Introduction to Yoga
Yoga is the science of right living and, as such, is intended to be incorporated in daily life. It works on all aspects of the person: the physical, vital, mental, emotional, psychic and spiritual. The word yoga means ‘unity’ or ‘oneness’ and is derived from the Sanskrit word yuj, which means ‘to join’. More than just a practice of physical exercises, Yoga is the coming together of the individual self or consciousness, with the infinite universal consciousness or spirit. Yoga is a method of inquiry in to the nature of the mind, which emphasizes practice and direct experience.
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, muscles and nerves no longer function in harmony; rather they act in opposition to each other. For instance, the endocrine system might become irregular and the efficiency of the nervous system decrease to such an extent that a disease will manifest. Yoga aims at bringing the different bodily functions into perfect coordination so that they work for the good of the whole body.
Benefits of Yoga during the pandemic
Performing yoga could achieve greater success in fighting the novel corona virus as it boosts the immune system. There are many yogic asanas, or postures, that boost the endocrine system, strengthening the thyroid and adrenal glands, as well as the liver. Hormonal balance is key to improving immunity. A person with strong immunity has greater success in fighting the COVID-19 infection. Practicing yoga is best suited during the pandemic because it manages physical and mental issues.
Restrictions on traveling, panic situations over the risk of infection and death, continuous flow of negative news all around the world led to a rapid increase in anxiety and stress level. Besides staying connected to family and friends and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, yoga could help keep anxiety and mental health in check, strengthen muscles and it can help remove toxins from the body. Anxiety and stress trigger the sympathetic nervous system which causes several problems including hypertension, lack of concentration, shortness of breath and loss of appetite. A yogic lifestyle helps to calm our minds because it triggers our parasympathetic nervous system through various asanas and pranayama breath control in yoga, which helps to reduce tension in muscles and joints.
Yoga could be considered an all-round exercise that will take care of the body, mind and soul. Practicing it has been known to be beneficial for all ages. “Yoga is for health, harmony and happiness” and one can achieve “mindfulness and thoughtless state” practicing yoga.