Friday, January 28, 2011
Yoga has been useful to restore and maintain a practitioner's well-being, improve the body's flexibility and vitality, and promote the ability to remain in seated meditation for extended periods. In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali suggests that the only requirement for practicing asanas is that it be "steady and comfortable".
The body is held poised, and relaxed, with the practitioner experiencing no discomfort. When control of the body is mastered, practitioners are believed to free themselves from the duality of heat/cold, hunger/satiety, joy/grief, which is the first step toward the unattachment that relieves suffering. This non-dualistic perspective comes from the Sankya school of the Himalayan Masters.
The physical aspect of yoga, the asanas, has been much popularized in the West, and devoted celebrity practitioners like Madonna and Sting have contributed to the increased visibility of the practice.
Physically, the practice of asanas is considered to:
reduce stress and anxiety
reduce symptoms of lower back pain
be beneficial for asthma and Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
increase energy and decrease fatigue
shorten labor and improve birth outcomes
improve physical health and quality of life measures in the elderly
improve diabetes management
reduce sleep disturbances
The emphasis on the physical benefits of yoga, attributed to practice of the asanas, has de-emphasized the other traditional purposes of yoga which are to facilitate the flow of prana (vital energy) and to aid in balancing the koshas (sheaths) of the physical and metaphysical body. Also check some great yoga related product from online shop.