INTRODUCTION TO YOGA • The word yoga is derived from the Sanskrit language which means to unite or harmonize. It was developed at least 5000 years ago by a Yogi called Pantanjali. • Yoga is used to make the mind and body function together harmoniously. • Yoga can also refer to the union between individual and something greater, for example God(s), the Divine or something on those lines. Although yoga does not represent any particular religion. It mainly aims to help people reach there full potential and a heightened consciousness. This is achieved through techniques that are accessible to anyone who is interested. These techniques are used for the development of every human faculty: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.
BRANCHES OF YOGA • The science of Yoga is vast with each branch focusing on a different means of achieving union with the Divine or the greatness of human potential. The many branches are used to accommodate many people. • The different types of branches are : • Hatha Yoga – This works through the mastery of the body and breath, it’s also the most practical of all the types and the best known. It’s a form of exercise used through physical postures, breathing and relaxation techniques. • Raja Yoga – Works through the mastery of the mind, involving mental disciplines, working towards mastering consciousness and stilling the thoughts of the mind. • Jnana Yoga – Works through the knowledge of one’s self and involves study of the individuals preferred scriptures and meditation. • Bhakti Yoga – Works through love and devotion, it involves devotion of the preferred deity guru or prophet. • Karma Yoga – Works through selfless action and service. • Mantra Yoga – Works through vocal or mental repetition of sacred sounds. • Laya or Kundalini Yoga – Working through awakening and rising the body’s latent psychic nerve force through several energy centres. It involves a combination of Hatha Yoga techniques and focuses on breathing suspension and intense meditation. • Tantric Yoga – One of the most common applications of Yoga and works through harnessing of sexual energy. It involves controlling these energies and it may practiced alone.
HOW IT’S ABLE TO IMPROVE HEALTH • Yoga is able to give an individual some of the following health benefits: • Wellbeing and happiness. • Enhance body awareness. • Stress relief and prevention. • It’s also able to improve breathing patterns. • It improves flexibility. • Improves posture. • Improves sleep. • Helps an individual think positively. RISKS OF YOGA • Some of the risks involved with Yoga are: • If an individual completes Yoga techniques in an incorrect manner they may face injuries such as muscle strains and tears. This can be prevented by warming up and correctly following Yoga instructions.
BIBLIOGRAPHY • The Yoga Handbook – Noa Belling. • And the brains of Tricia and Ash