The Origin of Yoga
Yoga originated in ancient India, and is one of the six major philosophical schools of ancient India, exploring the principles and methods of “unity of Brahman and Self”. What we call yoga in modern times is mainly a series of methods to cultivate the body and mind.
In about 300 B.C., Patanjali, the great sage of Indian yoga, composed the Yoga Sutras, on the basis of which Indian yoga really took shape, and the yogic practices were formally ordered into a complete system of eight branches. Yoga is a system that helps humans reach their full potential by raising their consciousness.
Yoga postures use ancient and easy-to-grasp techniques to improve people's physical, mental, emotional and spiritual abilities. It is a form of exercise to achieve harmony between body, mind and spirit, including asanas to regulate the body, breathing to regulate the breath, and meditation to regulate the mind, in order to achieve the unity of body and mind.
Yoga is a 5,000-year-old practice of physical, mental, and spirituality that originated in India and aims to improve your body and mind. On December 11, 2014, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 21 as International Yoga Day, and the first 6.21 International Yoga Day was held in 2015.
Top 10 Benefits of Yoga
1. Promote blood circulation
Yoga exercises accelerate the heartbeat and circulation of oxygen-rich blood, which in turn strengthens our circulation. Almost all yoga classes allow you to sweat, practice deep breathing, and speed up the heart rhythm (improving blood circulation), as well as massage and stimulate the excretory organs through twisting and bending poses. Regular yoga practice has a very detoxifying effect.
2. Increase physical strength and flexibility
Yoga postures are physical movements refined over thousands of years of practice, strengthening and extending the connective tissue of the body. Whether your body is soft or stiff, weak or strong, yoga can improve your body and mind, as well as your physical health.
A regular yoga practice can help to calm the body, mind and spirit, promote the function of the immune system, and eliminate toxins in the body caused by stress. Many participants find yoga to be the perfect cure after a hard day's work. Yoga eliminates fatigue and calms the mind. It keeps one in a state of relaxation and tranquility to enjoy life to the fullest.
4. Increase self-confidence
Yoga makes us feel healthy, strong and supple, and increases our outer and inner confidence.
5. Strengthen respiratory management
The quality of our breath often has a direct impact on our mind and body, and when we learn how to control and ease our breathing, we can find that we can control our body and mind more effectively. Yoga can help us learn to control the state of mind and eliminate the stresses we face in our daily lives.
6. Weight loss
When you practice yoga regularly, you don't feel particularly hungry and your food choices are healthier. In terms of overall healthy living, yoga can help with metabolism and reduce the desire to eat a large meal.
Yoga can keep the posture balanced. Yogis believe that many diseases in the human body, such as cervical spondylosis and lumbar spondylosis, are caused by incorrect and imbalanced posture. Through practice, it is possible to keep every small joint, spine, muscle, ligament and blood vessel in a good condition.
Yoga reduces facial wrinkles and produces a natural “facelift” effect. This is largely due to inversions. Our normal upright position encourages gravity to pull the muscles down. Over time, the facial muscles begin to collapse. By standing upside down for a few minutes a day, we are able to reverse the effect of gravity and make it work to help us rejuvenate our facial muscles so that they do not sag, it reduces wrinkles and naturally flattens the skin. Yoga inversions can often restore gray hair to its original color and delay the gray hair phenomenon. This is because inversions increase the amount of blood flowing to the hair follicles in the scalp. This position increases the elasticity of the joints and removes pressure from the joints' blood vessels and nerves, allowing more blood to flow to the scalp muscles. This means that the hair follicles receive more nutrients and produce a greater abundance of healthy hair.
9. Increase disease resistance
Yoga builds a strong physique and an increased immune system. This strengthened resistance can deal with a wide range of serious illnesses from colds to cancer, for example.
10. Improve vision and hearing
Normal vision and hearing depend primarily on good blood circulation and nerve transmission to the eyes and ears. The nerves and blood vessels that supply the eyes and ears must pass through the neck. As we age, the neck, like the rest of the spine, loses its elasticity, and the nerves and blood vessels may have difficulty traveling through the neck. This hinders the supply of nerves and blood to the eyes and ears, thus affecting their functioning. Yoga postures and yoga neck exercises can improve the condition of the neck and thus strengthen vision and hearing.
Effects of Yoga on Mental Functioning
According to Berger & Owen, yoga activities can provide individuals with a sense of pleasure and satisfaction, and contribute to physical health. In addition, their study found that Hatha Yoga had the most significant effect on reducing anxiety and stress, and also had a positive effect on mood enhancement. The practice of yoga can improve the psychological quality of an individual.
