Yoga is a science of right living and, as such, is intended to be incorporated in daily life. It works on all aspects of a person: the physical, mental,
emotional, psychic and spiritual.
The word yoga means ‘unity’ or ‘oneness’ and is derived from the Sanskrit word yuj, which means ‘to join’. This unity or joining is
described in spiritual terms as the union of the individual consciousness with the universal consciousness. On a more practical level, yoga is a means of
balancing and harmonizing the body, mind and emotions. This is done through the practice of asanas, pranayamas, mudras, bandhas, shatkarmas and meditation.
The science of yoga begins to work on the outermost aspect of the personality, the physical body, which for most people is a practical and familiar
starting point. When imbalance is experienced at this level, the organs, the muscles and nerves no longer function in harmony; rather they act in
opposition to each other. Yoga aims at bringing the different bodily functions into perfect coordination so that they work for the good of the whole body.
Yoga helps in creating a balance and harmony in the body.
Today yoga has become so common. There are many centres for it in the city and if you go to any park in the morning you will find many people practicing
yoga there. But there are certain things to be kept in mind while practicing.
The first and the foremost is the importance of a ‘Guru’. One should always start practicing yoga under the guidence of a guru. It is just like
sending your kid to school. We know everything that is taught to a child in school. Parents are the first teachers and they know their part, but a teacher
directs the energies within a child. It is a guru who has the power with him and corrects you for the mistakes, as practicing yoga in a wrong manner can
lead to injuries. Once we have learned the practices under the guidence of a guru then we can practice them on our own.
Second is the breathing. Yoga is all about breathing. In yoga all your movements should be coordinated with the breath. Breathing should be deep
and long. One of the common mistakes that people do is that they tend to hold the breath in the asana/posture as staying in the posture for a certain time
is an essential part of yoga. Holding the breath in a posture for a very long time is not good for the body as anaerobic reactions occurs in the body which
is harmful for the body. It is the asana which is to be held, not the breath. While holding the asana one should breathe, this helps in detoxifying the
body. Breathing is said to be the tool to control the mind. Our mind always wanders, it is not stable, at one moment it is here, the very next moment it
reaches some other place and the next moment to some other place. The moment you start focusing on the breath, you direct all your attention to your
breathing and your mind becomes one-pointed. This is the reason you feel mentally relaxed even after a strong yoga session.
Third is the alignment. Alignment means in a correct relative position. Every asana has a perticular alignment. Most practioners are not aware of
these alignments and they practice asanas with their ease, this leads to activation of wrong muscle group and later to injury. The reason for the
neglegence of alignment is that it makes the practice a bit stronger. If one does postures/asanas with correct alignment then they minimize the chances of
injury, for this they will have to move out of their comfort zone. ‘No pain no gain’.
The next is the most important and above all. It is listening to your body. One has be aware of her/his body limit. You should never get carried
away by the people performing the practices around you. Everyone has a different flexibility level. It is not that you start practicing yoga today and the
next day you become flexible. With time and regular practice you become flexible.
Yoga is not for him who gorges too much, nor for him who starves himself. It is not for him who sleeps too much, nor for him who stays awake. By moderation
in eating and in resting, by regulation in working and by concordance in sleeping and walking. Yoga destroys all pain and sorrow.
Yoga is a tool to make control over mind and senses and to stablise them
Yoga is a complete personality development.
Dr Pawan Agrawal is a freelance yoga and pilates teacher for the past 8 years. After completing his bachelor's degree in Naturopathy and Yogic science he started practicing traditional yoga as his profession and passion. In the later years, he stayed in Thailand for two long years as a yoga instructor. There he learnt new forms and changed his approach to power yoga and pilates. Dr Pawan is also a guest lecturer in Raipur's Ayurvedic College.
Connect to your hero Pawan at email@example.com