Thevery first time I heard about yoga was in a movie. The person doingthe routine was seated with crossed legs and was harming softly. Thismade them looked so relaxed. In my mind therefore, I had this idea ofyoga as a method of meditation where people sat and hummed so thatthey could relieve stress and tension from their bodies. However, Irecently had an opportunity to attend a yoga class and was able tolearn a lot about the discipline. The following is what I learntabout yoga.
is not just a physical process but it also involves the mind andspirit of the individual undertaking it (Crawford, 2003). The pointof the whole process is to transform the body and the mind from astate of restlessness to a state of peace and relaxation. Itoriginates from ancient/ pre-Vedic Indian traditions and wasdeveloped around the fifth and sixth centuries. It was introduced towestern countries by Indian yoga gurus. In western countries, it ismostly used as a form of physical exercise. This does not howeverundermine the mental and spiritual elements of the discipline.
Ilearnt that there are different ways through which one can look atyoga. One such way is that yoga is a disciplined way of attaining agoal. This will apply when practice restricts an individual fromundertaking certain activities that may hinder them from achievingthe set goals or objectives. The other way of looking at yoga is as atechnique of controlling the body and the mind. The physicalexercises that are involved help an individual to have better controlof their body. There are exercises that also develop the mind. Thereare scholars who describe yoga as the rising and expansion of thebody and mind. This simply explains that yoga as a discipline willhelp individuals to develop better abilities with their bodies and itwill also help to concentrate and expand the power of their minds.Finally there is the view of yoga that is more spiritual and lessphysical. This is the view of yoga as a way of achieving omniscienceand as a tool through which we enter into other bodies, generatemultiple bodies and attain additional supernatural abilities.
Thephysical and mental exercises that a person does in yoga have bothadvantages and disadvantages. The advantages that I found outinclude: increased flexibility. One of the most known things aboutyoga is that a person doing the exercises will have to fold theirbody in positions that are usually hard for the average person. Doingthis over and over increases the flexibility of that individual.Weight reduction is also an advantage of yoga. This is especially ifthe individual undergoes dietary restrictions and also engagesactively in the exercises. There is also the advantage of a bettercardio and circulatory health of individuals. This is also attributedto the physical exercises that are done in yoga. Finally, there isthe fact that yoga helps to improve the mental capacity of theindividual. This is done by helping the individual to relax and focusthe mental energy. The major disadvantage of yoga is that it maycause physical injury to an individual. The exercises are usuallytough and if an individual pushes too hard they may bring physicalinjury to themselves (Vishnudevanada, 1988).
Insummary, I learnt of the origin and different views of . I alsolearnt that the practice is aimed at making the life of an individualbetter by improving their physical, mental and spiritual status.There is definitely more to yoga than sitting with crossed legs andhumming softly.
Crawford,S. C. (2003). Hindu bioethics for the twenty-first century. Albany:State University of New York Press.
Vishnudevananda,. (1988). The complete illustrated book of yoga. New York: ThreeRivers Press.