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Health and Yoga
Introduction
Concept of Health
Yoga for Health & Happiness
Physiological Benefits
Psychological Benefits
Bio-Chemical Benefits
Yoga Benefits vs. Exercise Benefits
Yoga Therapy
"The Yogi regards the physical body as an instrument for his journey toward perfection." Swami Vishnu-Devananda He, who has health, has hope; and he who has hope, has everything. - Arabian Proverb

YogaYoga is a science of Health - unlike modern Western medicine, which is largely a science of disease and treatment. The teachings of Yoga are based on intricate and precise understanding of the healthy functioning of the human body and mind. Its techniques are designed to maximize your own potential for good health, vitality and lasting youthfulness. This section describes the functioning of our body, looking in particular at the three major functions: the body's strong, flexible frame of muscles, bones and ligaments; the nutrient cycles of digestion, respiration and circulation which nourishes every cell and tissue; and the vital messenger systems of nerves and hormones which balance and regulate our physical, emotional and mental responses.

Yoga and Health are two words that are very closely related. The Health Benefits of Yoga is widely known. Yoga is a popular aid in improving and attaining both Physical and Mental Health. This is basically the most common reason why people practice Yoga - for health reasons. They want to ease their Back Pain, find a method to ease stress, or ways to deal with their Health problems.

Yoga means a holistic approach towards the cause and treatment of any illness. Today Yoga is used to treat almost all diseases.

According to Yoga, most of the diseases Mental, Psychosomatic and Physical originate in the mind through wrong way of thinking, living and eating, which is caused by attachment.

The basic approach of Yoga is to correct the life style by cultivating a rational positive and spiritual attitude towards all life situations.

Yoga not only treats the body, but it also takes into consideration all the five Kosas (Sheaths) i.e. Manomaya Kosa, Annamaya Kosa, (grass Sheath) Pranamaya Kosa (Extral Body) (Psychic Body), Vijyanmaya Kosa (intellect Sheath) and Anandamaya Kosa (Bliss sheath).

Like Ayurveda and Naturopathy Yoga also takes up the cleansing of the body as the first measure to fight disease. While Ayurveda performs its pancha karma through the help ayurvedic medicines, Yoga performs them without the help of any drug i.e. by developing full efficiency and control of eliminative systems of the body, which no other system of health care can do.

All the systems of medicine at their best aim at curing the disease whereas Yoga aims at preventing the disease and promoting health by reconditioning the psycho-physiological mechanism of the individual.

Yoga emphasizes the development of brotherhood, harmony, fraternity and equality not only towards all human beings irrespective of colour, caste, nationality, age and sex but towards all living beings also. This attitude renders the thinking so positive that man is liberated from all mental malice and also all the mental, psychosomatic and physiological diseases arising thereof.

The approach of Yoga is not confirmed to various disorders, it aims at bringing under perfect control of the mind, senses and pranic energy and direct them towards healthier channels with a view to acquire mental purity, intellectual stability and spiritual bliss.

Yoga is a very wide and comprehensive system embracing all walks of human life. It is unlike Ayurveda, Unani and Homoeopathy systems of medicine. It is not merely a system of treatment but has potential to develop holistic health i.e. physical, social, mental and spiritual. For social health, it prescribes the practice of Yama & Niyama and Karma Yoga. A man devoted to karma Yoga considers the world to be his family and believes in selfless service to mankind and help them get rid of painful situations. This concept of "Vasudhaiv Kutmba Kama" is the basic Philosophy of Yoga.

Yoga emphasizes the practitioners to withstand the environmental influences both external & internal as well as physical & mental processes. This practice cultivates strong immunity in them and makes them capable of offering an effective resistance to various environmental pressures and thus, maintains behavioural equanimity and intellectual stability.

The practice of Yama - Niyamas purifies the heart of the practitioner from vices like attachment, aversion, avarice and infatuation etc. and generates higher ethical qualities like sincerity, honesty, straightforwardness, cheerfulness, courage, detachement, patience, perseverence, tranquility, self control, truth, harmony and uprightness.

Our ancient seers have very wisely designed the Yogic practices to refresh the entire psychosomatic constitution of man. A set of Asanas, Mudras and Pranayamas practised with faith, perseverance and insight rejuvenates the brain, heart, lungs, liver, pancreas, kidneys, bowels, all nerves, muscles, tissues, glands of the body by ensuring oxygenated and balanced blood supply, kindles up the appetite, bestows control over seminal fluid, senses and mind and imparts increased vitality, vigour and longevity to the practitioners.

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