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Yoga: The Benefit Of Yoga

Jun 14, 2008
Staying fit and in good health has become a big emphasis in today's society. Many forms of exercise have evolved in one way or another to fit the needs of those seeking to stay fit.

Not many people realize that yoga has many similar movements as ballet. Many people will begin practicing yoga for the flexibility advantages that it offers. Even though there are things that yoga has in common with other exercises, there are numerous other benefits to studying it. Its popularity has increased over the years in western society and is now considered the fashionable way to get into shape. It might seem like a new form of exercise, but it has actually been around for centuries originating from Eastern cultures with spiritual roots.

Due to Western culture modernizing yoga, much of the spiritual side of it is forgotten, and is viewed upon as simply a new form of exercising. In the beginning yoga was a spiritual practice, but the movements have remained the same. In the past, yoga was considered as a small piece of the puzzle, but today yoga is viewed the entire puzzle. The true meaning and purpose of yoga has been forgotten.

The discovery of yoga can't be identified to an exact time period, but it is generally accepted to have began around the same time the Indus Valley Civilization which has seals depicting figures in the asana posture around 3000 BCE. At about this same time the Vedas, the source of many current yoga postures, were also being written. These gave rise to what is known as Vedic yoga, which focuses on old Indian obsessions with ritual and sacrifice such as the yogic corpse asana.

The greatest sacrifice practiced in yoga signifies death by lying in place. This might seem a bit morbid, but it actually has a lot of meaning behind it. According to the teachings of the Veda, the pose as a corpse means that the understanding of death with lead to freedom.

The meaning of the word yoga can be translated as "union", the joining of the spiritual and physical worlds. Versus 4:4, 13-14 of the Vedanta Sutras state that material possessions are not attractive to a free soul. The idea of this is to be able to liberate ourselves from material objects that only have meaning in this life.

In modern day yoga self-sacrifice is also possible. Through practice of stillness and asanas, our outlook can be changed. It will feel as though we are a part of the whole and we will discover that giving is the same as helping ourselves since we are all one.

Yoga, in the ancient days, was seen as a small part of a whole. Centuries ago, yoga focused on breath work and postures amid the betterment of the mind, body and spirit. But today, yoga concentrates more on postures and less on breathing. Yoga's postures and concentration on breathing do offer tremendous advantages. The medical benefits of yoga include increase in flexibility and energy, reduces stress, improves muscle strength and tone, reduces depression, and improves balance and coordination.
About the Author
There are many different techniques and positions of this incredible exercise. Discover more about the origins of yoga and how it can help you in your life. Find out how easy it is with the proper beginner yoga exercises.
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