As a practice that is truly ancient, yoga has come a long way. Indeed, with origins more than 5000 years ago, in India, it is still one of the most powerful forms of exercise and meditation. No wonder celebrities like Sting, Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow, Gisele Bundchen and many others have adopted yoga as their mantra for bliss and wellness, both physical and mental.
But there is a certain intrigue that surrounds this holistic discipline. It’s shrouded in a veil of mystery, drawing its strength from the meditative practices of the orient. And yet, there is a flourishing market for yoga products and organic accessories—a result of the practice’s many benefits.
Yoga – Then and Now
While centuries old, the basic essence of Yoga has stayed the same. It has been flexible (pun intended) enough to accommodate the changing needs of the human body.
Then – The yogis practiced it as an entire discipline of life, and not just a route to six-pack abs. It was a way of living.
For people who learn this art in its purest form, there are 8 aspects:
- Yama or the principles
- Niyama or the spiritual observance/self-discipline
- Aasana or the positions/postures
- Pranayama or the breathing
- Pratyahara or the withdrawing of the senses
- Dharana or the concentration on an object
- Dhyan or meditation
- Samadhi or salvation
Now – It seems the practice has strayed from its enlightened origins to a mere fitness routine. Yoga studios, yoga fashion, hot yoga, power yoga, and a whole array of yoga brands have taken over the traditional nature. And, salvation is definitely not the aim. But this affords a greater level of accessibility and development from the many aids and instructors.
Are the New Trends in Yoga Bad?
We don’t think so. Although life has changed drastically in these 5000 years, Yoga still moves people toward spiritual well being, addressing their day to day health issues, stress, and awareness of their thinking and spirituality.
Some Modern Additions to Yoga
While the ancient yoga practices warranted an austere life, today, it is much easier. The health market offers an array of merchandise that makes your yogic journey easier. Yoga mats, towels, and blocks; meditation candles; therapeutic balls; organic meditation cushions; and straps are now at your disposal.
These additions give a new definition to this ancient art, and now’s the time to get into the practice.
What Yoga Can Do for You Today
Today, 30 minutes of yoga does more for your well-being than many gym memberships can offer. And light meditation surely forms a part of any yogic regime.
But why is it believed to be so beneficial?Because:
- It has the ability to heal you physically, mentally and emotionally.
- Its exercises have a strengthening effect on your muscles, core strength, stamina, and flexibility, through stretching and coordinated patterns of breathing.
- It helps bring down the stress levels; it’s therapeutic in nature.
- It helps improve concentration by revitalizing the nervous system.
- Just the breathing and practicing the asanas can alleviate stress, anxiety, mood swings, depression, and even help in remedying mental and sleep disorders.
- Basic yogic exercises can help regulate blood pressure and rejuvenate the body.
- It gives an overall gratified and calm feeling.
- The yogic accessories make it a pleasant and feasible activity, easy to jump in as a novice.
Thinking of exploring Yoga? It’s never a bad idea.