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The benefits of yoga practice: Understanding how yoga works, by Arun

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Understanding how yoga works

The past few years have seen a meteoric rise of yoga as a major stress-reliever, fitness  provider and as a tool for contentment.
While the cynics would have us believe that yoga is a fad,  we don’t believe it is. It  cannot be because it’s existed for centuries and it has tremendous PROVEN benefits for physical and mental health.
Yoga works on the complex relationship that exists between the body and mind. The reason why various fitness programs often fall over their head is because of the unsustainable momentum created when you first start working with them. The difference between  expectations and actual results is far too wide. As a consequence, boredom sets in followed by a frustration and  the eventual giving up. The benefits gained are too shallow for the practice to be sustained.
Yoga, on the contrary, grows upon you slowly in such a way that the mind and body  remain in perfect sync. As this harmony is developed, an inexplicable bliss or contentment is created which makes you WANT to go on.
Yoga understands the union between the body, mind and  energy. In fact, the word yoga means union. It  simultaneously works in an interconnected manner so that the development of the body automatically leads to the development of the mind and energy and vice versa. This creates a remarkable re-enforcing effect, which leads to  the stable development of the student.
Done with awareness, yoga postures tone the muscles, organs, joints and ligaments of the body, bringing physical well being.  Simultaneously, they free up energy blockages and help in channeling the energy (Prana) more appropriately.  This in turn has a profound effect on the mind. Thinking becomes clearer, and one experiences a unique calmness. These mental effects will motivate you to proceed with a daily yoga asanas practice.
Similarly, yoga breathing and relaxation techniques  re-enforce the benefits so gained. These work on the  balancing of various energy flows in the body to provide maximum benefits. The breathing (Pranayama) techniques are very effective in transforming moods and  dull mental states – a need that is felt today more than ever before.
As you can see, the diverse benefits prove the desirability of bringing yoga into our daily routine, for these benefits can only be gained through a regular yoga practice, so it could be a good idea to develop a weekly schedule to start out on the yoga path.
To help you do this, the ‘Health and Yoga’ team have compiled a special ‘yoga kit’ this season. See for more advice on the subject.
Or find a yoga class locally, to get advice on how to develop a balanced yoga practice.

Life is beautiful and yoga helps you realize it. Embrace  yoga for what it can bring to your mind and body.