and dry fruits, pure juices, raw and light cooked vegetables, salads, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, honey, fresh herbs, herbal teas and dairy products such as milk, butter, buttermilk, curd etc.
Meditation is a state of consciousness that can be understood only on a direct, intuitive level. Ordinary experiences are limited by time, space and the laws of causality, but the meditative state transcends all boundaries.
Everyone wants to be happy and most of the people believe that some materialistic objects
will bring this happiness – money, the dream job, a new car, a big house etc. but the truth is that the list of what would make you completely happy is never ending.
Happiness the blissful state comes from within your own self.
For meditation sit comfortable in cross legged position with the body straight and the head erect. Breathing must be regular – inhale and exhale for three seconds each. Meditation reduces the stress
For the effective practice of meditation, time, regularity, place and practice are must as they condition the mind to focus its energies.
Positive Thinking helps in managing stress & it can improve your health. Positive thinking means one should approach unpleasant situations in a positive way.
It can increase your life span, lowers the depression, reduces the risk factors of many diseases, increase one's physical and psychological well-being.
Develop your mental and physical potential; nourish yourself with natural, simple, wholesome food and control stress and tension and live healthy life with the help of above six steps.
Publised On: Jul 11, 2016
Author: Dr Poonam Babariya