The Benifits of Yoga and Yoga Sutra
Over recent years, Yoga has become more and more popular in Western society. I first learned about Yoga while I was in high school. One of my best friends, Ashley, began suffering from anxiety. She had a tough time coping with her panic attacks so her doctor suggested that she in role in yoga classes for relaxation purposes. She took classes once a week in addition to medication and counseling. She really enjoyed her classes and in joking around she would show me the stretches she had learned in class. After about a month of classes she noticed that she was becoming more flexible and calmer in her daily life. At first I though it was a bit funny because you have to hold awkward and strange stretching positions for long periods of time, but I also found it interesting that such small exercises could have such a large impact on one’s body and mind. The positive benefits of practicing Yoga are widely recognized by those who practice it.
The principles of Yoga have been around since the second century BC. The word yoga comes fro the Sanskrit root “yuj” meaning to bind, join, attach, and yoke, to direct and concentrate one’s attention to, and to use and apply. The word also means to union or communion. Some people believe that it is the true union of one’s spirit with God. Mahadev Desai talks of yoga in his introduction to the Gita. He says that yoga is, “the yoking of all the powers of the body, mind, and soul to God; it means the disciplining of the intellect, the mind, the emotions, the will, which that Yoga presupposes; it means a poise of the soul which enables one to look at life in all aspects evenly.” The Kathopanishad describes yoga as, “When the senses are stilled, when the mind is at rest, when the intellect wavers not-then, say the wise, is reached the highest stage. This steady control of the senses and mind has been defined as Yoga. He who attains it is free from delusion.” In today’s stressful lifestyle, people have used Yoga to find a level of peace and harmony in an otherwise chaotic world.
Modern day practices of Yoga are usually practiced in classes. One should wear comfortable clothing, bare feet, and you need a floor mat. Each session usually begins with slow deep breaths and relaxing breathing exercises. After the breathing, the teacher will move on to different Yoga postures. Some postures are usual stretches such as touching your toes. Others, however, are awkward and confusing and will take practice to get better at them. While doing the postures, slow movement is important to maintain the harmony of the exercise and breathing techniques also remain important through out. The goal of a Yoga exercise session is to stretch each muscle group of the body while squeezing your internal organs and focusing on deep breathing.
There are many different variations of Yoga methods. The Yoga Sutra is the oldest form of Yoga from India and mainly focuses on meditation and a system of...