How does the importance of yoga compare to other forms of spirituality? We tend to think of God as being supremely special because of His omniscience or knowingness. However, this is only one aspect of Him, and we also need to recognize that there are others. Likewise, when we speak of the importance of yoga we speak of how it contributes to a complete person. If we truly become aware of the inter-relationship of the parts we can see how it contributes to our being of quality.
The importance of yoga relates not only to our physical health but also to our mental balance. Yoga is non-competitive and non-judgmental. It aims to reach a state of peacefulness, where people are at rest, yet are capable of doing the best that they can with the resources at their disposal. Yoga is not a cult, it’s a method of living which aims towards a harmonious mind and a harmonious body. Man is both a mind and a body; yoga helps enhance a complete balancing development of the two.
Yoga incorporates a number of physical exercises in its curriculum. It focuses on the development of strength, flexibility, balance and posture. It also encompasses breathing techniques such as pranayama, mudras and japa. Asana, meditation and relaxation exercises form an important part of yoga, as does mukha-sattva, which improves the concentration power of the mind. These physical exercises form the foundation of the discipline of yoga, and the importance of yoga increases when we consider that these physical exercises relieve the body, create inner peace, improve the immune system and increase vitality.
Significant Benefits of Yoga
The benefits of yoga to help us understand how it affects our health. It helps to balance the energy flow within us and provides a means for us to maintain that equilibrium. As we improve our concentration and acquire greater self-awareness, we become aware of our thoughts and actions, and therefore our conscious and subconscious minds begin to synchronise. This leads to improved concentration, clarity of thought and improved mental health.
The importance of yoga cannot be underestimated in today’s hectic, competitive and stressful environment. It helps to alleviate stress, anxiety, and promotes relaxation. When we are happy, energetic and well balanced, it is easier to face the demands of everyday life and we achieve more success. Health problems are less common in those who participate regularly in yoga sessions than in those who do not.
The importance of yoga is enhanced when we consider that it is not simply a physical exercise; it works the whole body, improves overall flexibility, strength, balance and coordination. We have heard that a balanced diet and exercise are essential for maintaining good health and the benefits of yoga cannot be ignored. While there is evidence that suggests that a daily vegetarian diet can have positive effects on the mental and physical health, there is no clear-cut link between diet and physical fitness and mental health. Yoga has been shown to promote better digestion, improved metabolism and increased blood flow through the digestive system.
As the importance of yoga is enhanced, so does its impact on our mental and emotional health, and we are able to face more difficult challenges in our lives. Stress is one of the leading causes of poor health and reduced productivity and quality of life. Regular practice of yoga reduces stress and improves immune system functioning, which leads to a reduction in the risk of heart disease, stroke and other health complications. Studies have shown that performing regular yoga practice results in higher energy levels, better sleep and relaxation, better concentration and alertness, improves cardiovascular health and lower levels of blood pressure.
Inclusivity of Meditation Makes it a Wholesome Package
Another important aspect of the practice of yoga is meditation. While performing Asana (poses), there is the option of Moksha (meditation). With meditation, we get acquainted with our bodies and learn to control and monitor our thoughts and emotions, which are major triggers for anxiety and depression. Through the mediation aspect of yoga practice, one is able to fully understand the importance of yoga and the relationship between the mind, body and spirit.