What is Yoga ?
Yoga is considered as a cultural outcome of Indus Sarasvati civilization in Northern India over 5,000 years ago. The word yoga was first mentioned in the oldest sacred texts, the Rig Veda. Yoga has proved itself catering to both material and spiritual enhancement of humanity.
The word ‘Yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘Yuj’, meaning ‘to join’. The practice of Yoga leads to the union of individual consciousness with that of the Universal Consciousness. One who experiences this oneness of existence is said to be in yoga, and is termed as a yogi. Yoga governs a perfect harmony between the mind and the body, the man & the nature.
Thus the aim of Yoga is Self-realization. And overcome all kinds of sufferings leading to the state of liberation or freedom. Yoga also refers to an inner science comprising of a variety of methods through which human beings can realize this union and achieve mastery over their destiny.
Yoga is commonly understood as a therapy or exercise system for health and fitness. While physical and mental health are natural consequences of yoga, the goal of yoga is more far-reaching.
Why Yoga ?
In medical system (any Allopathy, Ayurveda, Homeopathy, etc.), the emphasis is on medicine. That is you take in the prescribed medicine and that medicine acts on your body system. Your effort is almost nil. But in Yoga it is you and your efforts that make you disease free. You perform yoga for a certain time period and see the result.
So, if you can invest efforts in your body, Yoga is for you (along with its countless health benefits). Besides this yoga is also completely free.
Difference between yoga and exercise
Yoga for Health and Wellness
Patanjali is considered the father of yoga. He organized the practice of yoga into an “eight limbed path” containing the steps and stages towards obtaining Samadhi or enlightenment. These are namely—
Yama [moral codes]
Niyama [self-purification and study]
Pranayama [breath control]
Pratyahara [sense control]
Samadhi [absorption into the Universal]