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The Serene Routine Of Yoga Essay

1278 words - 5 pages

PAGE PAGE 1 The Serene Routine of Yoga
Writer's Name HereProfessor's Name HereMay 12, 2006The Serene Routine of YogaIn today's society, Americans have become more overweight, unhealthy, and are under more stress. With all of the work and family obligations of the 21st Century, many people are not taking the time to take care of themselves both physically and mentally resulting in many illnesses and bodily injuries. A great way to get in shape and heal from within is the practice of the ancient art of yoga. Practicing yoga is a great alternative way to get into shape and calm an over-active mind. With the healing powers of yoga, many could find relief from back pain, asthma, and many other hard to treat conditions. In Sanskrit, the word yoga means to join or yoke together which basically means that practicing yoga can bring the body and mind together (to yoke) into one harmonious experience. However, yoga takes practice for no one has ever suggested being a yoga master, hence the term, yoga practice. Author John Hanc of Runner's World magazine has a firm belief that not being able to bend like a pretzel does not mean that one cannot do yoga. He states, "With a little practice, you may even touch your toes again" (56).In the practice of yoga, there are three main structures that cannot exist without the others: breathing, meditation, and exercise, the most important aspect of yoga being the breath. The breath is the core of yoga and without breathing properly; one would not be practicing yoga correctly and could result in injury to the body. Special yogic breathing techniques focus on the breath being the source of life in the body where the healing from within begins. Breathing is something humans do everyday without even thinking about it; however, yogic breathing takes great concentration (this is where the practice of meditation comes into play). For example, a yogic breath is approximately five times longer than a normal breath. Meditation is important when practicing yogic breathing because the mind needs to focus on the breath alone and shut out any thoughts and outside interruptions. One must breathe in from the diaphragm to completely fill the lungs through the nose, expel the breath completely, and make sure every drop of air is out of the body during the practice. As a result, the breathing techniques will help to calm the body in preparation for the yogic poses that will strengthen and shape the muscles, bones, and tendons, which enables the body and mind to deal with the stress in their lives and have a healthier body. Catherine Guthrie of Health Magazine believes special yogic breaths could also help people with asthma for they practice slow, deep breathing which could assist in retraining the lungs to work properly (122).The third important aspect to practicing yoga responsibly is meditation. The word meditation covers many disparate practices under one big and somewhat disorderly tent. Visualization, getting lost in a provocative...

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