Tuesday, October 16, 2007

YOGA FOR ALL

YOGA FOR ALL
SOURCE: YOGACHARIYA T.G.CHIDAMBARAM, Kochi.
YOGA is generally understood to be a system of physical exercises for keeping the bodyfit. But many do not know that it is a therapy capable of curing many diseases. Scientists in India and abroad have done a lot of research on this aspect. The results are encouraging. Yogasanas have been found to be of great utility in tackling diseases which are yet to be fully tamed by modern medicine such as hypertension, heart disease and diabetes. Another advantage of Yoga therapy is that it is cost-effective.
The list of diseases for which Yoga offers relief is long. It includes common ailments such as gastric troubles, indigestion, piles, headaches, backache, hernia, arthritis, cholestrol-related problems, obesity, gynaecological problems, sexual difficulties, ulcers and spondylosis. Yoga has been found to be an antidote for problems of the mind such as fear, depression, anxiety, memory loss, stress, insomnia, drug addiction and short temperedness.
The practice of yoga instils discipline. As one starts doing the asanas, one begins to overcome anger and vengeful thoughts. As a consequence, stress becomes less. He develops qualities such as patience, tolerance, kindness and love. The gurus of Yoga claim that even criminals can be converted into useful citizens by making them practise Yoga and by systemizing their food habits.
Yogasanas are simple and can be done by people of either sex and of any age. But there are doubts and misconceptions among many regarding this ancients system. One myth is that Yoga is only for mendicants. Another is that celibacy is prerequisite for practicing the asanas. Another mistaken notion is that it is a part of Hindu religion and therefore unsuitable for believers of other faiths.
Some spread the falsehood that it is highly damaging for the body even to stop practice for a day; or that error in the way you breathe during exercises can be fatal.
Such rumours are spread by selfish people who want to monopolise the system. Risk of injury is very low in Yoga. There is no harm in learning the asanas with the help of a book which has descriptions and pictures. However, there can be doubt that a book cannot replace a teacher. And advanced and difficult asanas should be done only under the guidance of a guru.
Yoga has become popular in many foreign countries where people from all walks of life practice it. In Australia and Canada, Yoga has been introduced among jail inmates.
The technique of Yoga is capable of bringing not only health but the much-needed tranquility and contentedness to mankind. It is foolish not to make use of this God-given gift.
General Instructions
1. Yogasanas are to be practiced in airy places. It is good to reserve a room exclusively for practicing. It should be kept clean and free of dust.
2. The asanas may be done in an open space or on the terrace of the buildings if interruptions are unlikely.
3. They should be done in the mornings after ablutions. Those unable to practice in the mornings may do so in the evenings. If need be, one may practice twice a day.
4. Early mornings (between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.) and late evenings (4 p.m. to 8 p.m.)are ideal.
5. It is preferable to do the exercises with an empty stomach or a couple of hours after eating.
6. It is enough for men to wear shorts. Women should wear outfit which does not come in the way of exercises. 7. The students of Yoga should suspend practice temporarily if they catch a cold or fever or are affected by any other diseases.
8. There is no harm in regular students missing practice for a few days.
9. There is no harm if a person, who had been doing asanas for a long, stops them suddenly for some reason
10. Weight lifters, pugilists, gymnasts and boxers may not gain much by practicing yoga. But players of games like hockey and football will benefit from doing asana.
11. It may be preferable for alcoholics not to go for yoga. But those who kick the habit will benefit from it.
12. Tea, coffee and smoking should be minimised.
13. During periods, women should avoid doing asanas for three or four days. But they may do breathing exercises and Savasana.
14. Pregnant women will benefit from doing yoga twice a day. But they should avoid Dhanurasana and Naukasana which will strain the abdomen.
15. Yogasanas are simple. There is no harm if there are flaws in the method of doing asanas or breathing exercises. So, one may do these exercises just by reading and following the instructions.16. Yoga is not magic. There is no secrecy involved and it is a myth that practicing without guru will invite serious consequences.

Friday, October 12, 2007

YOGA FOR WOMEN

Why YOGA: Yoga asanas tone up the internal organs of the body. Other exercises affect only the muscles outwardly. Yoga asanas improve mental power and help in controlling sense organs. Yoga practice is superior to other physical exercises. Yoga is multifarious- an art, a science, a philosophy, a culture and to a few a religion all in unison.
Why YOGA to Women: Women in the modern era faces a number of physical and mental disorders due to stress and tension such as headache, backache, low back pain, knee joint pain, weakness and the like. Her monthly periods are physically painful and disturb her emotionally. Excessive bleeding, stomach pain and backache makes her depressed. Women of middle age suffer from post-delivery problems, uterus problems, menstrual problems etc.

Medicines give only temporary relief and do not solve the problems completely. Health cannot be purchased. Yoga is a science of health. After marriage, some women add flesh to their bodies and grow fat and flabby and loose beauty. Regular practice of yoga keeps them slim, healthy and small. Yoga is for beauty. Some women become lean and anaemic after child birth. Yoga practices keep them strong. It is seen that the offspring of couples practicing yoga are healthy and clever. Hence for healthy generation Yoga is essential for women. If a woman practices yoga, the whole family will be trained in yoga.

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