Beginning of Yoga
Yoga is believed to be have originated in India 5000 years ago in the Indus Valley civilization (3300 – 1900 BC). It is a way of living which unites our body, mind and spirit to connect spiritually, maintain healthy lifestyle and social relationships. Yoga and it’s health benefits was first mentioned of in Sanskrit in the ancient Rig Veda. Traditionally, yoga was taught using the Guru-Shishya form (teacher-student) with yoga gurus as the main authority of associated knowledge, skills and health benefits on Yoga. It was derived from the postures used in the medieval spiritual discipline of Hatha Yoga.
Yoga is a combined process of different physical postures in sequences, meditation, breathing exercise, word chanting and other techniques designed to improve one’s health and relaxation thus helping an individual to build self-realization.
Many of the terms used in Yoga practice are in Sanskrit, for example, Surya Namaskar (sun salutation) is a common yoga practice, where the words Surya means Sun and Namaskar means salute or greetings, also understood as ‘worshipping the sun’.
According to yoga, it is actually the nervous system of the body that affects our health. The nervous system gets purified with daily yoga practice and thus keeps our body healthy and strong.
Maharishi Patanjali is known as “The Father of Yoga“, compiled 195 Yoga sutras, where the different theories and practice under ancient Yogic science serve as a framework for integrating Yoga into the daily routine and leading an ethical life. The compilation of the Yoga Sutras is believed to done somewhere around 200 BC.
Tirumalai Krishnamacharya (18 November 1888 – 28 February 1989) was an Indian yoga teacher, ayurvedic healer and scholar. He is one of the most important gurus of modern yoga, and is often called “the father of modern yoga” for his huge contribution on the development of postural yoga.
Modern yoga is believed to have begin with the young Monk Swami Vivekananda who have made a lasting impression in the Parliament of Religions held in Chicago in 1893 with his Vedanta based yoga philosophy. After him Paramahansa Yogananda (January 5, 1893 – March 7, 1952) introduced millions to his teachings of meditation and Kriya yoga in India and America. Now Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s “Art of Living” and Swami Ramdev of Patanjali Yoga Peeth Trust has managed to spread yoga in each and every house of India and abroad as well. Apart from the mentioned Yoga Guru’s there are many more Yoga Guru’s in India who have played a great role in spreading the benefits of Yoga across the world.
Yoga enthusiasts throughout the world often enjoy traveling to India simply because yoga is so important to this country’s culture. There are many places of interest for yoga enthusiasts to visit within the country to learn, practice and derive the benefits of Yoga. The world famous Art of Living Foundation in Bengaluru, Patanjali International Yoga Foundation Rishikesh, Anand Prakash Yoga Ashram Risikesh , Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram Chennai, Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute in Mysore are some of them among many others.
Benefits of Yoga and Diseases it can Cure
Yoga has been the subject of research in the past few decades for therapeutic purposes for modern epidemic diseases like mental stress, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, coronary heart disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.These studies have used only yoga asana, pranayama, and short periods of meditation for therapeutic purposes. It involves eight rungs or limbs of yoga, which include
- Yama: Codes of restraint, abstinences, self-regulations
- Niyama: Observances, practices, self-training
- Asana: Meditation posture
- Pranayama: Expansion of breath and life, regulation, control
- Pratyahara: Withdrawal of the senses, bringing inward
- Dharana: Concentration
- Dhyana: Meditation
- Samadhi: Deep absorption, meditation in its higher state, the state of perfected concentration
Yoga is a great way to get rid of diseases and health disorder. Doing yoga posture and therapy can be helpful to treat many common health diseases like
- Liver Problems.
- Lower Back Pain.
- Indigestion/Stomach Disorder
- Coronary heart disease
- Haemorrhoids (Piles)
- Heart diseases
- Eye disorder
- High Cholesterol
June 21, is International Yoga Day
On 27 th September 2014, Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi proposed to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to celebrate 21 st June as the International Day of Yoga. The proposal for an International Yoga Day was supported by 175 member nations, the highest number of co-sponsors ever for any UNGA Resolution. This proposal was accepted by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on 11th December 2014, thus in India and world over it is being celebrating ever since. The theme for the International Yoga Day 2022 is ‘Yoga for Humanity‘
Now, yoga has gained global recognition with celebrities like Richard Gere and Lady Gaga swearing by its benefits.
About half a billion people practice Yoga worldwide, so it is safe to assume that most countries have a following nowadays. Yoga is not a new practice in most countries, while some countries have a small following of this art. Some countries where yoga have large followings or are fast gaining popularity are India, United States, Thailand, Japan, Costa Rica, Bali (Indonesia), Hawaii, Germany, Nepal, Sweden, Morocco, The Bahamas, Mexico, Spain, Sri Lanka, Italy, Portugal, United kingdom, Canada, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland, Ireland, Austria, Norway, Denmark, South Africa, Chile, Hong Kong, Netherlands, United Arab Emirates and Egypt.
The primary goal of Yoga is self-realization or union of self- consciousness with the supreme consciousness. It is a goal suggested for mankind in contrast to pure economic and material development as a goal of modern civilization. We see that the latter part has given temporary happiness to the mankind leading to further desires and ultimately discontentment. Too much competition and compulsion to achieve very high targets is leading to stressful lives. It has brought social inequities, unrest and ecological destruction.
Yoga has managed to expand its way right across the globe, while some communities worry that it is a religion or faith that should not be practiced, others realize its health benefits and regularly participate in their daily life.
Therefore, it can be concluded that practice of yoga is beneficial for all the dimensions of health, i.e. physical, mental, social, and spiritual and at the same time promotes harmony with nature and helps in conserving environment.