“Yoga Chitta Vritti nirodha” (Yoga is the neutralization of the vortices of feeling.”)
There’s more to fitness than just a well-toned body. The ancient Indian practice of Yoga focuses more on the mind-body interconnectedness. Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Yuj’ which stands for “union”. The union can be understood at various levels – of the body and the vital life force, or “prana,” Various forms of Yoga have been practiced in India for thousands of years. Yoga’s purpose is to strengthen the body and make it more flexible, as well as to calm the mind and awaken the spirit — in effect, to provide a physical, mental and spiritual system of health. It does this through physical poses, or “asanas” and breathing techniques.
The physical exercises called as Asanas are a series of slow and gentle stretches. You stretch your hands upwards, downwards with various twists and turns. The Asanas gradually may increase in complexity as the student becomes stronger and more flexible.
These poses are accompanied by steady breathing that soothes the prana flow through the body. In addition, there is a practice of deep relaxation that uses guided imagery and visualization to bring a sense of well-being. The combination of all these elements leads to a calm, focused state of mind and a great feeling of vitality.
There are standing poses, backward bends, forward bend poses, seated poses, asanas in Prone poses, in supine pose, core exercises, Sun salutations, Pranayama and Kriyas. People of all ages can do yoga, and the asanas can even be adapted for people with disabilities or special needs. The basic rule to follow is to go slow and steady, train under an expert and do as per your capacity. Over a period of time, Yoga will help you not only to get into shape on various levels, but also help you heal yourself.