‘Manah Prasamana Upayah yogah’- by Sage Vasista.
Yoga is the skill to calm down the mind.
The root of the word yoga is yuj. In Sanskrit yuj means joining. Yoga is not merely a set of asanas, pranayama, or meditation; it is the science of holistic living that consists of a value system featuring health, wealth, bliss, poise, harmony and efficiency.
Yoga is a conscious process of gaining mastery over the mind. This process consists of two aspects: the ability to concentrate, and the capacity to calm your mind at will.
In yoga, incorporating your breath is just as important as incorporating your body. The quality of breath expresses one’s inner state. For example, if I am in pain, it shows in my breathing; if I am distracted, I lose control of my breathing. Therefore, breathing is the link between one’s inner and outer self.
Yoga is the means of balancing and harmonizing the body, the mind and one’s emotions. This is done through practicing asanas, pranayama, mudras, bandha and meditation.
By practicing yoga daily, one promotes his or her physical health and longevity. Yoga is a process of an all-round personality development by:
- Deeply relaxing at a muscular level.
2. Decreasing the rate of breathing and maintaining balance at a pranic level.
3. Increasing mental creativity and will power.
4. Sharpening and calm down the intellect.
5. Enhancing happiness in life.
6. Manifesting the innate divinity in man in all aspects of life.
7. Toning, cleansing, and nourishing the body on every level.
8. Maintaining the health and integrity of the joints and spine
9. Managing the energetic system of the body.
Long term yogic practice helps to develop voluntary control over the autonomic system. Yogic practices lead to enhancement of parasympathetic activities, provide stability of autonomic balance during stress, improve thermoregulation efficiency, improve adaptability to environmental stress and cognitive function such as concentration, memory, learning, efficiency and vigilance.
Words cannot convey the value of yoga; it has to be experienced.
Meena Kankani is a certified Yoga Instructor and Yoga Therapist through ‘VYASA’ – a world renowned yoga research university. I run my own yoga studio, Swasth Yoga, in Katy.