What is yoga? How does it benefit you?
This blog is the breakdown of all such questions with a yoga expert Ami Ganatra.
This blog is an attempt to give you the 101 of yoga. It is not about the asanas. It is more about the philosophy of yoga and its end goal of it.
In this blog, Ami Ganatra helped us understand yoga in a much better way by giving us the ABCs of it.
Patanjali Yoga Sutra
“The foremost text on yoga is Patanjali Yoga Sutra. Patanjali was a rishi who compiled information on what yoga is. It is one philosophy that helps you to see the reality and true meaning of Yoga.”
“The word rishi translates into the one who has achieved realization through knowledge. Rishis are people who can go into deep mediation and have a lot of wisdom for perceiving things that aren’t available to normal people.”
“We look at time as circular. Rishis have existed throughout, and through deep mediation, they found the truth of life and answers to questions we still ask.”
What is Yoga?
“Patanjali rishi compiled the information into Patanjali Yoga Sutra. We refer to this even today. It has one-line explanations of the asana. As per him, Yoga is a way to calm your mind and help you see the truth with no biases.”
“The root word of yoga is Yuja. Yuja means to achieve full focus. Yoga can be explained as the union of mind and body or the union of your atma and Paramatman.”
Benefits Of Yoga
“The practice of yoga is said to have eight limbs that can help you achieve a state of calmness. Asanas are for you to attain stability, and that comes through balance. Our body movements are controlled by the cerebellum. It is under the influence of the cortex.”
“When someone is stressed or mentally disturbed, they slouch or fidget. It happens because the cerebellum is not under control. Yoga asanas help you build stability. It strengthens the thinking brain and manages our emotional brain.”
“When you are stressed, your breathing is fast, but when you take a few deep breaths, you calm down a little. Your sympathetic nervous system shuts, and the para-sympathetic nerve is turned on. Our brain is like a CPU. It helps us process our thoughts and pieces of information and makes us act a certain way. It helps us detect threats and helps us save ourselves.”
“When the parasympathetic nervous system is activated, your blood pressure and blood sugar level are back to normal. Your body should always be in this mode unless you are in a threat situation. Your thinking brain is active. But this doesn\’t happen because we are always in the pleasure-pain mode, which leads to stress.”
“Yoga helps you to take control of your thinking brain- the cortex. It happens because you are doing everything slowly. When you try to balance, your cortex controls the cerebellum.”
“Hatha yoga is a way of achieving Rajyoga. Rajyoga is attaining a state of clarity. Physically fitness is important to achieving it. One obstacle to achieving that samadhi is a disease and not being physically fit. Asanas help you with being physically fit. Asanas and meditation help you reach the stage of samadhi.”
“Yoga is to strengthen your consciousness. Emotions are important, but they shouldn’t lead to destruction. Yoga also helps you to manage your emotions.”
“There are eight limbs to achieve the Raj Yoga. The eight limbs have asana and pranayama as part of it in Patanjali: Yoga Sutra. But the asanas are not mentioned in the Patanjali Yoga Sutra. There are texts written on how to prepare your body, what you should eat and not eat, and pranayama altogether is Hatha yoga. Hatha yoga is a practice that includes cleansing. To get yourself into the state of balance and the physical practices that help you get into that is Hatha yoga.”
“Yoga is for everyone. It grows on you. Once you practice it for three months, then you will make time for it. You would feel happier.”
We are planning for a more detailed yoga blog.
So stay tuned.