Benefits of Yoga
Combined with meditation, yoga liberates vast resources of energy and keeps our physical, physiological, psychical and spiritual systems in radiant health. Yoga folds moments of stillness and moments of movement into one another. In this practice, you explore your body’s terrain to experience intense body sensations. Your body gets lubricated, your joints and muscles function smoothly, your blood circulation increases and your entire skeletal system gets toned.
Practicing yoga teaches you how to relax your muscles so that your mind also relaxes. When mind is anxious body gets tensed. When mind is calm body also calms down. The simple reason is that body and mind are connected.
Try practicing Shavasana (the Corpse Pose) when you feel agitated. Lay down on the floor with your legs slightly apart and your arms away from your body. One by one, tense and then relax each part of your body starting from your feet all the way up to your head and face. You will find yourself completely relaxed.
Surya Namaskar, (Sun Salutation) limbers up the whole body in preparation for any yoga session. It is a graceful sequence of twelve positions performed as one continuous exercise. If practiced daily it brings great flexibility to the spine and may trim your waist.
A core routine, five to twenty postures (which may or may not include the Sun Salutation) practiced at least for one year takes you deeper into your body. You stretch, lift and maintain your balance. With each posture, you remain aware of your breath, just feeling the posture and residing in its stillness. You try to move to the very limits of each muscle and joint.
Silently, you send message to each muscle to flex and relax. In time, you extend your message to involuntary muscles such as the circulatory system, the digestive system and other systems.
Advanced students of yoga watch their body as it tenses and relaxes and pay attention to how their mind sends message to each part of their body about what to do. They witness their movements and still postures with detachment. By detaching themselves from their own body they identify with the observer within, the consciousness. At the end of such a session, sensations of melting down, of expansion, of lightness and warmth suffuses their whole body.
With passing years, as we age our body functions less efficiently. By keeping the body toned, lubricated and blood-circulation flowing well, we too can significantly reduce the process of cell deterioration.
In the attached video I am practicing yoga with my three grandchildren.