A Brief Overview of the History of Yoga

A Brief Overview of the History of Yoga

The exact date and circumstances of the origin of yoga are unknown. This is because the practice of yoga is so ancient that it is believed to predate the written texts and visual images that depict it. Most scholars trace the origins of yoga to at least 5,000 years ago. Yoga is believed to have originated through the insights and experiments of ancient seekers of wisdom, mystics, and visionaries on the Indian subcontinent. Through intense inner searching, they developed practices that were passed down orally and eventually recorded in a body of text that is considered sacred in the Hindu and other spiritual traditions. The earliest known writings on yoga are contained in the Vedas (Sanskrit for “knowledges”), the most ancient extant Hindu texts. The oldest of these, the Rig-Veda (“Knowledge of Praise”), believed by some scholars to date as far back as 3000 .C..,contains plentiful references to yoga.2 Other ancient sacred Hindu writings, including the Upanishads (“to sit down close to one’s teacher”), helped to codify the oral tradition that formed the basis of yoga. Some of the earliest and most influential writings on yoga are the Bhagavad Gita and the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. The Bhagavad Gita (“Lord’s Song”), which forms a part of the epic Mahabharata (“Great Story of the Bharatas”), is believed to have beecomposed between the third and fifth centuries .C.E. Consisting of approximately 700 stanzas, the Bhagavad Gita contains crucial instruction by the Hindu god Krishna to the warrior Arjuna on the principles of yoga. The precepts he presents continue to guide the practice of yoga today. The Yoga Sutras (sutra means “thread” in Sanskrit and is related to the English word suture) is a series of terse aphorisms or maxims that distill the essence of yoga thought. These aphorisms total 195 or 196, depending upon the source text. The Yoga Sutras are ascribed to the yoga authority Patanjali, who is believed to have lived between the second and the fifth century C.E. Patanjali is often called the “father of yoga,” although his real contribution was to codify existing knowledge of yoga and help provide it a place within classical Hindu philosophy. One of the most seminal and well-known texts on hatha yoga is the Hatha Yoga Pradipika (“Light on the Forceful Yoga” in Sanskrit), written in the 14th century C.E. by Svatmarama Yogin. This text is considered by some scholars to be the most influential text on hatha yoga, the branch of yoga that deals most specifically with the physical discipline of yoga. Yoga is much more than an archaic codification of information, however. It is a living system of knowledge. Since its inception millennia ago, yoga has continued to grow and evolve. From its origins in prehistoric India, it has been embraced by many systems of thought, including Buddhism, and has become an integral part of the cultures of a number of other countries, including Tibet, Pakistan, and many other Asian civilizations.

Benefits of Yoga

Benefits of Yoga

Prime among yoga’s many health benefits is its proven ability to help reduce stress. Experts maintain that up to 80 percent of all illness is caused by stress. The activities and stimuli of contemporary life are constantly triggering what scientists refer to as “the fight or light” mechanism. This expression refers to the way in which we respond to stress. This response is involuntary, and includes an elevation in heart rate, blood pressure, and the creation of toxic chemicals in the body. Yoga helps to induce the opposite effects, in what Herbert Benson, M.D., termed “the relaxation response” in his groundbreaking book of the same title. Yoga can help to reduce blood pressure, heart rate, and improve circulation to help remove toxic wastes from the body. This may in turn help boost the functioning of the immune system. Yoga is so effective at inducing the relaxation response that many prominent authorities recommend its use for reducing stress and promoting health, including Dean Ornish, M.D., and Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D. Indeed, much to the astonishment of Western scientists, accomplished yogis have demonstrated that they can exert conscious control of heart rate, blood pressure, and even the circulation of the blood.

