Psychology: Healthy Mind and Healthy Body: Different Types of Yoga

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Body and mind are two parts of a whole. If mind is happy, we do our work actively and energetically. If the body is healthy, the mind also remains radiant, alert and enthusiastic. The Yoga school of thought tells us how to facilitate the body – mind functioning so that one may enjoy happiness, peace and fulfillment in life. Yoga, the science and art of life, was discovered by our forefathers and they handed it over to us as a priceless heritage. Its value is increasingly realized in today’s world. Human life today is quite stressful. Yoga is a science that enlightens us regarding why we experience stress, tension and pain. It suggests a lifestyle which is free from stress and pain. It makes our body and mind effective for leading a happy and healthy life.

What is Yoga?

Yoga literally means ‘union’ i.e. being one with the Supreme Energy. It is communion of individual being with the universal being. It is a passage from ignorance to self knowledge. Yoga is a science which leads to health in the body, peace in the mind, joy in the heart and liberation of the soul. Yoga is also considered as a discipline for happy and effective living. There are two aspects of Yoga: outer and inner. The outer aspect of yoga (vahirang) deals with the Yama, niyama, asana and pranayama which revitalize our body and mind. The inner aspect of yoga (Antarang) includes controlling of senses (Pratyahara), concentration (Dharana), meditation (Dhyana) and Samadhi.

Different Types of Yoga

Different Types of Yoga

Different Types of Yoga

  • Hatha Yoga: This kind of Yoga aims at controlling the functioning of the body and helps channeling the flow of energy (Prana).

  • Raja Yoga: It is meant for restraining the fluctuations in the consciousness (Citta).

  • Karma Yoga: This is the path of selfless action (Anasakta karma) without expectation of rewards. In Karma Yoga, you learn to do all actions in relaxation.

  • Bhakti Yoga: This refers to the path of devotion and surrender to God. The person forgets his own self and existence and merges with the identity of God or higher consciousness.

  • Gyan yoga: This form of yoga emphasizes on removal of ignorance and seeking of spiritual knowledge. People form wrong impressions about themselves and continue with masks that lead to egotism and conflicts of various kinds.

Yoga to Keep Fit

  • Diet: Yoga places great importance on diet because the kind and quantity of food that we eat determines our temperament. Gita speaks about three types of food – Sattwik, Rajasik and Tamasik. Sattwik food is recommended because it is nourishing and warm. It does not trouble the digestive system. It gets assimilated in our body easily. Rajasik food is oily and spicy. It is hard to digest. Tamasik food is dry and stale. It is harmful for the system.

  • Yoga asanas: They are body postures that make our body muscles supple and improve the blood circulation in the body. They tone up the activities of brain, glands, nerves, tissues and cells. Some of the asanas are Paschimottan Asana, Sarvang Asanas, Shavasana, Shalabh Asana, Ushtra asana, Dhanurasana, Halasana, Bhujang Asana.

Pranayam

Yoga says that Prana is not merely breath, but it is a form of cosmic energy. It is the life-giving principle which is everywhere. Some of the exercise in pranayama are Pooraka, Rechaka, Kumbhaka, Kapalbhati, Bhasrika, Sheetali, Seetkari and Nadi sudhi.

Meditation

The final aim of meditation is to gain the vision of truth, to realize the oneness with all life and to enjoy peace and bliss. Yoga compares the mind with a lake. When agitated and restless, the lake can not reflect the sky. Only when it is calm and undisturbed, it can mirror the sky. In the same way, a calm and poised mind can reflect the universal energy.

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