Discovering the benefits of yoga
Most people have this preconceived notion that yoga is only for the rich and famous. In fact, some people who are a little bit interested in yoga become discouraged even before they start with the discipline because they see it as difficult and very demanding.
Yoga may be viewed as some sort of mystical or exotic thing because of its origins in India. The word itself means to unite in the Indian language and so it does unite both body and spirit, both the physical and the mental.
Others see Yoga as a series of exercises maybe because of the asana but yoga is in reality a science that aims to unify the consciousness and subconscious of every human being in order for him to attain a higher level of existence, Yoga is really all about promoting good health and good mind to achieve happiness.
Blame it on the exotic attribute of yoga but there are people who consider it as a part of sorcery or black magic. Unable to understand the mantras as well as the asana that are common among yoga practitioners, people would just as easily judge yoga as something done to achieve magic or mysticism.
Unknown to them, yoga is a way of life for most people who have learned to adapt the discipline to their way of life. Some people equate yoga with diet or series of exercises which they think are way beyond the capacity of an ordinary man. But yoga can benefit any person no matter what his age or sex is.
The ignorance of the many could not be blamed on them because yoga has not really been promoted to the public during its ancient beginnings. The early yogins or yoga masters chose their disciples and followers and kept them at a minimum and this made yoga some kind of an ascetic thing. It took the Yoga Institute in Mumbai to make m ore people familiar with yoga way back in 1918.
The asana or poses identified with all types of yoga are not being executed just to make yoga take an esoteric form. Rather, the asana are very important in every yoga type because they help in regulating the circulation of blood. Yoga is not just all about the mind acrobatics but it is basically science that seeks to balance physical as well as mental health.
While modern medicine prescribes physical cleansing to patients including steam bathing and the likes, yoga masters ask their disciples to practice physical cleansing in every major part of the body like the nose, stomach, the major internal organs as well as the sexual organ.
Other people may look at the asana as something difficult and tiresome but those who practice yoga will aver that the asana have the effect of relaxing their body and minds and ridding them of toxins that pervade the body and make it unhealthy.
The misconceptions about yoga may have come from the ancient philosophical concept of the discipline. The most known yoga types are Ashtanga, Hatha and Kundalini and all of these types provide the disciple with the inner and physical strength.
To get to know yoga, a person should imagine it as a discipline that does not only exercise and heal the muscle but also the soul. The discipline of yoga unifies the physical, mental and spiritual health of a being all at one time. A person who has mastered yoga is said to have achieved the highest form of relaxation that can never be possible for non-yoga practitioners.
The yoga postures can be difficult but constant practice makes perfect and daily execution of these postures can only make the person an expert in the poses after some time. Once the Hathayoga has been mastered the person can proceed to respiratory domination or breathing mastery.
When the person has gone as far as having mastery over his breathing then he can proceed to pratyahara or a technique which maximizes his power to relax and to visualize things until he becomes a master of meditation.
A student who has mastered all the basic requisites of yoga will be able to achieve a trance-like stage where he is said to have already achieved a higher level of consciousness. This is said to be the ultimate perfection and bliss. For any person as he becomes one with life.