Yoga for health and happiness

Living without yoga is like living in a straitjacket, cut off from the flow of cosmic energy, constricted and closed to the infinite possibilities of the universe. If the body is stiff and the mind is rigid, what life can one live? The practice of yoga is to remove weeds from the body so that a garden can grow. Yoga stretches and strengthens the mind, body, and spirit. No wonder yoga is the top choice for people living healthy lifestyles.

There are now 300 million yoga practitioners worldwide. The number of children and seniors practicing yoga now has tripled over the last four years. In America, the number of people doing yoga grew by 50% in the last five years. In Bangladesh also, the number of yoga teachers and studios offering yoga has increased tremendously. People are becoming more health conscious. Youths want active lives rather than sedentary lives that lead to back problems, depression, and diabetes. Increasingly corporates are offering yoga classes to improve team performance and schools are offering yoga classes to increase concentration span of children. The rise in popularity of yoga probably represents a general shift in attitude towards more conscientious living.

There are many proven benefits of yoga (which includes meditation and breathing exercises) such as stress relief, calming of the nerves, increased strength and flexibility, enhanced creativity, higher immunity, and improved confidence. Yoga improves mental, psychological and physical health. It helps concentration, circulation, and respiration. Yoga therapy helps the body heal from illnesses, disease, and injury. Yoga offers practitioners a deeper understanding of self.

There are three levels of the quest through yoga. The external quest is for firmness of body. The internal quest is for steadiness of intelligence. The innermost quest is for the benevolence of spirit.

In yoga, each pose should be held in a state of calm bliss. Each movement should be an art. Awareness should be distributed across the body so every pore of the skin becomes an eye.

People who practice yoga do so because they find that the practice helps them develop a new and deeper appreciation of life.

 

Shazia Omar

Shazia Omar is a social psychologist. She completed her undergrad at Dartmouth and a Masters at LSE. She works in the development sector and teaches yogilates. She’d like to fully harness the power of her mind and spirit to keep her energy high, and while she knows detachment is an art, she’d rather stay passionately attached and positive.
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