In the contemporary world, life can really be hectic and stressful. The influx of schedules for work, school and others have taken most of the time of people’s daily routine. Leaving them with little time for themselves to unwind and relax. This is the point when people start to get saturated from their lives thus the feeling of lethargy and void. They tend to look for an escape to the world of routines and deadlines. But vacations or leaves should not be just once or twice a year, these activities should be embedded into people’s everyday lives.
I, for one, have experienced overworking myself to the point that I have neglected the state of my health. I was too busy that I have forgotten to eat regularly and to sleep on time. Basically, I was so engrossed with my work that I became unaware of the negative effects of my actions. As a result, I was exhausted all the time, I got sick more often and my body began to deteriorate externally and internally.
When I realized that these consequences could really harm me, I started to modify my schedule. I gradually lessened my work load and allotted more time for wellness and relaxation.I found yoga as the best method for natural healing. Ever since I became involved in this kind of physical exercise, days of restlessness and fast-paced itineraries were long gone. Yoga have really changed the way I live my life.
It is not only the toning of the physical body but of the mind and spirit as well. Yoga is holistic experience that strengthen all the aspects of being human.For centuries, yoga have been practiced as a form of relaxation and exercise that emanated in India. According to Sanskrit, an ancient Indian language, yoga means “union.”It is presumed that the term “union” describes the relationship between the “mind, body and spirit.” More so, yoga is also called “asana” which refers to the “practice of physical postures or poses.” It is part of “eight ‘limbs’ of yoga wherein the “the majority of which are more concerned with mental and spiritual well being than physical activity” (Pizer, 2007, “What is Yoga?”).
Moreover, based on advaita vedanta, a yoga philosophy, the goal in life is to determine true origin or nature of oneself which is also typically called by many as “self realization or God realization” (Advaita Yoga Ashrama, 2008, “Four Margas or Paths of Yoga”).To fully appreciate the world of yoga, I also studied its history and fundamental principles. Yoga originated from the “Indus Valley civilization.” The term yogi is accredited to those who practice yoga. For the yogis, yoga techniques are actuated to attain amplify spirituality. Also, they “encourage the union with the finite jiva (transitory self) and with the infinite Brahman (eternal self) which is also used to refer to ‘God’.” Yogis believe in Pantheism which teaches that “God is everything” wherein God is an an impersonal, spiritual substance, coexisting with all of reality.” Through this doctrine, human beings can be considered as a God but because of ignorance people cannot comprehend they are God.
In order to resolve this dilemma, enlightenment or an experience of union with God is needed (Allaboutspirituality.org “History of Yoga”).Before I started to practice yoga, I was a little bit apprehensive. I thought from what I saw on the television and magazines that doing yoga would only entail stretching and meditating. Also, the testimonials who have tried yoga have affected my judgment about it. Most of them disclosed that yoga is a form of physical exercise that tones the body. I was skeptic that it would bring me relaxation and tranquility because my mind usually wanders whenever I am idle and physical activities are not my idea of leisure.
I finally tried yoga when my friend insisted that my preconceived notions are incorrect. So to end our bickering about the subject, I decided to attend a class. After only one session, all my assumptions were falsified.
It came to my surprise that yoga is nothing what I have imagined. In an instant, I fell in love with yoga and I clamored for more so I took it up regularly. The practice of yoga had really improved my body, health and even my outlook in life. What sets yoga apart from other natural healing methods is that it aims for perfection. Practitioners of yoga must try to naturally attain perfection to achieve enlightenment. However, in order to get there, one should eliminate being self-centered. The path to perfection must be free from hurdles that would make practitioners of yoga deviate from their original goal. So, intense discipline of the mind, body and spirit are the fundamental factors needed to make perfection materialized.
At a cost of $12 to $16 per session, attending yoga classes is really cheap. But there is a more inexpensive way of doing yoga which is by taking bundle sessions that cost about $50 to $190 for 10 sessions. I chose the bundle sessions because achieving the effects of yoga do not happen overnight, it will take some time, effort and dedication before a practitioner can see and feel the results.During the beginner’s phase of my yoga classes, my instructor taught us different positions and the seven “chakras” or energy centers. The first chakra is “Muladhara”which is located below the spine. This brings stability and solidity to yogis. The proper posture for this chakra is the “setu bandhasana” or “bridge” which revitalizes the thigh and abdominal muscles.
The second chakra is called “Svadhisthana” which connotes sweetness and it is located at “the lower abdomen and womb area.” The “Bhujanasana or The Cobra” is the appropriate position for this chakra which starts with a lying position then the upper body is slowly drawn upwards. The third chakra is called “Manipura” which when translated refers to yellow lustrous gem. “Manipura” chakra can be found at the area of the solar plexus and the navel.
This chakra can channel will and power if the correct posture is used. The “Dhanaurasana “ or “The Bow” position concentrates on the belly.It massages the muscles for easy digestion.
The fourth chakra is “Anahata” which is situated at the heart and its function is anything that concerns with love. “Ushtrasana” of “The Camel” is the best position to open this chakra. “Visuddha” is the fifth chakra which is positioned at the throat. This chakra can purify the body using its corresponding posture called “Matsyasana” or “The Fish” which is good for “opening and calling attention to the throat.” The sixth chakra is called “Anja” which means “to know, to percieve, to command” while the last chakra is “Sahasrara” that means thousandfold. “Anja” is located at the head around the area of the third eye while “Sahasrara” is the crown or the topmost part of the head.
Both chakras can be opened using the seated yoga Mudra which will bring attention to the head of the body (About.com “Chakras and Yoga Postures). All of these postures can vary depending on the yogi. It must be balanced with proper body postures and breathing to feel the healing power of yoga. More so, it is important to note that there are several stages of yoga and practitioners must know their body limits to avoid straining the muscles and accidents as well.Yoga have helped me in many ways to improve my self.
I joined yoga classes unaware of the many benefits that I could gain from it. My lifestyle is now free from stress and tension. Moreover, yoga have trained me to be more disciplined in keeping my body, mind and spirit healthy. Now, I can enjoy life at my own pace without any worries and insecurities and I can also appreciate more the beauty of nature.;