Yoga has long been touted as being the most popular means of obtaining relaxation and improving one’s wellbeing. The original meaning of the word is “union”, which enforces the concept of living in unity with one’s self, others, and the environment. It is believed that everything, people, nature, and the elements, are all interconnected in their own way, even if those connections are not readily appreciated by the five senses.
Yoga does not remove us from the reality or responsibilities of everyday life but rather places our feet firmly and resolutely in the practical ground of experience. We don’t transcend our lives; we return to the life we left behind in the hopes of something better. ~ Donna Farhi
Living Well through Vibrations
Everything in the universe is capable of some level of energy vibration, which is quite invisible to the human eyes. However, it is an energy that can be experienced through one’s yearning for unity, and can help to improve on the levels of happiness that can be attained. It is through yoga that this truth of unity can be experienced and further enhance the chances of living well, so that one may reap the many gifts of improved relationships with other people and nature.
Yoga is regarded as the complete science of achieving wellbeing and improving human health. There are eight different limbs of Yoga, including Yama (how people conduct themselves in everyday life), Niyama (the concept of self-discipline and spiritual observance), Asana (the physical aspect that most people are familiar with), the Pranayama (control over breathing), Pratyahara (systematic withdrawal from the external world to find sanctuary within one’s self), Dhyana (meditative absorption into a single object), Dharana (focusing on said object at the exclusion of all other thoughts), and Samadhi (which can only be described as eternal bliss of one’s inner being). It is through these eight limbs that one can learn to achieve a purposeful and meaningful life in order to achieve true tranquility.
The Benefits to Achieving Tranquility
Many of those who take up yoga may only see the relaxation aspect of the practice without considering the other benefits that could be achieved through yoga. One of the first primary aspects is taking care of the physical body. It is through the Asana postures that help the body to relax and achieve the natural flexibility that it should have. By increasing flexibility, the muscles and joints will experience fewer aches and are less susceptible to arthritis and degenerative joint disease in the future.
Pranayama – the breathing exercises – serve to take care of the energy body. Breathing correctly can increase blood flow throughout the body, which is essential to helping the body heal as well as increasing concentration on those daily tasks that need to get done. Increased oxygen flow to the brain also achieves more relaxation, especially during those stressful periods that may occur, and can help you to deal with these problems in a more rational manner.
Mental strength and poise are achieved through Pratyahara and Dhyana, where the mind is focused solely on achieving bliss and ignoring the other distractions of the world that may cause unnecessary stress.
The real healing properties of Yoga come from the elimination of toxins within the body by going through the eight legs. These toxins come from daily stress and tension that can be caused by work or other factors. Those who seem to only focus on the physical aspects of Yoga (the postures) have noticed a tremendous improvement in physical, mental and spiritual health. It is through the increased blood flow to the muscles, joints and organs that facilitate the removal of these toxins so that the body can function at a better capacity without leading to exhaustion.
How to Achieve Tranquility?
Yoga itself can be performed as many times a day as you need, for as long as you need. However, in order to start receiving the gifts that yoga has to offer, it is best to do it every day. It is best to do so during a time of the day when you won’t be disturbed, as interruption can disrupt concentration and throw off the flow of relaxation that is trying to be achieved. Doing so on an empty stomach is best, as the experience of fullness can lead to one losing focus.
Only a few minutes each day is necessary for you to start seeing changes in your health, even as little as ten to fifteen minutes. What is most important is consistency, so engage in yoga at the same time each do so that you can look forward to the relaxation of the energies around you.
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Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured. –B.K.S. Iyengar