Society tends to think of health today merely as the absence of illness. The ancient science of Yoga however has a more holistic approach to health and well –being. Human nature is diversified insisting of many components: physical structure namely cells, organs, bones, muscles, our senses and intellect, our emotions, our ability to discriminate and make decisions and our course our spirit, the divine spark within each and every one of us. Under this prism, health becomes a dynamic condition of perfect equilibrium of the body, mind, emotions, intellect and the soul. It is also becomes a matter of personal responsibility, as our way of life and most of all quality of everyday life is reflected on our health condition. Each sign of weakness and sickness becomes a point of attention, to deeply realize in which area of our life we keep on hurting ourselves. Is it that we are always eating late at night and in a hurry to catch up with the next task, or that we always cancel our everyday need to move more, read more, sleep more and connect with Nature more, for the sake fulfilling our so called “duties”.
In this aspect and apart from its tangible benefits, Yoga slowly helps us to realize our personal needs and body-mind requirements, in order to feel and actually be healthier and happier. Miraculously, this happens by slowly getting rid of being judgemental towards ourselves, or by constantly comparing ourselves with other people. To acknowledge, accept and respect our personal needs on a practical, everyday level is the most fundamental step towards personal health.
Enhanced fitness levels, cardiovascular efficiency, better self-esteem, mental clarity, calmness and emotional stability are only some of the many benefits that derive from incorporating yoga practise in your daily life.
Physical Health: Asanas assist in balancing perfectly the central operating systems of the human body namely nervous, circulatory, respiratory, digestive, excretory and reproductive. They further act as a strengthening and lubricating factor to the muscles, joints, bones, tendons and ligaments. Combining a wide spectrum of vertical, horizontal and cyclical movement, they ensure a fresh supply of oxygen through the blood to the parts of the body that need it the most. Weight loss and a greater muscle strength and endurance, flexibility and cardio-respiratory fitness are listed in the many benefits yoga practitioners are enjoying.
Mental/ Emotional Health: Yoga practise has proven to deeply relax the body and mind, allowing them both to recover from the fatigue and stress of daily life. The deep abdominal breathing we practise during asana reduces the muscle tone and regenerates the cells, spreading an overall feeling of calmness and serenity to nervous system and the brain. Moreover, inner stability is gradually cultivated as a consequence of a relaxed mind, encouraging the practitioner to a more creative and courageous attitude towards life and decision making. The increased awareness we acquire through our practise, spreads in other areas of our life like for example eating habits, forming relationships, expressing professional & creative skills.
Health and balance is our natural state, anyway. Yoga is just a useful tool that facilitates our true connection with our self and the world around us. A truly effective method to keep our inner fire, our inner vision alive.