What is yoga?
Yoga means unification, union between the unit self and the cosmic self.
Yoga is an ancient science of physical, mental and spiritual development which originated in India more than 7000 years ago.
Yoga implies a whole way of life which includes yoga postures as one of it many facets.
Asana (the physical aspect of yoga) were developed over many years ago by yogis, watching the animals of the jungle, their movements, and how they rested and healed themselves instinctively in case of illness. These yogis experienced the different positions of the animals on their bodies, feeling the subtle effects of these movements on their organs and glands. Centuries of experimentation, these positions were perfected shaping a scientific system with thousands of exercises called Asana.
In Ananda Marga yoga postures are called asanas
‘ASANA’ means “a position in which one feels comfortable”.
Asanas has direct effect on the glands, nerves, muscles and all the organs of the body. but the most important one is on the mind. The practice of asanas places presure on the glands, and this results in the regulation of hormones secreted from those glands. The hormones affect the emotions and the resultant emotional balance facilitates concentration and meditation.
Balance hormone secretions from the glands. Give flexibility to the body. Improve respiration, as well as blood and lymph circulation. Massage the internal organs. Relax the nerves and muscles. Detoxify the joints. Cure deseases.
Today’s life is full of stress. Despite our modern achievements, many people feel restless and unhappy. Environmental stress and bad personal habits add to this strain. This results in various physical and mental diseases such as depression, high blood pressure, heart disease and even cancer. Yoga offers a simple and practical solution to these problems. Yoga postures help to increase flexibility and vitality, strengthen the immune system, maintain good health, cure diseases, manage stress and calm the mind and emotions.
Asanas are calm, quiet and easy running positions executed with adequate inhalation and exhalation. They exercise the nerves, tissues, glands and organs of the human body. By practicing ASANAS we enjoy physical and mental serenity.
The regular practice of Asana keeps the body healthy and cures many diseases. Thus, the Asana help the Sa’dhaka (spiritual aspirant) to balance the body and focus the mind.
Ananda Marga teaches in regular classes of Asana and the Acharyas (the monks of Ananda Marga) also provide personalized instruction on these and other complementary techniques of meditation.
Along with these techniques it is also very important to follow a proper diet because the food we eat not only affects our body but also our mind. “We are what we eat,” says an old principle of Yoga. For this reason a vegetarian diet is recommended, which is the most suitable to promote the mental and spiritual development.
The Asana works primarily on the internal organs and endocrine glands. These glands are related to the Cakras or subtle energy centres.