Even though 21st June is considered as the longest day of the year, the date has tremendous significance in India.
The announcement of the date as yoga day was made by the Prime Minister when he was addressing the UN General Assembly.
So, as we embrace yoga as an invaluable gift from the past traditions, let’s check out what is yoga, its benefits, when it started off and the interesting facts.
What is Yoga?
Yoga meaning ‘Union’ is a Hindu spiritual quest to experience the mental state and divinity. Since many years, people have believed that there are many paths to divinity. So, this leads to the fact that individuals practice many types of yoga.
As you plan to get into the poses, you may come across Bhakti yoga, Karma yoga, Raja Yoga and Jnana yoga as the basic forms. The various styles combine the breathing techniques and numerous postures for attaining peace and a relaxed state of mind.
History of Yoga
Yoga became popular when a yogi started meditating on the Himalayas 15,000 years ago. The seven individuals who observed the person were later known as the disciples of Adiyogi and have been recognized as Sapta Rishis. It was on 21st June when this incident occurred. Fortunately, the United Nations celebrated the day as the International Yoga day.
Later, Adiyogi started exploring and delivering knowledge to the entire world. He then requested the seven individuals to travel to different regions of the globe. While one of them went to Central Asia, the other individuals went to North Africa, South America and Southeast Asia.
Among the disciples, one of them stayed with the yogi and Agastya Muni came from the southern region. Today, he is known as the father of Southern mysticism because he spread information about yoga near the Vindhyas and the Deccan Plateau.
Benefits of Practicing Yoga
Yoga has the capability of reducing stress and promoting relaxation. In fact, many studies have revealed that the poses help in reducing the cortisol (stress hormone) level in the body. Moreover, a series of poses aid in improving the mental health and the quality of life.
Enhances Cardiovascular Health
According to a study, yoga helps in improving the health of the heart. As the poses are much more capable to reduce the blood pressure, the person can stay healthy without any heart ailments. Regular practice of the poses can also reduce the cholesterol level in the bloodstream.
May Combat Depression
As the poses help in relaxing the mind, yoga aids in reducing the level of a neurotransmitter known as serotonin. This, in turn, helps the individual to think with a positive mind and fight depression without relying on medicines or anti-depressants.
May Reduce Chronic Pain
If the person has been experiencing chronic pain for a long time, then it’s essential to practice yoga. The set of steps and pose variations improves the physical health and helps to overcome problems associated with osteoarthritis.
Improves Sleep Quality
As it’s evident that yoga helps to fight depression, the individual no longer has to worry about insomnia. Apart from falling asleep faster, the individual can sleep for a long time and wake up with a fresh mind early in the morning.
While the person stops being restless, the need of taking pills reduces over a period of time.
Many people consider yoga in their fitness routine just because it improves flexibility. While some pose help in strengthening the upper body and the spine, other poses help to add strength to bones and muscles.
May Offer Relief from Migraines
In case an individual is feeling uneasy due to recurring headaches, then the symptoms could be managed through yoga. In fact, researchers recommend to do yoga because the poses can stimulate the vagus nerve, which is highly effective to gain relief from migraines.
When the person is trying to contract and stretch the muscles, yoga helps in flushing out the lymph. This aids in enhancing the immune system, fight against infection and drain toxic waste from the body.
Helps for a Healthy Lifestyle
Regular practice of yoga along with a certain diet certainly helps the person to stay healthy. Apart from contributing towards spiritual development, the individual would be able to burn plenty of calories. Later, he would be conscious about his eating habits and would be capable of managing problems related to weight.
As yoga helps to control the blood sugar level, the exercises are good for people who have diabetes. With an improvement in the effects of insulin, the poses mitigate the risk of getting affected due to heart attacks, blindness and ailments pertaining to the kidneys.
Interesting Facts About Yoga
#Fact – 2 As the popularity grew, Yoga was introduced in America by Swami Vivekananda and Paramahansa. Later, George Harrison (the member of the band, ‘Beatles’) expressed the love for yoga through numerous compositions.
#Fact – 3 Since 2016, teaching yoga has been considered as one of the popular career options. While more than 50,000 teachers registered themselves with the Yoga Alliance, the experts took the initiative to come up with a yoga teacher training program.
#Fact – 4 Even though yoga doesn’t hail from the Shamanism, the healing practice has similar aspects like a person may observe in poses and spiritual transcendence. Scholars drew a conclusion that the elements of Yoga were prevalent since the Stone Age.
#Fact – 5 According to a study in 2008, it was found that over 10 million Americans practice yoga regularly. In order to enhance the experience, fitness centers have invested $5.7 billion just for availing the amenities.
Hope you enjoy practicing yoga in the forthcoming months. Do go through our blogs to know more about the different poses and learn about yoga.