So let’s start there. The word “yoga” comes from the Sanskrit root yuj or yug and it means “to hold fast” or say, “to tie together”. Ever since the ancient Indian technique embraced it for its name, it refers to the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of man, on the one hand, but also a strong connection to the forces of nature, on the other hand.
Yoga consists of practical exercises for the body and mind. Exercises for the body (asana) are certain physical positions and for the mental exercises of breathing (pranayama) and meditation (dhyana). Altogether it has a beneficial effect on the spirit. This would be the simplest description, although yoga is by no means a simple technique. Some physical exercises are extremely complex and difficult so that beginners can hardly perform them. Breathing exercises too. However, in yoga, there is a lot that everyone can practice and that is enough for beginners to improve their body and spirit.
How to start yoga?
To start with yoga exercises we only need a good will and desire. Before going to the first class, you should know that yoga is not a competitive skill. In classes, you should not compete with others, but only with yourself. During the exercise class, they are performed only to the limits of pleasure. When you feel pain in the muscles or joints, it is a sign that you should stop and continue with the next exercise. As the body moves over time, exercise becomes more and more pleasant with less or no discomfort. As for breathing exercises, the matter is even more complicated, so a beginner should not even expect to do them completely correctly in the first or second class. With a good teacher, proper breathing should come by itself when physical exercises become routine and when the balance and unity of body, mind, and spirit is established – which yoga brings as the ultimate goal.
Yoga and philosophy
Yoga used to be an expression of Indian religious and philosophical thought and it still is. Although it is fundamentally part of Indian tradition and practice, it can be freely applied by all other people, regardless of spiritual orientation, because modern yoga (yoga practiced in Western countries) does not contain religious elements, but elements that contribute to the general health of the body – and that’s her only purpose. So, yoga should not be feared because modern teachers of this technique will not influence your philosophical and religious views, but through exercise will unobtrusively and exclusively offer you only the opportunity to achieve better health.
Yoga and health
Of course, yoga is extremely good for health. With regular practice, one can expect the improvement of the physical and mental condition of the organism in all possible aspects. Through exercise, the body initially rises and later maintains itself in balance with nature, at a high level of physical energy and spiritual strength. Some benefits of yoga are manifested faster and more clearly, such as physical flexibility, while some require more effort, work, and sensibility because they relate to more subtle parts of the body. The positive effects are gradually being revealed one by one, which is a great pleasure, so many people think that yoga can become addictive.
Yoga exercises have a positive effect on all the essential functions of the body that make us feel good. With regular exercise, the level of physical vitality and mental stability is raised. This technique strengthens muscles, increases joint mobility, corrects posture, stimulates the work of internal organs, strengthens immunity, relieves tension, establishes proper breathing. It can especially benefit people suffering from arthritis, rheumatism, and back pain. Breathing exercises are useful for people with asthma.
Deep concentration on what your body is doing during exercise brings mental calm. Yoga is a precious break from everyday activities. Over time, the feeling of comfort in one’s own body increases, and at the same time, self-confidence, creativity, the feeling of happiness and the will to live, regardless of age, increase. Yoga is easier to live with and slower to age.