In addition to its ability to help reduce stress, yoga has many other benefits for a man’s health. One of the primary aims of the physical practices of yoga is to help improve the alignment and flexibility of the spine. This is encouraging news for the 70 million Americans who are estimated to seek help for back problems each year. Yoga can help promote overall fitness by both stretching and toning virtually all the muscles in the body. Yoga exercises can help increase range of motion in joints and help protect muscles from being injured during sports and athletic activities. They can also help to lengthen and restore muscles after exercise. Yoga postures can help improve circulation and eliminate toxic waste substances from the body. They can help promote optimum functioning of the internal organs by helping to massage and tone them. Yoga postures can help open the area of the pelvis and organs of reproduction that are housed there. Yoga practices can help bring increased circulation, muscular control, and awareness to a man’s sexual region, thus promoting enhanced sexual enjoyment. The breathing practices of yoga can help improve lung capacity and posture, and harmonize body and mind. The meditation practices of yoga can help still the mind and bring about greater inner clarity, peace of mind, and self-understanding and acceptance. This can help lead to greater emotional awareness and stability. For those men seeking spiritual enlightenment, yoga has a variety of techniques that can help support and guide you on your path. Yoga can form a cornerstone of your ongoing health maintenance program. As more and more men are discovering, it is increasingly important for them to take charge of their own physical fitness and healthcare. The physical postures of yoga can offer a refreshing alternative to high-impact cardiovascular and strenuous bodybuilding practices, an especially attractive option for a population that is increasingly aging. Yoga also offers a man the opportunity to become much more aware of his own body. Through the mindfulness and awareness that yoga engenders, a man has the opportunity of listening more carefully to his body so that he might detect pain, discomfort, and other warning signs early enough to take preventative action before illness or disease sets in. In addition to its overall health benefits, yoga can be of special value to men, in particular, by helping them to contact their inner resources. As many top yoga teachers underscore, today’s man is often caught up in the pressures of work and conforming to society’s perceived expectations. This can result in a man’s armoring himself and losing touch with his inner self. Yoga practice can provide a man with the opportunity to reconnect with himself and to accept himself just as he is—not as he feels he is “supposed” to be. Through a sustained yoga practice, a man can experience the priceless benefits of peace and happiness that can accompany self-awareness and self-acceptance.

All the above articles / blog posts are not the original contribution from author, please consider a opinion of qualified doctor, if you considering this. If you need a advice please contact Dr. Anil Joy email: aniljoy23@gmail.com

Thank You,

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Sleep naturally, without falling a prey to sedatives There are many

Sleep naturally, without falling a prey to sedatives

There are many causes why we lose sleep, work and relationship related stress, irregular diet, lifestyle and sleeping habits, night shifts, bad habits like drinking smoking and drug abuse are main causes for sleep disturbances.

Before you contemplate on going for Allopathic edatives, which are addictive, habit forming and come with a list of side effects, I suggest you try these Ayurvedic and natural remedies.

1. Correcting the lifestyle.

– Make sure you spend your time at bed atleast 6 hours a day.

– make a strict daily schedule – at what time your are going to have food, what time you will go to bed etc and stick to it.

– Try stopping a nap at mid day. stopping nap will improve night sleeping hours.

– Drink a glass of warm milk at night time

– Take a warm water bath duing evening hours, after you return from office.

– Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, drink juices, get your nutrition status to otimum levels.

– mild to medium excercise during evening period,, so that you feel tired, followed by a hot shower and then a warm cup of milk will defeinitely send you straight to bed.

– If you are sensitive to even a little bit of noise, use ear plugs.

– If you are sensitive to light, then switch it off or use a cloth band to cover your eyes, loosely. Now it has been proved that sleeping in a dark room may prevent depression.

Some Useful Ayurvedic Procedures:

Some of the Ayurvedic medicines which are purely herbal, natural and which helps the person to cal the mind, which are NOT sedatives are – Manomitram tablets, it is made of 4 natural herbs – ashwagandha (withania somnifera), Shatavari (asperagus), Brahmi (Bacopa monneiri) and Shankhapushpi (Clitorea ternatea). Anti oxidant activity, improving memory power, aiding in sleep and also powerful immuno-modulation actions of these herbs have been very well established. Click on the individual herbs to read more about the scientific research papers on each article. So, Manomitram tablet acts as sleep natural aids. Click on Manomitram tablets to buy it online.

Since they are natural herbs, they are not habit forming and also does not produce any hangover effects.

