HnExpress Mayank Chakravarty, Web Desk News : What comes to your mind when you hear the word,- “Yoga”? Stretches, exercises or a flexible body? Well, Yoga isn’t limited to just that. It has benefits that go beyond the constraints of flexibility. It aids in strengthening physical and mental health, alike. This beautiful art has evolved over numerous centuries.

It is a spiritual discipline that aims to achieve eternal peace and harmony between body and mind and soul. It aims at cleansing our mind of the mental pollutants along with making our body physically fit. Yoga — A Cultural Blessing. ‘Yoga’ has its roots from the Sanskrit word ‘yuj’ which means to join or unite. The very origin of the word speaks volumes.

It aims to connect your mind and body and to help them work together in peace and as one. It works on leading to the union of your consciousness to the universal consciousness. The person who experiences this unity and bond between nature and himself is said to have attained moksha (ultimate liberation). Yoga aims to achieve self-actualization and peace, even when faced with the most difficult tasks.

That is when you truly achieve kaivalya (freedom). It imparts basic human values and pushes human beings towards a sustainable lifestyle filled with joy, peace and gratitude. Modern Period, Swami Vivekananda was one of the primary yogis to spread Yoga in the modern period, that is from 1700 AD uptil now. The period focused on Yoga as a manner of being physically strong.

Ramana Maharshi, Ramakrishna Paramahansa, BKS Iyengar, K Pattabhi Jois, Paramhansa Yogananda, and Vivekananda held parts in the spread and popularity of Hatha Yoga, Vedanta Yoga and Bhakti Yoga.Yoga has undergone a wide number of changes over the centuries. Over this span of time, many people have been propounding numerous theories for the spread of its culture. But even as it walks into the 21st century,

the essence and soul of Yoga lies with the feeling of oneness with the spirit, mind, body and nature. In ancient times, man understood the true essence of Yoga. The purpose of Yoga was to connect oneself with the world around them. It focused on breathing and freeing of the body, spirit and mind.

Our ancestors understood the importance of mental hygiene and concluded that regular practice of Yoga will cleanse the body and soul of unnecessary pollutants.However, in current times, the spoken benefits of Yoga are limited to fitness, flexibility and ridding oneself of physical disabilities. The true spirit of Yoga that lay in the hygiene of mind and soul, lies forgotten in the graves of our predecessors.

With the incessant popularity of only Asanas, the people of the world seem to have left behind the eight limbs of Yoga – only one of which is Asanas. Yoga, in today’s time, is associated only with physical fitness and flexibility due to the increasing popularity of Asana Yoga. Over the last couple of years, the seven forgotten limbs are being spoken about by the yogic world.

New courses and classes are starting up with the intent of helping to spread the full yogic culture.The dawn of Covid-19 has made each of us sit back and think of life’s true purpose. We have each pondered the true meaning behind it all and made a change in our lifestyles, consciously or not. There is no better way to incorporate this change than including Yoga in our schedule for a fixed time everyday.

The numerous different customs and traditions in India, Yoga follows no religion or caste. It works solely on imbibing the values of compassion, patience and tolerance within oneself. Yoga not only helps clear the mind but also tones down the agitation and stress that comes with the fast-paced lives of this decade. It aims to achieve self-actualization and self-realization on an individual level.

Yoga has prospered in the eyes of the world. The teachings continue to be spread in the West and enlighten the lives of millions. 21st June has been declared as the International Yoga Day by the United Nations. This is a golden step towards spreading Yoga. This ancient discipline is rightfully given the recognition and importance it deserves, as it makes its way to enlighten billions with emotions like love, peace and universal integration.

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