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Home > Physical Activity and Nature Cure > Yoga
Yoga
Kriyas Asanas Pranayama
YogaThe treatment of diseases by means of yogic exercises, which may be physical or mental, or both is known as the yoga therapy or `yoga-chikitsa`. It is a specialised form of yogic culture. From very ancient time this mode of treatment has been practised in India. Many references to yoga have been made in the Upanishads. However, in around first century BC, Maharishi Patanjali gave a systematic account of the traditional yogic teaching.

The term `Yoga` is derived from the Sanskrit word `yug` which means "to join". It signifies union between the individual soul (jivatma) and the universal soul (parmatma). It aims at obtaining relief from pain and suffering. Basically, human evolution takes place on three different planes, namely physical, mental and spiritual. Yoga is a means of attaining perfect health by maintaining harmony and achieving optimum functioning on all three levels through complete self-control.

Yogic kriyas, asanas and pranayama constitute the physical basis of yoga. The practice of kriyas and asanas leads to excellent circulation. It also energises and stimulates major endocrine glands of the body. Yogic exercises promote inner health and harmony, and their regular practice helps prevent and cure many common ailments. They also help eliminate tensions, be they physical, mental or emotional.

Pranayama slows down the ageing process. In ordinary respiration, one breathes roughly 15 times a minute, taking in approximately 20 cubic inches of air. In pranayama the breathing rate is slowed down to once or twice a minute and the breath inhaled is deep and full, taking nearly 100 cubic inches of air.

All yogic exercises should be performed on a clean mat, a carpet or a blanket covered with a cotton sheet. Free movement of limbs should be allowed and the clothings should be light. The mind should be kept off all disturbances and tensions. While practicing yogic exercises regularity and punctuality is a must. Generally, 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. is the ideal time for yoga practices.

Yoga asanas and pranayama should be practiced only after mastering the techniques with the help of a competent teacher. It is advisable to practice asanas on an empty stomach. Shavasana should be practiced for a brief period before starting the rest of the exercises as this will create the right mental condition. Asanas should be practiced at leisure and in a slow and relaxed pace whike retaining composure and balance.
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Yoga
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