1. Endocrine function and psychology
Cortisol secretion rises under the effect of high anxiety, high fear situations or prolonged static pleasurable emotions, while cortisol secretion rises when engaging in yoga in a tranquil and pleasant mood. Cortisol has the function of promoting the body's anti-stress or anxiety response, buffering the physiological and psychological responses to stressful stimuli in a negative feedback manner. According to the role of hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenaline, the increase of cortisol secretion can immediately control the role of HPA by negative feedback, which can lead to the decrease of adrenaline secretion, and then make the hormone secretion of adrenaline in high arousal situation decrease, which can prevent the body from excessive arousal and excessive emotional reaction, and indirectly make the mental and emotional state more relaxed and stable.
2. Muscle function and psychology
Yoga is similar to progressive muscle relaxation training. The purpose of progressive muscle relaxation training is to relax the individual's nerves and muscles, as a way to deal with stress reduction, and it operates like a method of self-referral training, which relaxes the body to achieve a relaxed mental state. The effect of progressive muscle relaxation training is quite extensive, doubling the proven ability to reduce anxiety, enhance self-concept, reduce the pain of insomnia, etc.
3. Respiratory function and psychology
Berger and Owen suggest that deep breathing has a calming effect on the mood because it is closely related to the autonomic nerves that govern the emotions, which normally govern breathing. Once the mood or body is stimulated by the outside world, it will affect the breathing rate and produce disorders. For example, when the mood is excited or angry, the breathing becomes shallow, short and intense, the nerves more excited, if the breathing is stabilized, the mood is also settled down. Deep breathing has a stabilizing effect on the emotions, and thus eliminate tension and stress.
4. Social relationship function and psychology
Yoga is a static, non-competitive activity, and one of the few activities that can be done indoors regardless of weather or space. All practitioners can enjoy stretching their bodies together, thus strengthening their relationship with each other. Furthermore, yoga is not limited by age, gender or physical fitness, so it can be practiced with family members to enhance bonding. Through physical activity, life becomes more fulfilling, and through the activity, many new friends can be made to meet the needs of human interaction.
Yoga focuses on the unity of mind and body. Through asanas, breathing exercises and meditation, it not only improves health, but also has positive effects on the nervous system, endocrine, digestive, cardiopulmonary and immune systems, etc. For individuals with physical diseases, this static, non-impact property is even more suitable. In addition to the physical benefits, it also contributes to the improvement of psychological functions through endocrine, muscular, respiratory, and social relations functions, resulting in mental pleasure and relaxation.
“What Yoga Has Taught Me”
1. Communicate with yourself
The most common words we hear when we encounter yoga are “sense the present moment” and “connect with yourself”. Yoga not only increases our physical flexibility, but also develops self-awareness, helping us to pay attention to our true thoughts and feelings in any moment.
2. Appreciate the value of others
Yoga ends with a namaste, which means "please kindly advise". We need to make warm and valuable connections with others. In the workplace, leaders also need to be open to a variety of perspectives and then synthesize them into solutions.
3. Improve concentration
It is well known that yoga practices our concentration. In our work life, we face many distractions every day, practicing yoga can better avoid unwarranted distractions and increase efficiency.
4. Makes you strong and humble
Balancing asanas in yoga poses requires amazing strength and you need to stay humble. In the workplace, humility is a great quality for employees and an important leadership quality.
5. Rest and recovery
The last "great rest pose" in yoga seems to be just lying down and resting. Those who have been practicing yoga for a long time know that this pose is the most important one, which allows you to rest, gain and rejuvenate.
Notes for practicing yoga
- It is important to warm up your body. Do not do difficult movements at the beginning to avoid sports injuries. It is best to do some yoga warm-up moves first, step by step, to avoid the body from being shocked.
- When practicing, make sure to keep the room relatively quiet and the air must be circulated. Do not practice on a bed that is too soft, prepare a yoga mat and then practice in your pajamas, barefoot.
- Practicing yoga does not have to be done exactly according to the movements of the video, the practitioner can do as many movements as he can remember, and the order of the movements is not set in stone, he should do whatever he wants, as long as he keeps his breathing smooth and his mind calm.
- When practicing yoga, each movement must be kept for 3 to 5 breaths, and you should feel happy after practicing yoga rather than physically sore and tired, or even painful.
- You should never force yourself to practice yoga. Yoga does not have to be done every day, but only when you are in a good mood, your body feels good and you have free time to do yoga, you will have twice the result with half the effort.
Nass,R,W,Limber up with Yoga.Jdeal for cyclist,yoga will stretch your muscles and relax your body ,Cycling Journal,1998,21(2).70-74