When teaching Yoga classes to the public, it is important to remember that what we see as useful, may be worthless to new students, who are entering classes. After Yoga certification, a teacher may see the last four limbs of Patanjali’s Yoga as important. These last four limbs of Yoga are very useful for self-realization, concentration, meditation, and Samadhi.
Although this is not a reflection of Patanjali’s Yoga, the most popular Yogic principle is proper exercise provided by asanas – postures – which work on all parts of the body, stretching and toning the ligaments and muscles, that keep the spine and joints supple.
Performing Yoga asana also aids in pain relief, and improves the immune system, increases circulation, and helps to remove toxins. Asanas tone muscles and internal organs. They increase circulation, without causing fatigue, as in physical exercise. Asanas are also able to reduce, and control, physical pain.
Asanas and pranayama can help with ailments, such as: chronic fatigue, asthma, heart disease, and varicose veins. One study, on the effect of Hatha Yoga over a period of 6 months (The Sivananda Companion to Yoga – Swami Vishnu Devananda Fireside 1983) revealed increased lung capacity and respiration, reduced body weight, and an improvement in stress control.
Also, Yoga helped in lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Laboratories, in India, have been looking into the therapeutic powers of particular asanas, and found that many basic postures heal and prevent certain ailments. Asanas, such as the corpse pose, have been shown to reduce high blood pressure, indigestion, asthma, and many other conditions.
Another example is Bhujangasana (the cobra posture), which is seen to give relief from backache, heal or prevent kidney problems, reduce pain from menstrual disorders, and improve poor posture. Yoga, therefore, can be seen as a curative and preventative medicine. It has a restorative effect on the body. Through regular Yoga practice, it can also reduce the catabolic process of cell deterioration, by keeping the body parts clean and toned.
© Copyright 2010 – Sanjeev Patel / Aura Publications
Sanjeev Patel is a certified Yoga teacher and an exclusive author for Aura Wellness Center.
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