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Importance of Yoga Today

Importance of Yoga Today

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Can you remember a time when you were not stressed, in a hurry or busy with something?  When was the last time that you truly cleared your head and let go of everything going on around you or in your life? Can you bend over and reach your toes (without bending the knees)? Can you squat all the way down and stay for two minutes? Are you bothered by an ailment or disease?

We are living in a quickly changing world with all its pressures, miseries and threats to health. In our culture today, we are habitually stressed out. Our bodies and minds are out of balance with excessive visual/audio stimulation, busy schedules, inadequate sleep, poor eating habits, lack of body awareness, stress from home and work. This describes most of our days because this is what our culture has become.

With everything we are facing today Yoga is very important. It is believed that practice of yoga can solve many of the problems of modern world we deal with on a daily basis.  For this reason, Yoga is gaining popularity in the countries and cultures around the world. The Eight Limbs of Yoga like asanas, pranayama and dhyana etc. are being applied in the medical world to improve health, cure diseases, correct certain postural defects, remove tensions and stress, for physical therapy etc.

I have had many of my own experiences as to how Yoga has benefited my own life and the lives of those around me who also practice Yoga. I look and compare myself and my life before I started practicing and now;  so I have also experienced the importance of Yoga in my life.

The importance of yoga in the modern times lies in the fact that through its various forms or branches, it helps in:

  1. Improving health.
    1. Stress reduction. A number of studies have shown that yoga can help reduce stress and anxiety. It can also enhance your mood and overall sense of well-being.
    2. Improved fitness. Practicing yoga can lead to improved balance, flexibility, range of motion and strength. And this means you’re less likely to injure yourself in other physical endeavors or in your daily activities.
    3. Management of chronic conditions. Yoga can help reduce risk factors for chronic diseases, such as heart disease and high blood pressure. Yoga might also help alleviate chronic conditions, such as depression, pain, anxiety and insomnia.
    4. According to the AHA Yoga also has proven benefits for those who have faced cardiac arrest, heart attack or other heart event, according to Cunningham. “The acute emotional stress of such an event certainly has a significant and adverse effect on the heart,” she said. “That’s where yoga can be a tremendous benefit to manage the stress.” For example, Cunningham said that half of bypass surgery patients go through depression, facing emotions ranging from anxiety to grieving. “All these things come into play when you’ve got a potentially chronic disease to manage for the rest of your life
  2.  Curing diseases and deformities
    1. Yoga been shown to help improve or cure many diseases. Among the diseases that have been improved or cured by asanas and pranayam include diseases like, Bronchitis, Asthma, Gout, Cold, Indigestion, Constipation, Diabetes, Piles, Backache and deformities in legs etc.  The list is quite comprehensive. 
  3. Developing mental faculties
    1. It is an accepted fact that there is a strong mind body connection; the body and mind are interrelated and interdependent, or the body and mind extensions of each other.  Therefore, by practicing asanas, development of muscles, body parts and nerves, which are vital links between the body and mind, results in improvement of mental faculties.
  4. Emotional development
    1.  An important attribute` of yoga is the development of the abilities of concentration, control over one’s feelings and desires and detachment.  Lack of self-control in the modern world is the cause of fear, anger, jealousy, sadness, sorrow, low self-esteem, depression etc.  Therefore, practicing yoga can help an individual to free their self from such emotional states and lead a happy and carefree life.
    2. In children Yoga helps children develop self-awareness, release tension, work through their fears and be more in control of their emotions in order to effectively express them. Yoga fosters creativity and imagination.
  5. Moral development
    1. Moral dilapidation is the blight of the modern world; with crimes rates on the rise, war violence etc. The first branch of Yoga, Yama teaches moral discipline by practicing truthfulness, non-violence, non-stealing and  brahmcharya etc.  Such qualities developed through Yoga can help a person raise their moral conduct to lead a contented life and make their contribution towards the uplift of society.
  6. Social development
    1. Yoga develops cleanliness;  purity of mind and body, contentment, austerity and surrender to higher power through the practice of Niyama. Social relations in the modern world are strained and unhealthy.  Development of social qualities through Niyama as well as Yama can help in developing healthy relations in society
  7. Spiritual development
    1. Regardless of your personal spiritual religious beliefs the primary goal of Yoga is the development of your spiritual self (Soul). Today many people of the world have lost many important spiritual qualities. Greed, jealousy, hatred, deception and lust are increasing in society.  Spiritual qualities help by improving social order and enriching life, therefore, there is a great need for developing such qualities in today’s society.  The practice of Yoga teaches us the ways of right thinking, right conduct, physical wellbeing, detachment and other moral virtues, can help in removing many ills of modern society.  Therefore, the desirability of leading a yogic life style is more relevant today than in the past
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