Yoga Exercise

Before describing the benefits of yoga exercise, it is worth having some understanding of what yoga actually is.

Yoga originated in India around 5000 years ago. The word “Yoga” itself (meaning “union” in the Sanskrit language) is a generic term for a number of techniques employed to harmonise (or unite) mind, body and soul.

Yoga exercise generally consists of techniques to help you relax, improve posture and understand who you are and your place in the world.

Hatha Yoga

Hatha Yoga exercise is practised in most western Yoga classes and is a good starting point to outline the four main forms of Yoga:

  • Raja Yoga (Royal path – Hatha Yoga is a form of Raja)
  • Karma Yoga (working for others)
  • Bhakti Yoga (Yoga through devotion)
  • Jnana Yoga (knowledge or wisdom)

Hatha (meaning balance) emphasises the physical rather than spiritual and although Hatha Yoga is a physical exercise it is not an exercise that should be used to purely enhance aerobic fitness: it largely prepares and conditions the body for more advanced (spiritual) techniques such as Yoga meditation through Yoga postures and breathing exercises.

Yoga Meditation

The practice of Yoga meditation provides a systematic way to observe, understand, accept and train ourselves in order to bring us peace of mind, and freedom from the stresses of the modern world. It is widely recognised that it can improve health and relationships through aiding personal, spiritual and philosophical insights.

To summarise, regular Yoga exercise like Hatha Yoga and Yoga meditation can help you control your emotional self and so live a more satisfying life. Yoga may also dramatically reduce your risk of developing serious physical and mental illnesses with many of the techniques requiring only a few minutes a day.