Dose: One capsule in the morning. Two capsules at night.

Whole body oil massage atleast once in a week iwill improve your skin and muscle tone, general strength, calms your mind and relaxes your body. Mild swedana (sudation therapy) after Abhyanga (massage) is fantastic.

Shirodhara, a famous procdeure of isntilling a stream of oil continuously on fore head for a period of 15 – 30 minutes Ayurvedic therapy of choice. It also helps to strengthen the sense organs, relieve headache and improve hair health.

Medicated oils like bala Taila, ksheera bala taila etc. are used for this procedure.

Shiro Pichu – A simple proccedure of soaking cotton swabs with the medicated oils and placing it all over the scalp for a period of 15 to 30 minutes is also very famous to induce sleep. best results if done at night, followd by a hot shower, and .. a cup of warm milk…. and off you go to bed.

All the above articles / blog posts are not the original contribution from author, please consider a opinion of qualified doctor, if you considering this. If you need a advice please contact Dr. Anil Joy email: aniljoy23@gmail.com

Thank You,

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How to do pranayama – A simple pranayama technique Pranayama is one of

How to do pranayama – A simple pranayama technique

Pranayama is one of the usual suggestions that I give to patients, for a variety of health conditions. But often it is seen that the people do not get time to go to a Yoga teacher and learn the technique (though it is highly recommended). That gives way for a simplified version of Pranayama. But please remember, it only is the second choice to Pranayama learnt from a Yoga master.

Why there is a need to simplify Pranayama –

1. The regular Pranayama mentioned in Yogas is for totally healthy people.
2. It has yoga prerequisites namely –Yama, Niyama and Asana. It means, the regular Pranayama would require one to follow dietary & mind restrictions and to have proper training in the Asanas. As Swamy Vivekananda used to say, a fit body is prerequisite of a fit mind.
3. Inhaling and exhaling through single nostrils alternatively is quite confusing for the beginners.
4. If strained excessively while doing Pranayama, it causes giddiness and difficulty in breathing.

How to do a simple Pranayama?

Pranayama Time – Morning, on empty stomach or 15 minutes after tea / coffee. Preferably after bath. Pranayama is a technique to fill mind & body with fresh air and energy. So, morning is the right time for it. After bath, we feel fresh. So it adds to the benefits of Pranayama. It will be easier for the mind to get cleansed with the fresh Prana (breath).

Pranayama Place: The place should be spacious, with sufficient air and light. Better to keep the windows open. If it is done in a closed room, often it causes giddiness. So fresh air is very necessary. The place should be noise free.

Pranayama Posture – Sit on a mat on the floor, with legs crossed. Spine (back) erect & straight. Head straight. Face looking forward. For those with knee problem, and who can’t sit on the floor, a chair can be used.

Eyes – eyelids closed with eyes pointing towards the tip of the nose. You need to close the eyelids with eyes pointing to nose tip. This way, when you close the eyes, the eyes will automatically concentrate on centre point of two eye brows.

Pranayama Mindset – Very relaxed. No hurry bury. No extra thoughts, If possible, remember your favorite Deity. If you can not relax your mind, or if you are in a hurry, it is better to skip the Pranayama session for that day, rather than doing it half heartedly.

The Simple Pranayama Technique –

Sit quietly for one minute. Breathe deeply, breathe easily. During this one minute, think that you are going to receive energy to the body and mind to become healthier, to become robust & strong. Think that you are going to throw out all the impurities of mind and the body through exhaling breath and think that you are going to have fresh and pure energy by inhaling the fresh Prana – the breath fully filled with life, strength, positivism and energy.

Once the eyes are closed and are pointing to nose, back erect, mind relaxed, start the Pranayama. It has three phases.

1. Slow Inhale – Take a deep breath (as deep as possible), very slowly and steadily, without hurrying up. The mind should think that you are taking the energy of God into your body.
2. Hold – Hold the breath for as long as comfortable. During this time, think that the Prana (energetic breath) that you have taken in is cleansing the whole body from tip of the brain to tip of leg. Imagine as though the air is moving all over the body and cleansing all the organs and mind.
3. Slower Exhale – Exhale slowly. Exhaling period should be longer than inhaling period. While exhaling, think that all the impurities of your body and mind that were cleansed are now let out of the body.

