Physical posture in Sanskrit is Asana. In other words, Asana refers to a position that is specific and which can be held in a comfortable and relaxed manner without straining or getting fatigue. According to the principles of yoga practice written by Patanjali, Asana was referred to as physical meditation and, on the other hand, yoga vyayam was the name given to physical posture.
Popularly, the dynamic yoga exercises are referred to as asana. It is from natural movements and animal positions that most asanas were derived. This is why most asanas bear the names of animals like tiger, cat, and deer. The aim of these postures is to utilize the examples of nature to aid oneself. As a result of this, they normally have a strong influence to your mind and body. Asana has a million and one benefits to humans. It benefits the following parts of the body:
- Nervous system.
- Cardiovascular system.
- Energy centers.
- Lymphatic system.
It does this mainly because they are psychosomatic exercises which balance and strengthen the whole nervous system. They also stabilize and harmonize an individual’s mind state. After an individual undertakes these exercises, he/she experience some effects. Most of the effects include clarity of mind, contentment, peace and a feeling of inner freedom. There is a system known as yoga in daily life.
It is specifically designed to prepare the body systematically and gradually to progress from simple preparatory exercises to more complex, difficult, and advanced asanas. After every yoga class, a period of break and relaxation is provided. Breaks are also given in between the exercises of an individual.
During the relaxation, an individual’s body gets an opportunity to deepen. For perfect and correct performance, mental and physical relaxation is very important. It is only through relaxation that one can experience the effects of yoga.
Pranayama is the second pillar of yoga. It is the deliberate and conscious regulation and control of breath. Prana is a word meaning breath and ayam refer to control or regulation. Once we inhale we not only take oxygen but also breathe.
Prana, in other words, can refer to cosmic energy or the power in the universe which preserves, creates and modifies or changes. It is the foundation or primary element of consciousness or life. Once we are taking food, prana is contained there too. This implies that it is really essential to take a wholesome ad healthy vegetarian diet.
Once prana guides our consciousness, there is an increase in vitality in our body. Improved immunity, physical detoxification, attainment of inner relaxation, mental clarity and peace are other things that increase in our bodies. It is normally said in mythology that a number of breaths normally predetermines an individual’s life. That is why yoga tries as much as possible to conserve time and increase the length of life by decreasing the number of breaths.
Just like asanas, pranayamas have umpteen benefits. They include:
- Purification of blood.
- Strengthening the heart and lung.
- Increasing immunity.
- Regulation of the nervous system.
- Inner balance.
- Release of energy blockages.
- Elimination of depression, stress and nervousness.
- Quietening emotions and thoughts.
- Deepening meditation.
- Expansion of consciousness.
- Purification and awakening energy centers or chakras.
These are just but a few of the physical, mental and spiritual benefits and effects of pranayamas.
Overall, yoga has many beneficial characteristics and can help people in great ways. It does not matter what age you are, and you can practice it and have a great time doing so. You will be healthier, and you will think in a very positive way.
Depending on your lifestyle, physical condition, and age, you may choose the particular type you will practice. There are several health benefits; it improves flexibility and strengthens the muscles. With regular practice, it also strengthens your bones. That means that you will be less likely to suffer from conditions such as arthritis.
It also works out the joints and therefore also preventing degenerative arthritis. It is also good for both the circulatory system and the nervous system. People with high blood pressure can greatly benefit from this practice. In essence, it is a practice that is both healthy and will help you keep fit.
Now, when you have all the facts laid out, you can decide if this is something you would like to practice and enjoy. As already said; yoga has many beneficial effects. It is up to you, to assess your abilities and to decide to practice yoga or not. If you decide to practice yoga, you should conduct a little research of your own and try to find the best yoga class available. You will have a yoga teacher at your disposal who will always give you a helping hand. The Internet is a good research tool as well.