“Yoga” is the ancient form of keeping your body calm, fit and healthy. The history of yoga is very deep and its origin is date back to pre-Vedic Indian traditions. Yoga was developed around the 5th and 6th centuries BCE. The term yoga has many meanings. It is the practice of keeping your five senses together and calm and making use of these senses very precisely and accurately.
Keeping your mind and all the senses in order and in self then no suffering or happiness or pleasures will affect you, this is yoga. Contracting your emotions and senses this is Yoga. If you are able to achieve this then your ultimate goal of achieving Moksha is done.
Yoga has many kinds. To the western world, it is the king of exercise that will keep you fit and healthy. This is called Hatha yoga, yoga as exercise, consisting largely of the postures called asanas.
Some practice yoga for achieving Moksha and other practices for getting fit and healthy. For achieving Moksha you have to first attain 3 goals: Kama, Artha and Dharma.
KAMA: What is Kama? Desires and longing is Kama. Anything that brings you happiness and joy or pleasure is Kama. When you have control over your longings and desires then you have attained Kama.
ARTHA: Means wealth and power or material things. These material things help one to achieve their goals and carry out their purpose and destiny. The security that comes from prosperity is important in the pursuit of the other two goals in Purushartha, as long as it is pursued in righteous ways.
DHARMA: means to live a virtues life. This is the pursuit that keeps the balance of good and bad in the universe. This is the goal to live life the righteous way while pursuing the other two goals – Kama and Artha.
These three goals when balanced leads to the fourth and last goal which is Moksha or one’s true nature, the final liberation.
Now for health purposes, there are many asanas that can help you get fit and healthy.
1. Yoga for Flexibility: Some styles of yoga, such as ashtanga and power yoga, are very physical. Practicing one of these styles will help you improve muscle tone.
2. Better Posture From Yoga: Yoga also helps your body awareness. That helps you notice more quickly if you’re slouching or slumping, so you can adjust your posture.
3. Breathing Benefits: Yoga usually involves paying attention to your breath, which can help you relax. It may also call for specific breathing techniques.
4. Less Stress, More Calm: You may feel less stressed and more relaxed after doing some yoga.