Repeat the same steps from 1 to 3 for three to ten times, based on your convenience.

After Pranayama, you need to sit in the same place, for at least five minutes. During which time, prayer can be done.

What should be the duration of this simplified Pranayama?

Not more than two minutes.

Is there a rule that it should be done daily?

It is better to do it daily. It is ok, if it is missed for a few days.. or when the mind is too much occupied, or when you are too busy.

Are there any side effects? Who should not do this?

If one feels giddiness or breathing difficulty or sweating or temporary feeling of darkness then it has to be discontinued. Rush to a place with plenty of air, lie down and breathe easy. Do not try to do it ever again.

It is not suitable for pregnant woman or children below 12 years of age.

It is not suitable for people with respiratory problems such as asthma, chronic cough.

It is not suitable for people with severe illnesses such as heart conditions, cancer etc.

It is highly recommended to learn Pranayama from a qualified Yoga teacher than to follow this method.

What are the benefits of Pranayama?

Apart from being the best among the stress relieving techniques, Pranayama has numerous health benefits. Click read more about benefits of Pranayama along with special details.

Benefits of Pranayama

Pranayama meaning literally the “breath of life”.

In other words Pranayama can be described as a technique of breath control using sequential deep inhalations and gentle exhalations. An indispensable part of ancient Indian yoga, Pranayama can be carried out using different techniques, all of them involving step by step deep inhalations and gentle exhalations.

Pranayama poses lots of benefits to our body, soul and the mind, if practiced regularly and in proper way.

Pranayama benefits:

* We all know that breathing is an indispensable part of life, but ironically most of us are not even aware of the fact that we are not breathing properly, despite continuous breathing. Pranayama is the only technique that teaches how to breathe properly so that the body gets maximum benefits of breathing. Instead of slow and deep breathing we have got habitual of taking quick, shallow breaths and that too from the stomach instead of chest.
* By practicing Pranayama regularly, we can change our breathing habits and start breathing deeply from the belly.
* We do not even know that one third of our lungs is always deprived of the air (or oxygen in other words) that we inhale because shallow breathing does not allow the air to spread fully in the lungs. By following the deep breathing techniques taught in Pranayama, we can give a chance to the lungs to breathe effectively because the lungs spread fully as the air flows in, hence making more oxygen available to parts of the body that were previously deprived of it and as a result, the body gets energized many more times than it used to get earlier.
* With the increasing oxygen supply to the body, the efficiency of various organs and systems also increases and body works more efficiently. This helps to increase the metabolic rate. As a result, the accumulated fat in the body burns faster and digestion is also improved.
* Pranayama also increases the body immunity as the enhanced oxygen and blood supply gives strength to the body.
* Pranayama is a boon for those who suffer from lung based diseases especially asthma or bronchitis as the lung capacity is many times increased if Pranayama is practiced regularly. Pranayama can also retard and reverse the effects of lung damage in smokers.

Pranayama Techniques

Pranayama has many techniques that result in lowering or increasing the blood pressure depending on the technique of Pranayama that is used. Other Pranayama benefits include improved abdominal tone. Not only the energy blockages in the body get opened but the congestion of nasal passages is also removed. There can be no other convenient way rather than practicing Pranayama to flush

out toxins from the body. Patients suffering from ailments such as allergies, heart conditions, insomnia, chronic pain and imbalances in the endocrine system also get benefits to cure these diseases with the help of Pranayama.

Last but not the least, Pranayama also helps to control the mind. In a world full of stress and only stress, Pranayama helps us to get relaxed and De-stress not only the mind but the body also. We can concentrate in a better way and improve our focus. Regular practice of Pranayama, can also help to balance and center the mind.

All the above articles / blog posts are not the original contribution from author, please consider a opinion of qualified doctor, if you considering this. If you need a advice please contact Dr. Anil Joy email: aniljoy23@gmail.com

Thank You,

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