Science and Importance
Hatha Yoga, also called Hathavidya, is basically a branch of Yoga that comprises a bunch of physical techniques that are broadly conceptualized as Yoga. Although, it is a part of the larger rubric of yoga in all its aspects, it is the most popularly followed branch in the world and hence, is often loosely called yoga. It originates in the Indian Hindu traditions in which it is believed that the founder of these physical exercises is the deity Lord Shiva himself. The physical postures as described by this practice are celled ‘asanas’. The science behind Hathayoga is quite simple: it focuses on the holistic development of the mind and the body. It also deals with the psychological and physiological nuances of everyday human existence.
In its foundational principles, Hathayoga aims at using the eight limbs of the practice so as to attain ‘samadhi’. The former include ‘asana’, ‘pranayama’, ‘pratyahara’, ‘dharana’, ‘dhyana’ and ‘samadhi’ that are basically various disciplines, postures and method of meditation. As practiced in the modern world and especially in the West today, it is seen as a series of ‘asanas’ or physical postures that help keep the body fit and reduce stress. But Hathayoga is a lot more than that, according to professional and trained practitioners. It helps in understanding the mechanism of the mind and the body and makes use of specific postures to drive energy into specific directions. That is the basic fundamental behind a typical Hathayoga Asana. It also helps one attain higher levels of concentration and consciousness along with aiding physical fitness.
Hathayoga has innumerable benefits for the mind and the body. The list is quite long and endless. Yet, let us look at some of the more popular and major benefits of practicing Hathayoga:
Cardiovascular Health: One of the major benefits of Hathayoga is the kind of control it can bring to patients with hypertension and cardiac history. The postures are made in such a way that they ensure proper blood circulation in the body. This means that every cell receives adequate oxygen and the body remains fit and healthy.
Spinal Balance: Since, a major part of Yoga has to do with postures, it is no wonder that this practice is a godsend for those who have suffer from back pain, spinal deformation and chronic neck pain. The poses are made to address areas of tension within the muscles of the body so as to relive one of pain and allow one to inculcate the habit of sitting or standing in the right posture.
Depression and anxiety: Researchers have found that doing Yoga on a daily basis has definitive impact on one’s mental health and helps one fight depression and mental anxiety to a great extent. Not only that but depression and mental vulnerabilities that occur during or after chronic diseases can also be dealt with by practicing daily and regular Yoga.
Diabetes and High Sugar: One of the diseases that majorly irk people across the globe is that of Diabetes. Yoga is a great solution to that; it helps one control it and in certain cases, with regular routines, helps prevent the risk of diabetes and High Sugar altogether.
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