Yoga is considered as an art that provide benefits and strength to our body, inner spirit and mind. It is an ancient practice which was originated inIndiaabout thousands of years ago. The Puranas and Upanishads written by Aryans during post- Vedic and late-Vedic periods have references about yoga. A systematic written approach about yoga was found in yoga sutra written by Patanjali. It was written about two thousand years ago. This book clearly depicts the principles of the yogic discipline. This text is considered as the important one regarding the yoga and it spreads the importance of yoga around the world.
Yoga is considered as a spiritual and physical exercise. Through yoga we can attain enlightenment and physical and mental refreshment. Yoga is basically categorized into four different groups. They are Raja yoga, Bhakti yoga, Karma yoga and Jnana yoga. Yoga is considered as an important part in some religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Contemporary yoga consists of a large number of principles and most of these principles are taken from these religions. Hinduism believers consider yoga as a method of getting closer to almighty. For Buddhists it is believed that yoga will help them to achieve a higher grade of wisdom.
Eight stages of yogic disciplines are illustrated by Patanjali. They are Yamas, Niyamas, Asanas, Pranayama, Partyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadi. Yamas deals with abstentions and restrains. Niyamas deals with surrendering the ego, purity, contentment and study. Asanas is related to exercises or physical postures, Pranayama to breathing control, Partyahara to withdrawal of senses and Dharana to concentration of mind. Dhyana means meditation and it will provide a relaxed mind which is free from external interferences. Finally Samadhi means an attainment of a super conscious state. For some yoga practitioners the ultimate goal is to attain Samadhi. It is considered as complicated mental state. In this state a person can achieve ecstasy.
The main goal of yoga is to attain physical and mental fitness. Thorough yoga it is able to relax our mind and body. It will enhance our physical and mental functions. People in western region considered yoga as a method of self-improvement and refreshment. Yoga will help us to achieve full control over our mind and body. Yoga will keep our body strong and healthy. The different yoga postures will strengthen your muscles in feet, shoulders, hands, legs and abdominals. Breathing exercises in yoga will increase your flexibility and supporting tendons, joints etc. People suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis will definitely get an improvement by practicing yoga.
There are some athletics forms of yoga which will help us to improve our endurance. Bikram yoga, power yoga, asthanga yoga and vinaysa yoga are some of these. This will help you to attain cardio-vascular workouts and results in a better core strength. Yoga strengthens and stretch your neck and back muscles and so it will provide relief from chronic neck and back pain. It will lower the blood pressure, cholesterol levels and provide steady heart rate. It will ensure continuous flow of blood and oxygen throughout the body.