Yoga is a famous word that has been derived from a Sanskrit word YUJ. The literal meaning of the word YUJ is “to unite”, “to attach”, “to add”, or “to join”. So, yoga simply means the union of individual’s soul with the universal spirit. It is a practice or simply a discipline that is done to achieve physical, mental and spiritual peace. It originated in India during the pre-Vedic period but developed fully during the fifth and sixth centuries BC. Yoga became popular as a physical exercise during the 20th century. It is considered as an Indian tradition, so is valued more than a physical exercise. It is said to have a meditative and a spiritual core.
Yoga is considered effective as a complementary practice to cure cancers, asthma, heart diseases and schizophrenia. It is also believed that yoga can reduce the risk factors of a person’s mental illness i.e. psychological disorders. The only goal of performing yoga is to attain liberation in life.
Various people have defined yoga in their own terms. Jacobsen considers it as a practice to attain a goal or a technique to control one’s body and mind. David Gordon White described yoga as a path to omniscience and a technique to attain supernatural accomplishments.
Yoga consists of Gyan yoga, Bhakti yoga, Karma yoga and Raja yoga. The Gyan yoga refers to the philosophical aspects of yoga. The Bhakti yoga refers to the path of devotion attained by individuals. The Karma yoga refers to the actions performed by an individual and the Raja yoga refers to the path of mind control. It consists of the practices, exercises and some of the self-development techniques for one’s body, mind and spirit.
The physical postures that are taught as yoga asana are used to heal various health problems. It can reduce stress and can heal the spinal problems that are common among the people today. It is considered as a natural overall physical healing process.
In India, the Patanjali is considered as the basis of evolution of yoga practices. The yoga sutras of patanjali is believed to have culminated the practice of yoga. The sutras include eight concepts of Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi.
The first person to make yoga popular was Swami Vivekananda during 1800s. In the early 21st century, yoga and its various asanas became popular as a part of daily exercise. During 1910s and 1920s , it suffered with bad publicity due to various reasons but again in the 1930s, it gained popularity and high public acceptance than before.
The daily practice of yoga have been considered to give out unexpected results. It increases the brain GABA levels and improves mood and anxiety more than any other exercise. It reduces high blood pressure and lowers the cardiovascular risk factors to a large extent. It s considered good for lower back pains too.
Yoga, for a very small percentage of practitioners have resulted in some physical injuries. So, it is highly advised to take caution during the yoga sessions. Before practicing any of the exercises, the effects should be clearly known by the individuals. This will reduce the negative effects of Yoga among them. Yoga is claimed to have excellent influence over the children and adolescents. This is why the schools today organizes P.E. programs.
Today, we can see various yoga training institutes around us. The gym’s today are also focusing on adopting yoga as a major practice to stay fit and healthy. As everyone can’t travel everyday to institutes to learn yoga, various online sites and videos have been created that provide us with information regarding all the yoga asanas. The yoga training reviews by the yoga practitioners have also been awesome. Many of the individuals have been benefitted by doing yoga every day. This can also be concluded by bringing this fact into the limelight that India’s PM Mr. Narendra Modi declared 21st June as International Yoga Day and on this day in the year 2015, more than 35000 people including the PM himself performed 21 yoga asanas in New Delhi.