Treasure of ancient India

  • Yoga is basically an ancient physical, mental, and spiritual practice that had originated in India possibly around the 5th century BC is considered an effective workout.
  • Yoga has been practiced in India since ages.
  • The origin of yoga can be found in the Yogasutra of Patanjali.
  • Vyasa who composed the first commentary on the Yoga Sutras, states that yoga means samādhi (concentration).
  • The practice of Yoga integrally exist within the Zen Buddhist school
  • Guru Nanak propounded the path of Nama yoga or Sahaja yoga, which means meditation on the name.
  • Hatha yoga texts began to emerge between the ninth and eleventh century with origins in tantra.
  • Yoga is one of the six Āstika/orthodox schools of Hindu philosophical customs.
  • According to Pāṇini, the term yoga can be derived from either of the two roots, namely yuj samādhau (“to concentrate”) or yujir yoga (to yoke).
  • As per the classical Astanga yoga system, the ultimate goal of yoga practice is to accomplish the state of Samadhi and live in that state as pure awareness.
  • It is a comprehensive approach to achieve wellness.
  • It recognizes the vital connection between the body and the mind and this philosophy is considered a means of achieving mukti or freedom.
  • Yoga as an exercise comprises to a great extent of the postures or asanas.
  • Yoga had gained prominence in the west in the twentieth century after being first introduced by Swami Vivekananda. Now yoga is widely practiced in different parts of the world. 
  • Some of the important benefits of Yoga are: increase in the muscle tone and strength, increase the body’s flexibility, improves the blood circulatory system and the cardio health, increases the energy levels, detoxifies the organs, improves the athletic performance, improves anxiety and depression, releases endorphins that improve the mood, induces better sleep, improves the body posture, helps in relieving from chronic pain, and more.

Unique intangible heritage

  • Yoga is a way of life and it focuses on physical balance, mental equilibrium, and working towards a harmonious synthesis of diverse elements including the protection of the environment.
  • There is a wide variety of yoga schools, practices, and goals in Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism. The term “Yoga” in the Western world often indicates a modern type of Hatha yoga.
  • The theme of the year 2019 i.e. the 5th International Yoga Day is Climate Action.
  • As the world makes the epidemiological transition and the contribution of most of the major non-communicable disease groups to the total disease burden is increasing, it is important that individuals make healthier choices in life and follow a lifestyle pattern that would foster good health.
  • The Harvard Medical School experts have recognized yoga, as a combination of four different components namely postures, breathing practices, deep relaxation, and meditation.
  • By doing yoga regularly one can notice a significantly positive impact on health and can easily alleviate arthritis pain, reduce the risk of heart disease, relieve migraines, and fight osteoporosis.
  • In recent times, yoga has transformed into many forms and people are coming up with different styles of yoga-like Power Yoga, Restorative Yoga, etc, and each style of yoga has its own set of followers.
  • Whatever style of Yoga you may choose but the ultimate aim is to maintain balance, peace, poise, equanimity, and grace. It is a magnificent expression of the pursuit of excellence, for synthesis and harmony.
  • It is important to note that India is contributing to the health and well-being of millions of people across the globe.

Thus, Yoga is a treasure of ancient India and a unique part of the world’s intangible heritage

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