Yoga, a word from the ancient Sanskrit language, is known to have two meanings: union and discipline. Yoga is all about body’s and mind’s discipline and the union of the two. Yoga is a spiritual tradition within the great cultures of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, all native to India. Yoga was developed over five thousand years ago. Yoga is a divine science of life revealed to enlightened sages in Meditation. The earliest evidence of yoga activity was found during excavations at Mohenjodaro in the Indus Valley.
A number of stone sculptures showing figures in yogic postures were found at this site, thought to date from around 300BC. These yogic postures, excavated from the Indus valley resemble Lord Shiva and Parvathi performing various Asanas and practicing meditation. According to mythical tradition, Shiva is said to be the founder of yoga and Paravati the first disciple.
Yoga is first mentioned in the vast collection of scriptures called the Vedas, portions of which date from at least 2500 BC, but it is the Upanishads which form the later part of the Vedas that provide the main foundation of yoga teaching. According to the Indian mythology, two main epics were written one of them being the Mahabharata, by Sage Vyasa which contains the Bhagavad Gita. Lord Vishnu incarnated as Krishna, instructs the warrior Aijuna in Yoga to help him to achieve liberation by fulfilling one’s duties in life.
Benefits of Meditation & Yoga
1. It lowers oxygen consumption.
2. It decreases respiratory rate.
3. It increases blood flow and slows the heart rate.
4. Increases exercise tolerance.
5. Leads to a deeper level of physical relaxation.
6. Good for people with high blood pressure.
7. Reduces anxiety attacks by lowering the levels of blood lactate.
8. Decreases muscle tension
9. Helps in chronic diseases like allergies, arthritis etc.
10. Reduces Pre-menstrual Syndrome symptoms.
11. Helps in post-operative healing.
12. Enhances the immune system.
13. Reduces activity of viruses and emotional distress
14. Enhances energy, strength and vigour.
15. Helps with weight loss
16. Reduction of free radicals, less tissue damage
17. Higher skin resistance
18. Drop in cholesterol levels, lowers risk of cardiovascular disease.
19. Improved flow of air to the lungs resulting in easier breathing.
20. Decreases the aging process.
21. Higher levels of DHEAS (Dehydroepiandrosterone)
22. Prevented, slowed or controlled pain of chronic diseases
23. Makes you sweat less
24. Cure headaches & migraines
25. Greater Orderliness of Brain Functioning
26. Reduced Need for Medical Care
27. Less energy wasted
28. More inclined to sports, activities
29. Significant relief from asthma
30. Improved performance in athletic events
31. Normalizes to your ideal weight
32. Harmonizes our endocrine system
33. Relaxes our nervous system
34. Produce lasting beneficial changes in brain electrical activity
35. Helps cure infertility (the stresses of infertility can interfere with the release of hormones that regulate ovulation).
36. Builds self-confidence.
37. Increases serotonin level, influences mood and behaviour.
38. Resolve phobias & fears
39. Helps control own thoughts
40. Helps with focus & concentration
41. Increase creativity
42. Increased brain wave coherence.
43. Improved learning ability and memory.
44. Increased feelings of vitality and rejuvenation.
45. Increased emotional stability.
46. improved relationships
47. Mind ages at slower rate
48. Easier to remove bad habits
49. Develops intuition
50. Increased Productivity
51. Improved relations at home & at work
52. Able to see the larger picture in a given situation
53. Helps ignore petty issues
54. Increased ability to solve complex problems
55. Purifies your character
56. Develop will power
57. Greater communication between the two brain hemispheres
58. Respond more quickly and more effectively to a stressful event.
59. increases one’s perceptual ability and motor performance
60. Higher intelligence growth rate
61. Increased job satisfaction
62. Increase in the capacity for intimate contact with loved ones
63. Decrease in potential mental illness
64. Better, more sociable behaviour
65. Less aggressiveness
66. Helps in quitting smoking, alcohol addiction
67. Reduces need and dependency on drugs, pills & pharmaceuticals
68. Need less sleep to recover from sleep deprivation
69. Require less time to fall asleep, helps cure insomnia
70. Increases sense of responsibility
71. Reduces road rage
72. Decrease in restless thinking
73. Decreased tendency to worry
74. Increases listening skills and empathy
75. Helps make more accurate judgments
76. Greater tolerance
77. Gives composure to act in considered & constructive ways
78. Grows a stable, more balanced personality
79. Develops emotional maturity
80. Helps keep things in perspective
81. Provides peace of mind, happiness
82. Helps you discover your purpose in life
83. Increased self-actualization.
84. Increased compassion
85. Growing wisdom
86. Deeper understanding of yourself and others
87. Brings body, mind, and spirit in harmony
88. Deeper Level of spiritual relaxation
89. Increased acceptance of one self
90. Helps learn forgiveness
91. Changes attitude toward life
92. Creates a deeper relationship with your God
93. Increases the synchronicity in your life
94. Greater inner-directedness
95. Helps living in the present moment
96. Creates a widening, deepening capacity for love
97. Discovery of the power and consciousness beyond the ego
98. Experience an inner sense of “Assurance or Knowingness”
99. Experience a sense of “Oneness”
100. Leads to enlightenment
Yoga for Weight Loss :
Regular yoga practice can help in weight management. Firstly, some of the asanas stimulate sluggish glands to increase their hormonal secretions. The thyroid gland, especially, has a big effect on our weight because it affects body metabolism. There are several asanas, such as the shoulder stand and the fish posture, which are specific for the thyroid gland. Fat metabolism is also increased, so fat is converted to muscle and energy. This means that, as well as losing fat, you will have better muscle tone and a higher vitality level.
Yogic practices that reduce anxiety tend to reduce anxious eating. In addition, yoga deep breathing increases the oxygen intake to the body cells, including the fat cells. This causes increased oxidation or burning up of fat cells. Yogic exercises induce more continuous and deeper breathing which gradually burns, sometimes forcefully, many of the calories already ingested.