What is yoga and its benefits

Before this YTT course, my understand of yoga is very shallow. At that point of time, I thought yoga was a mixture of strength, flexibility and fitness endurance, which wasn’t too far off if yoga was all about asanas.
What is Yoga?
Yoga Citta Vritti Nirodhah literally translates to the cessation/disappearance of fluctuations in the human mind when in the state of yoga. To simplify it for non-yogis, it is the stilling of the mind. Yoga is an individual journey towards unification of the body and mind, and eventually the soul. There are four different types of yoga but the most common is the Raja Yoga. It is the most structured and easiest path to follow for yogis. Most practitioners find themselves practicing their first four (out of eight) limbs of Raja Yoga the most because this is where most people find it hard to master before they can proceed. Hence, most non-practitioner thinks that yoga is purely asanas and ‘meditation’ (what they really mean is breathing) because that is mainly what they observe.
What are the benefits of yoga?
After knowing what yoga is, we know that it is not only a physical practice, also the mental state in mind. These are just some of the obvious benefits I personally felt even after one session. Of course, the list goes on.
1. Physical Fitness and Health
This is rather obvious and self explanatory because of the asanas (or the poses) we practice. Muscles form and tones to prevent injuries.
2. Awareness
During practice, awareness is brought towards our body and senses. When we practice something on the mat, we can bring it off the mat. In life, awareness is brought to your habits and choices. For instance, the life long debate on ‘Am I hungry or am I bored?’.
3. Relaxation
Yoga calms and brings on back to center, especially when one is in a hectic urban life. It slows our pace of life and allows time for self reflection and observation.
Adelinekwh 200weekday

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