About Yoga

What is Yoga?

Yoga is a science of the mind. It is an ancient system of exercise that includes thousands of physical and mental exercises designed to strengthen and balance the body, rejuvenate the nervous system, and concentrate the mind. Yoga integrates body and mind so that you can experience your highest quality of life and ultimately your essence: inner peace. Yoga is a superb stress management technology. Today, yoga is widely used for many purposes. International competitive swimming teams use yogic breathing techniques to efficiently fill their lungs with oxygen before they swim. Popular singers and actors use yogic techniques to enhance their physical performance and to combat the fatigue of exhaustive work schedules. Yoga was originally developed as a way to enhance self-knowledge. The practice of yoga integrates body and mind in order to achieve and maintain a higher consciousness. The word yoga, like the English word “yoke,” has the same origin in the Sanskrit word yugit, which means to link together. To achieve this linking together, yoga employs a number of very powerful tools: physical practice, various body postures, breathing techniques, mental concentration and meditation. One of the central aspects of yoga is that you yourself should be able to control your life. Control is one of the key words in yoga: control over body, mind, and soul.

About Yoga and Wellness Articles

Is Yoga a Religion?

No, yoga is not a religion; it is a technology, and a discipline similar to martial arts. Yoga is both an art and a science. It is a science because the results are known. Yoga exercises have been practiced for over thousands of years by millions of people, so the results of particular exercises and meditation techniques have become predictable. It is an art in the way each individual perfects his/her own yoga practice.

Is Yoga Difficult?

Yoga is a holistic technique for physical, mental, and spiritual growth. In yoga, each person progresses at their own pace, and gradually develops the physical flexibility to perform the physical asanas (exercises) more perfectly. Every yoga exercise is conducted in a controlled and conscious way. It should not physically hurt to do yoga. Most yoga sessions take 30 minutes to an hour to complete. There are yoga techniques for all moments of the day, from the first breath upon waking up, all through the stress of the day, and through to the time one goes to sleep. It is up to each individual to decide how thoroughly they wish to embrace the yogic lifestyle, and to what extent the tools are used. Yoga is like a box of tools: everyone has such a toolbox, but most people use them only occasionally; whereas some people practice weekly, and others use these tools throughout each day.

Where Does Yoga Come From?

The practice of yoga goes back a very long time. According to some yogic masters, the technology is twenty-five thousand years old. What modern archeology knows about the origin of yoga dates back more than 4,000 years ago, to the fertile Indus Valley. During the archaeological excavations in Mohenjo-Daro artifacts radiocarbon dated back more than 4,000 years were discovered that show men sitting in classic yoga postures. Yoga is also part of Ayurveda, considered to be the worlds oldest traditional medical system, and Ayurveda has at least 5,000 years of dated history. Today, yoga in various forms is practiced regularly by millions of people all over the world. It has become very popular in the West. The news media has helped raise awareness about yoga, and as a result many companies now use yoga as part of their human resources support strategy.

Is There Any Scientific Research in this Area?

What are the measurable effects? Much international scientific research has been conducted on the measurable effects of yoga. Some research findings are presented here below. Although yoga practitioners will tell you yoga makes them feel good, scientists are much more interested in the objective and measurable effects. What does medical science say about yoga? Medical research in this area is extensive. Thousands of scientific research papers have been published on yoga and meditation and their measurable effects on body and mind. In the early 20th Century, around 1910, the German doctor and nerve specialist Dr. Johannes H. Schultz conducted much research on yoga and hypnosis. On the basis of that research, he built his own relaxation and meditation system, known today as Autogen Practice. This system is well known within the world of European sports. In the 1930s, the French cardiologist T. Brosse traveled to India to examine the yoga phenomena. In the 1920s and 1930s, much interest was focused on the psychological effects of yoga. The famous Swiss psychologist Carl Jung was interested in Kundalini Yoga as a supplement to his psychological theories. In 1932, Jung gave a series of lectures on Kundalini Yoga in Zurich, published under the title “The Psychology of Kundalini Yoga” by Princeton University Press 1966. The following is a brief summary of just a little of the recent medical scientific research that has been performed on the positive effects of yoga and meditation since the late 1960s, when serious modern academic and scientific attention first turned to analysis of the effects of yoga and meditation upon a wide range of medical and psychiatric conditions. This work has continued for more than 30 years. The result is that scientific clinical trials have proven that yoga and meditation can have significant positive outcomes in the healing process in almost every medical and psychiatric condition studied to date.