What Is Yoga

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Yoga is a system of techniques that reflects real and proven scientific concepts. Many things Western scientists understand about the body have actually been known by yoga practitioners for centuries. Yoga sees the body from a different perspective than traditional Western medicine, but the basic principles are the same. What we Westerners call nerve plexus, yoga calls chakras (although these terms don't coincide precisely—chakras include psychospiritual energy). What we Westerners call spinal alignment, yoga accomplishes through various poses or exercises designed to do what many of us pay chiropractors to do. The human body is in a constant state of flux, continually adjusting internally to the influence of a changing external environment. Western medicine calls this process homeostasis. Yoga's five sheaths of existence—in essence, the body, the breath, the emotions, the intellect, and happiness—reflect the same need for balance between internal and external forces. The terminology may be different, but the concepts are universal.

Yoga (pronounced YOH-gah) is derived from the Sanskrit root yuj, meaning "to yoke or join together." Prana (PRAH-nah) is a form of energy in the universe that animates all physical matter, including the human body. Prana is the soul of the universe. Doing yoga maximizes your body's flow of the universal life force, giving you better health and increased vitality. Chakras (CHAH-krahs) are centers of energy located between the base of your spinal column and the crown of your head. Each chakra has a corresponding color, sound, perception, and biological function. Note that the actual spelling of chakra is cakra, but this spelling isn't commonly used.

Yoga (pronounced YOH-gah) is derived from the Sanskrit root yuj, meaning "to yoke or join together." Prana (PRAH-nah) is a form of energy in the universe that animates all physical matter, including the human body. Prana is the soul of the universe. Doing yoga maximizes your body's flow of the universal life force, giving you better health and increased vitality. Chakras (CHAH-krahs) are centers of energy located between the base of your spinal column and the crown of your head. Each chakra has a corresponding color, sound, perception, and biological function. Note that the actual spelling of chakra is cakra, but this spelling isn't commonly used.

Yoga is a fun activity that can produce powerful results. Yoga will wake up your body, sharpen your mind, and clarify your spirit. Yoga doesn't hurt, is only as difficult as you make it, and allows you to proceed at an individualized pace. Yoga can be a tiny part of your life; or you can incorporate its theories, rituals, postures, diet, and philosophy into every aspect of your life. You control how deeply yoga touches you. But if you begin a steady practice, be assured that yoga will transform the way you look, feel, move, breathe, and interact with friends, family, and co-workers.

Life in the West (the Occident, as opposed to the Orient) is no picnic. Sure, it's exciting, even exhilarating, but after all the pressures, stresses, responsibilities, frustrations, resentments, choices, temptations, and obsessions the average Westerner has faced by the end of a typical working day, it's no wonder we are a culture eagerly searching for ways to simplify our lives.

So how can yoga help? In the face of a daily existence that is so vibrant it almost vibrates us apart, yoga is an oasis. Yoga teaches the frantic mind to settle and find peace, and it helps the ravaged body to heal itself by optimizing our natural ability to heal, and by building physical confidence as well as emotional well-being. Yoga removes scattered energy, replaces depleted energy, and keeps your body, including all its internal systems, toned and in good working order.

Yoga doesn't hurt and isn't about unnatural contortion. Sure, accomplished yogis may be able to move into seemingly impossible positions, but these postures are for people who have progressed to a level where such positions are possible and helpful. Some bodies are born more flexible than others. Each person has to find his or her own edge—the point just before discomfort occurs—and grow into it at a comfortable pace. We're all working the same edge, just in different places!

So ... what are we getting at here, you ask? Yoga is the best life insurance policy there is. It helps you slow down, center yourself, and get the most out of your life so that every day is precious. By holding the body in a series of yoga postures that stretch and strengthen your muscles, loosen your joints, focus your breathing, and tone your

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Beginners Guide To Yoga

Beginners Guide To Yoga

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