Nothing like Yoga for holistic health
Once ridiculed Yoga and Ayurveda, as a street therapeutic method practiced and popularized by bearded sadhus, of India ,that has nothing but ‘Placebo’ effect, and has been discarded as a ‘Street Science’, without a scientific proof about its efficacy, today, it has become the cynosure of all eyes.
The literal meaning of yoga in Sanskrit is ‘Yuj’. Yuj means to bind the yoke. A farmer binds two bulls with the yoke, so that the combined effort of the two bulls will till the land for a better yield of the crop.
Now apply it to the context of Yoga. Yoga combines and ties Mind and Body together to maintain the life in a stable way. The process of combining Mind and body, makes the organs of the body active in their functioning to their fullest potential.
The most important factor that gives an extra edge to this ancient quintessence is, ‘It’s Holistic.’
What is Holistic Healing.
Here, to explain the meaning of, ‘Holistic’, I have to make a comparison with the Main stream medical system of treatment procedure. Mainstream medical systems believe in isolating the ailment from the body and treat the symptoms of the ailments. That is, if you complain of stomachache , the practitioner will see that your stomachache is subsided by prescribing a drug that subsides your stomach ache.
Contrary to this, both Yoga and Ayurveda believe in fortifying the entire system, viewing the whole body as a single unit. In a nutshell, Yoga and Ayurveda strengthen the innate immune system that’s there in our body.
Owing to this supreme quality, the ancient medical system will give you the following advantages.
Physical Benefits include
- Increased strength and flexibility
- Well toned muscles that remain even in old age.
- A youthful look that stays forever, due to delayed ageing.
- An impeccable posture that makes you ever bubbling with confidence.
- A body sans old-age ailments like. Backache, arthritis etc.
- A new body with awakened and activated energies, hitherto lying dormant in the body.
Yoga, unlike mainstream therapies will bust your stress. Modern living made us build wealth as well as stress also. Chasing the deadlines to face the ever increasing competition made us a psychic wreck. Yoga is a powerful way keeping anxiety and a plethora of negative emotions at bay.
Your positive attitude builds up making you an optimist. Intellect and memory increases. Body and mind work in unison producing amazing and unbelievable results.
With all the above said points proven time and again, Yoga made the world turn its head towards it.
Four components are needed for good physical health. They are, Strength, Flexibility, Balance and Aerobic capacity. Interestingly yoga helps you achieve all the three. And what all it needs? Only You.
Now the reasons for Yoga’s popularity is quite clear. All the factors that were used against, its authenticity and veracity were proved wrong. All its claims about Yoga’s efficacy were proved scientifically.
Now Yoga proved that it’s the undeniable and the best non- invasive therapeutic system in the world. The beauty is, it’s free from side effects.
Like any other medical system Yoga too has some general rules for its practice.
For practicing Yogasanas, early morning is the ideal time. Ensure the bladder and the bowels are emptied before starting the Yogasanas. Take your bath before starting of the asanas. This is to make the body light, so that one can perform the Yogasanas with ease.
If you wish to have a bath after your Yoga session, you can do so with warm water.
The place you choose to do yogasanas, must be away from Din and dust. Never sit on the floor. Use a mat. Your sitting place must be even.
What you wear for Yoga session must be in tune with the season. Anyhow, the overall stress is on comfort. The dress should not hamper you from doing the most intricate postures of Yoga for a considerably long time.
Remember, before you enter in to yogic session, You must perform ‘Shavasana’. The purpose of starting the session with Shavasana is to make the breathing normal and to calm the mind.
You should know, the success of yoga depends upon avoiding force and jerk while performing Asanas. There should be a gradual increase in the timing. For example, for a particular Asana, you need to hold your breath say for 10 counts. It doesn’t mean that you should try to achieve your target of holding the breath of 10 counts, on the very first day. Start with 2 counts and gradually increase the duration of breath holding and reach 10 counts over a period of time.
In a nutshell, it’s advised not to rush and invite problems. We discuss a few easy to do Asanas for a beginner, on the basis of which one can advance in to the advanced realms of Yoga to reap the benefits of Yoga and lead a blissful and healthful life .
Always start with an Asana which is easy for you and which you can do effortlessly. For any beginner, its essential to start with the most basic Asana known as 'Sukhasana', which is no different from squatting on the floor, but with an erect head and spine. Here you need not lock your legs with the thighs. It’s useful to use this pose as a prelude to the next complicated pose ‘Padmasana.
The Asana derives its name Padma, that means Lotus. The performer of this Asana will look like a lotus. This Asana is also popular with the name, ‘Kamalasana’ in the yogic parlances.. This is beneficial to both the sexes.
Sit on the ground, that is far from Din and Dust. Spread the legs forward . Now place the right foot on left thigh., and your left foot on the right foot. Some persons prefer to do in an opposite way. It doesn’t matter. Either way it’s right.
Now, rest your left hand on the left knee and right hand on your right knee.
The last part of this pose is to keep your hand in a Mudra or a hand posture. Allow the tips of both the thumbs of both the hands touch the tips of the index fingers of both the hands.
Keep the head and the spine straight and erect, but not stiff.
The next easy to do but effective Asana is ‘Parvatasana.’
Parvata means, a mountain. This Asana is also known as ‘Viyogasana.’ Please note, only when you do not have any heath problem or complaint, you should attempt this Asana.
Here is the procedure.
Sit in a cool and comfortable place far from noise and other disturbances in ‘Padmasana’ posture. Now join your palms and gradually raise your hands up over your head. Some persons who are well versed with ‘Veerasana’ perform this Asana. But for a beginner, it’s not advisable to perform Parvatasana while doing Veerasana, which is too complicated for a beginner. Hence, until you gain proficiency, do Parvatasana in the posture of Padmasana.
As the practitioner raises both the hands, the Prana or the life force is sublimated.
If the practitioners perform Suryabheda Pranayama or Anuloma- Viloma Pranayama(About these special Pranayamas, I deal in another article.) before performing Parvatasana, the lungs, abdomen and the spinal cord will become strong and healthy. Additionally Parvatasana tones up the hand muscles.
The next Asana which can also be done on a sitting posture is Vajrasana.
Bend the legs at the knees. Now slowly at the sides of your posterior. This placement of heels should be in such a way, that the buttocks rest on the heels. Now you are supporting the entire weight of your body on the knees and the ankles. This portion of the Asana may cause pain in the joints and the ankles in the beginning, But the pain gradually disappears over a period. But, please remember not to sit in Vajrasana for a longer duration in the beginning. It’s advised to increase the duration gradually.
As far as breathing is concerned, it should be normal. That is as you do while you do your normal jobs. As I have been saying repeatedly, don’t heave or jerk while getting up from the Vajrasana posture.
This is the only Asana that is allowed to perform after meals. Because, Sitting in this Asana for a while after meals will help digestion and eliminates gas from the stomach.
A regular practice of this Asana will help eliminate the pain in knees, legs, feet and the thighs. Vajrasana fortifies’ Kandasthana’, located about 30 centimeters away from the anus which is the most important place, where 72000 nadis or tubular channels meet.
The regular practitioner will never suffer from fever, constipation, indigestion and minor ailments.
Images : Author's creations.
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