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Ayurvedic Treatments Based on Yoga

Yoga- A Way of Life

Ayurvedic Treatments Based on Yoga
Yoga asana

Yoga is not simply something that is practised by the seers or the 'sadhus'... it can be inculcated in our daily life. Find out a little more about this new way of life. 

We live a world that has programmed us to look outside at the worldly goods for our containment and happiness. To achieve maximal self-satisfaction, we are constantly striving to reach the materialistic goals that we have set for ourselves. A bigger house, a nicer car, higher paychecks... Are these really the ultimate means of our happiness? If so, why do we still see so much discontent and unhappiness around us? 

It is very hard for us to be at peace with ourselves and to stop and experience the feeling where our thoughts and actions cease to exist. This state of personal solitude provides us with joy, deeper understanding and a sense of calm that is not possible to achieve elsewhere. 

The word Yoga is derived from Sanskrit, which is an ancient Indian language. The word means, yuj, which means yoking, i.e., a team of oxen. In contemporary terms, it is defined as a union of body, mind and soul. 

Yoga is a physical, mental and a spiritual practice that originated in India. It is a state in which the individual soul is on par with the universal spirit. It is a more than a 5,000-year-old body of knowledge that has gained prominence only after the 20th century. 

Many people believe it as exercises that involve awkward twisting and turning of the body. While stretching and other forms of physical exercises are certainly involved, yoga is more about creating a balance in the body through developing strength and flexibility. 

According to Sage Patanjali, who had penned his ideas of Yoga, way back in 250 CE, Yoga involves "chitta vrutti nirodh". Chitta - means the conscious mind, or the ego of a person, Vrutti - means action or taking a form whereas Nirodh means - preventing or inhibiting. 

The whole verse can be transcribed to mean that, 'Yoga means the inhibition of the human ego or mind to take action'. This ancient and spiritual science offers a direct means to attain a state of mind that is not affected by any turbulent thoughts. In this state, we achieve the maximal level of self-awareness and it is here that we realize the reason for our existence. 

Though Yoga was mentioned thousands of years ago, the higher techniques of Yoga are little understood or practised. But today with increased awareness of science, there is a vast change in the way we view ourselves and the world. Yoga has gained worldwide popularity and is used daily for profound mental, physical and spiritual awareness.

The materialistic idea of life has disappeared with the discovery that matter and energy are one and the same forms, i.e., every existing body or substance can be reduced to a form of energy, which interacts with other forms. Yoga reverses the outward flow of energy and allows the mind to become a centre of perception and truth. 

Hence, today after thousands of years, modern science has successfully confirmed the age-old principles of Yoga, which state that unity encompasses the whole universe.

Benefits of Yoga:

At the physical level, yoga and its cleansing practices have proven to be extremely effective for various disorders. Some of the benefits of yoga include- 
  • Increases Flexibility, thereby preventing bad posture and back pains. 
  • Builds muscle strength which helps in the prevention of arthritis and back pain. 
  • Perfects your posture - Bad posture causes pain and spine degeneration. Yoga prevents slumping and cures bad posture. 
  • Prevents cartilage and joint breakdown 
  • Protects your spine - Yoga asanas with backbends, forward bends and twists keep the spinal disks supple, thus strengthening your spine. 
  • Betters your bone health - Many Yoga asanas strengthen the bones. Yoga lowers levels of cortisol or stress hormone, which keeps the calcium intact in the bones, thus keeping them strong and healthy. 
  • Increases your blood flow - Relaxation exercises in Yoga help blood circulation. Many Yoga poses help the flow of venous blood back to the heart, while some poses boost haemoglobin levels and prevent anaemia. 
  • Drains your lymph and boosts immunity - Yoga helps in draining the lymph (fluid rich in immune cells), which helps to fight infections, destroys cancerous cells and disposes toxic waste from the body. 
  • Increases your heart rate, thereby lowering the risk of heart attack 
  • Drops your blood pressure – Different Yoga asanas, especially Savasana, reduces hypertension.
Ayurvedic Treatments Based on Yoga
Savasana (Corpse Pose)
  • Regulates your adrenal glands - Adrenal glands secrete cortisol in response to stress condition. However, if cortisol levels are still high, it impairs the immune system, causes memory loss and lead to permanent brain damage. Yoga is known to reduce the levels of this hormone.
  • Makes you happier - Consistent yoga practice decreases depression, increases the serotonin levels, decreases the levels of monoamine oxidase (an enzyme that breaks down neurotransmitters) and cortisol. All these factors elevate your feeling of being happy.
  • Yoga increases movement and decreases food intake leading to a healthier lifestyle.
  • Lowers blood sugar - Yoga lowers blood sugar levels and LDL (bad) cholesterol and boosts HDL (good) cholesterol.
  • Helps you focus - Regular yoga improves coordination, memory, IQ and reaction time.
  • Relaxes your system - Yoga helps you control your breath; helps you relax and has a calming effect on the body. It also improves the balance between your mind and body.
  • Improves your balance - Yoga corrects your bad posture and improves your balance.
  • Maintains your nervous system - Yoga improves blood flow to the pelvis if you are trying to get pregnant and induces relaxation if you are suffering from insomnia.
  • Releases tension in your limbs - Yoga helps us recognize where one holds tension in the body. Continuous practice of yoga helps you release your tension.
  • Helps you sleep deeper - Yoga helps you become less stressed, less tired and helps you sleep better.
Ayurvedic Treatments Based on Yoga
  • Boosts your immune system functionality - It has been seen that regular practice of yoga increases levels of antibodies in case of infections leading to improved immunity.
  • Gives your lungs room to breathe - Yoga improves lung function, including maximum volume during intake of breath and efficient exhalation.
  • Prevents Irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive problems - Ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome and constipation are as a result of stress. Yoga thus cleanses the body of all waste and prevents these disorders.
  • Gives you peace of mind - Yoga dispels stress thus helping to cure migraines, insomnia, lupus, MS, eczema, hypertension and heart attacks.
  • Increases your self-esteem - Yoga helps you realize your true worth, thus teaching you that you are a manifestation of the Supreme Being. It inculcates better health, which indirectly increases your self-esteem.
  • Eases your pain - Yoga can reduce pain caused due to arthritis, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome or other such chronic conditions.
  • Gives you inner strength - Yoga helps you make positive changes in life.
  • Helps keep you drug-free - Studies show that people suffering from asthma, high BP, Type II diabetes noted a reduction in their medicine dosage due to yoga.
  • Benefits your relationships - Yoga helps you become humbler, increases friendliness, compassion leading to better relationships.
  • Yoga helps in better drainage of the sinuses due to regular meditation and chanting.
  • Keeps allergies and viruses at bay - Practicing yoga helps internal cleansing of intestines, drains sinuses and prevents the build-up of mucus.
  • Encourages self-care - Yoga helps you take better care of yourself by regular exercises.
  • Uses the placebo effect, to affect change - Yoga increases your belief in yourself and leads to the development of a positive attitude. This creates a placebo effect which helps cure your ailment.

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