Yoga – History, Health Benefits, Types, and Methods

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Yoga is a type of mental and physical practice which helps to improve fitness, have better concentration and cure mental illness. It is mainly originated in ancient India and has a set of disciplines and spiritual practices.

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 History

Yoga’s history is somehow uncertain as there are many references in different sacred texts. Some researchers have traced the development of Yoga can be over 5000 years, but this is a debatable topic as some of them thinks this could be over 10,000 years. Yoga has a long and rich history. They have four divisions based on the innovation, practice and development of Yoga.

Pre- Classical Yoga

It is noticed that Yoga was developed first during Indus-Sarasvati civilisation in north India over 5000 years ago. It is being observed from the Vedas that Yoga was developed by the Brahmins and Rishis. The Rishis documented their practices and thought process in Upanishads.

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Classical Yoga

The classical period provides the first presentation in a systematic way. Patanjali’s Yoga-sutra has detailed information about the classical period of the Yoga. Patanjali is widely known for influencing the other yoga styles.

Post- Classical Yoga

After a few centuries, Yoga masters rejected the teachings from Vedas and started embracing the physical body as a way to achieve enlightenment. That is why they created a system of practices to make the body fit and have a prolonged life.

Modern period

Yoga got immense popularity in late 1800s and early 1900s when yoga masters started influencing the west. The influence of the west made Yoga popular, and many of the masters gained an immense following.

Health Benefits

Everyday Yoga practice helps in having a good, calm, concentrated and healthy lifestyle. Yoga can lower blood pressure and even cure insomnia. The benefits of Yoga are:

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  1. Yoga increases the flexibility of your body.
  2. Yoga increases muscle strength and also tones body.
  3. Yoga improves respiration and thus gives more energy and vitality to the body.
  4. Yoga also helps in maintaining and balancing the metabolism systems.
  5. Practising yoga every day can lead to weight reduction.
  6. Yoga has a great influence on the cardio and circulatory health.
  7. People involved with athletics, practice Yoga as it improves performance.
  8. Yoga looks after your mental health.
  9. Yoga enhances meditation power.
  10. Yoga helps to keep calm and to fight against the mental problem.

Methods

Yoga creates an impact on body, mind and even soul of a human being. Usually, there are four main practices. They are:

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  • Karma Yoga – It is ideal for people with active temperament. It helps in performing actions without worrying about the future.
  • Bhakti Yoga – It is perfect for the emotional people. It creates an embodiment of love through chanting mantras, prayer and the rituals.
  • Jnana Yoga – This Yoga is mostly for the intellectual people; the teaching and analysing the Vedanta helps them to recognise the better side of themselves.
  • Raja Yoga – It is a science of having control within body and mind through meditations, asanas and pranayamas.

Types of Yoga

There are many types and styles of Yoga, but no style is more superior to another. The key to fitness is to choose the appropriate ones, types of Yoga are:

  • Ashtanga Yoga
  • Bikram Yoga
  • Hatha Yoga
  • Iyenger Yoga
  • Jivamukti Yoga
  • Kundalini Yoga
  • Kripalu Yoga
  • Power Yoga
  • Sivananda Yoda
  • Viniyoga
  • Yin
  • Prenatal Yoga
  • Restorative Yoga

Practising yoga every day can help you to have a healthy, fit and a proper lifestyle. You can find a trainer or can practice from tutorial available on YouTube.

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