In the last decade or so, Yoga has emerged as one of the most popular forms of physical exercise in many parts of the world. The ancient science of self-healing, which emerged in the Indian subcontinent has slowly captured the imagination of people in advanced western countries.
Yoga, emerging from the Sanskrit word, ‘Yug’, found in the Devanagari script stands for-
- Peace and Tranquillity
- Simplicity and Precision
- Contentment and Satisfaction
According to ancient texts, the earliest references for Yoga can be found in the 4th Century A.D. In contemporary times, many people have their own understanding and definition of Yoga. For some, it is entirely spiritual in nature, while for others, it seeks to be a way of life and a habit of living.
If you are someone who is looking to engage with this centuries-old discipline, this article is going to help you. We will discuss, some of the major pillars of Yoga, as well as explore some of its major benefits.
The Major Pillars of the ‘Eight Limbs’ of Yoga
It has been pointed out that a sage, named Patanjali created the eight limbs of Yoga sometime in the second century. The functions, postures, and advantages of Yoga follow the eight limbs. Western understanding considers them as the foundation pillars of the discipline.
The following are the eight limbs or pillars-
- Samadhi or Enlightenment
- Dhyana or Meditation
- Dharana or Concentration
- Pratyahara or Sensory Withdrawal
- Pranayama or Controlling Breath
- Asana or Postures
- Niyama or Morality Generosity
- Yamas or Moral Control
Most Yoga studios, practitioners, and social media stars usually focus on the Asanas or Postures and the Dhyana or the Meditation part.
However, as you can see from the eight pillars, yoga is much more about just physical and mental well-being. It seeks to create an ecosystem of healthy living, which also takes into account the moral righteousness of human beings.
List of 5 Major Advantages of Practising Yoga
In this section, we will look at some of the direct advantages, which you will experience once you start doing yoga regularly. The learn more information about the health benefits associated with practcing Yoga, this useful blog post by Miskawaan Health is a good place to start
1. Prevention of Diseases and Illnesses-
The various exercises and postures, which you will do during Yoga can help prevent the emergence of harmful and life-threatening health complications. Studies have shown how heart issues, diabetes, and other auto-immune problems can be prevented by practicing Yoga. Yoga also helps in improving bones, muscles, and other joints of the body.
2. Positive Mental Health-
We all know how most of us are increasingly under stress because of personal and professional issues. Yoga helps in exercising a calming influence on the mind. Breathing exercises help in channeling the flow of energies. Meditation, which takes place both before the start of the session and after it concludes plays a very important role in calming the mind and heart.
3. Better Sexual Health-
We all know how our unhealthy lifestyle and eating disorders are contributing to poor sexual health in terms of drive, infertility, and impotency. If you start doing Yoga, you will realize that it plays a major role in improving all aspects of sexual health. It allows you to improve on the energy front and the enhanced flexibility can help lead to greater sexual gratification.
4. Increase in Happiness and Well-Being-
As Yoga has often been defined as a ‘way of life’, its potential to increase happiness levels cannot be underestimated. This is the spiritual connection you get from Yoga. Many people who have made Yoga an intrinsic part of their lives attest to the fact that Yoga has increased their sense of contentment and fulfillment. They see the world as a far more positive and optimistic place.
5. Improves Sleep and Relaxation-
Have you ever looked at people and wondered how do they immediately fall asleep when they hit the bed? Or, how some people can just switch on and off like a switch at times. Yoga plays a critical role in promoting sleep. The body functions and the mind tires in a positive fashion inducing natural sleep. Heightened levels of relaxation are also a positive by-product.
The Bottom Line
There are a ton of credible materials online if you wish to engage and explore the discipline. Yoga has transcended beyond being just folklore. Scientific studies have shown its efficacy in a number of regions, most notably in the areas of disease prevention, improved productivity, and natural sleep.