Yoga Essay, Research Paper
Yoga a New Experience.
Practicing Yoga is associated with establishing harmony, equanimity and balance.
It has been well-publicized in the mainstream media, recommended to patients by their
doctors, and praised by its many practitioners. Yoga can help relieve stress and tension in
a person?s daily life.
The definition of Yoga in the dictionary, is a Hindu theistic philosophy, teaching
the suppression of all activity of the body, mind, and will in order that the self may realize
its distinction from them and attain liberation. In a more general term yoga is a system of
exercises for attaining bodily, mental control and well-being.
Yoga means union. Union between one?s individual consciousness and the
Universal consciousness. Therefore, yoga refers to a certain state of consciousness as well
as to methods that help one reach that goal or state of union with the divine. Many people
confuse yoga with physical contortion, or think it is a religion. Yoga is none of these
things. Yoga is basically a way of life which enables one to conserve energy and
coordinate the power of body, mind, consciousness, which keeps the body healthy and the
Yoga is one of the world?s oldest branches of spiritual inquiry, and one of the
longest standing, most intense experiments of the human spirit, according to the Shoshoni
site: Getting in touch with Shoshoni. Yoga teaches guidelines and values to follow, and
practices for purification for the body, mind and spirit. It is the exercise of discipline and
the practice of purification. The spiritual tradition of yoga training has been passed down
from generation to generation. In the last one hundred years, yoga has become available
to the public as never before, presented through hundreds of centers throughout the
world, through classes, workshops, videos, books, audio tapes and even television
There are many different yogas. Yoga can be simplified into five principles. First
there is proper exercise; if a person?s lifestyle doesn?t provide natural motion of muscles
and joints then disease and great discomfort will come with time. The second principle is
proper breathing; yoga teaches people how to use the lungs to their maximum capacity
and how to control the breath. Breathing increases vitality and mental clarity. The third
principle is proper relaxation; by relaxing deeply all the muscles, the yogi can thoroughly
rejuvenate his or her nervous system and attain a deep sense of inner peace. The fourth
principle is proper diet; besides being responsibel for building oneselves physical body, the
foods a person eats profoundly affects the mind. The last principle is positive thinking;
people should exert to entertain positive and creative thoughts as these will contribute to
vibrant health and a peaceful, joyful mind.
The four paths of yoga are Jnana Yoga; this is the yoga of wisdom and develops
the Intellect or Will, Bhakti Yoga; the yoga of devotion which opens the heart, Karma
Yoga; the path of action of selfless service and Raja Yoga; the royal or psychological ,
which involves the mind.
Hatha Yoga, which is a branch of Raja Yoga, is one of the best-known yoga
practices of western society. This yoga is a path to self awareness. It consists of three
components which are meditation, poses and breathing. Hatha Yoga strives to balance
strength and flexibility. Proficient students of this yoga can recapture the power of youth
Advantages of Hatha Yoga are that it will provide a person with a sense of
well-being and it will impart a person the power and confidence for expansion and positive
change. Weight-loss, muscle toning and stress relief are only some of the immediate
advantages of this unique and ancient practice.
The benefits of Hatha Yoga are basically divided into two areas. First, there are
the physiological benefits. A person will become stronger, more flexible and calmer.
Hatha Yoga is one of the most complete systems of exercises ever created. This is
because it works on all of the various systems of the human body such as the Muscular,
Circulatory, Digestive, Respiratory, Endocrine and Reproductive systems. Hatha Yoga
teaches a person how to help generate and store up more life current than is used up and it
also teaches how to send this life current down to all tissues of the body, thus promoting
their health through contact with inner cosmic energy.
The main component of Hatha Yoga are yoga postures or asanas. The word asana
means comfortable, stable pose. Asanas are exercises of a special kind. The form they
have taken is the result of a thousand years of experience: trial and error, experiments, and
scrupulous observation. Asanas are special positions of the body that strengthen, purify
and balance the systems of a person?s body. They help release tight areas, knots,
throughout the body. These knots are often related to mental and emotional tensions
which are stored in the physical muscles. While asanas are rarely prescribed to treat
illnesses, they surely have healing properties and definitely prevent diseases according to
the Abhidhyan Yoga Institute, Inc.
While performing asanas regularly with Hatha Yoga, a person will gradually
achieve greater endurance, their body will come to its natural weight and rid itself of
toxins, they will breath easier and they will have an easier time coping with stress.
Considering this, the person?s overall mood will improve since they would be having more
pleasant thoughts and fewer negative emotions.
The second benefit of Hatha Yoga is the mental or spiritual aspect. A person will
find themselves more able to concentrate and become acutely aware of their own inner
voice. Deep rhythmic breathing provides deep tension release and a noticeable rise in
energy levels. A study at Harvard University Medical School conducted by medical
doctors revealed, ?A simple breathing technique can lower blood pressure and decrease
anxiety. The results of proper breathing applied on heart patients have proven extremely
There are many emotional benefits that Hatha Yoga creates such as, learning
different relaxation techniques and experiencing deep relaxation, improved concentration,
improving self worth and confidence, and staying calm under pressure to name a few.
Anyone can benefit from studying Hatha Yoga. Busy people use it to manage
stress in their hectic lives, elite athletes use it to focus themselves toward a high level of
performance and to recover from injuries. In contrast to conventional sports and training
programs, Hatha Yoga has been developed over thousands of years as a way of teaching
people how to improve their lives, thus relieving stress and tension.