In Sanskrit, the word yoga means connection or union. The principle underlying yogic practice is the union of the individual self with the supreme self. The practice of yoga through asanas, pranayama, and meditation embodies the mind-body-spirit connection. Yoga is a science that leads us to an awareness of our inner self, thereby guiding us on the journey to unite with the universal self.
Benefits of Yoga
Some of the numerous benefits of yoga are:
- Increase flexibility.
- relief from pain in joints and muscles.
- stronger immune system.
- stronger lung capacity.
- relief from respiratory problems.
- increased metabolism.
- weight loss and better fitness levels.
- relief from sleep disorders.
- peace of mind.
Pranayama and Meditation
Many of the pranayama practices need to be observed and followed under supervision. Therefore only a few simple practices have been included in this book. A simple meditation process has also been included.
Time, Place, and Equipment
Yoga can be practiced anywhere at any time and does not require specialised equipment. However, the best time to practice yoga is early in the morning in a quiet place with fresh air. A thin mat may be used. Yoga should not be practised on a full stomach. It is advisable to wear loose, comfortable clothing that allows you to stretch.
- Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front.
- Keep your back straight and place you hands on the sides with palms flat on the ground and fingers pointing forward. If you are unable to sit in this position, lie down and do this exercise.
- Inhale and push your toes outwards and then exhale and pull your toes inwards.
- Move your feet in a circular manner first in the clockwise direction and then in the anti-clockwise direction.
- Repeat the above exercises 70 to 10 times.
- Makes ankle and toe joints flexible.
- Release vata (air accumulation) from ankle and toe joints.