The word ‘Yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘Yuj’, meaning ‘to join’ or ‘to yoke’ or ‘to unite’. 

Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India. Yoga is one of the six Āstika (orthodox) schools of Indian philosophical traditions.

As per Yogic scriptures the practice of Yoga leads to the union of individual consciousness with that of the Universal Consciousness, indicating a perfect harmony between the mind and body, Man & Nature. Yoga works on the level of one’s body, mind, emotion and energy. 

In Yoga, namaste literally means “greetings to you.” 

In the Vedas, namaste mostly occurs as a salutation to a divinity. Namaste is “the belief that there is a Divine spark within each of us” or “The divine light in me bows to the divine light within you.”

Better yet, how does yoga work? 

As you’ve probably heard, one reason asana leaves you feeling so good is that it activates your parasympathetic nervous system, thanks to two elements that almost all asana practices have in common—the lengthening and strengthening of musculature and calm, even breathing.

This has given rise to four broad classifications of Yoga: 

karma yoga, where we use the body; 

bhakti yoga, where we use the emotions; 

gyana yoga, where we use the mind and intellect; and 

kriya yoga, where we use the energy.

Yoga has been found to improve quality of life, reduce stress, anxiety, insomnia, depression and back pain. 

It has also been found to lower heart rate and blood pressure. And, perhaps not surprisingly, yoga has been shown to improve fitness, strength and flexibility, according to the alternative medicine center

Physical benefits

  • increased flexibility.

  • increased muscle strength and tone.

  • improved respiration, energy and vitality.

  • maintaining a balanced metabolism.

  • weight reduction.

  • cardio and circulatory health.

  • improved athletic performance.

  • protection from injury.

Yoga poses involve stretching and, by stretching the muscle, the muscle fibres lengthen and re-align. These re-aligned muscle tissues recover better from any damage then muscles which are left contracted. Over time, with regular stretching, the muscles become more flexible.

 There are 12 Basic Postures in Yoga

  • śīrṣāsana – headstand is an āsana in which you balance on your elbows, arms and head.

  • sarvāṅgāsana – shoulder stand is an inverted pose, with the body resting on the shoulders.

  • halāsana – plough

  • matsyāsana – fish

  • paścimottānāsana – sitting forward and bending

  • bhujaṅgāsana – cobra

  • śalabhāsana – locust

  • dhanurāsana – bow

Best Types of Yoga

  • Hatha Yoga

It’s all about the basics in these slower moving classes that require you to hold each pose for a few breaths

  • Vinyasa Yoga

Get your flow on in this dynamic practice that links movement and breath together in a dance-like way

  • Iyengar Yoga

  • Ashtanga Yoga

  • Bikram Yoga

  • Hot Yoga

  • Kundalini Yoga

  • Yin Yoga


Looking towards yoga is a natural progression. 

 

The main reason for yoga’s growing popularity is the large-scale transmission of education.

 

As the activity of the intellect becomes stronger in the world, more people will shift to yoga over a period of time and it will become the most popular way of seeking wellbeing

Another study has shown that the brain’s gamma-aminobutyric (GABA) levels are higher after practicing yoga. Higher GABA levels are associated with lower levels of depression and anxiety. 

To put it simply, just 15 minutes of yoga a day can start changing your brain chemistry and improving your mood.

In general, yoga practice is recommended in the morning or the early evening. 

A morning yoga session can be quite active and consist of a full practice. Always finish with Savasana (Corpse Pose), no matter what time of day or season your practice. 

You may choose to do a different type of practice in the afternoon.

Maharishi Patanjali

Biography of Maharishi Patanjali says he is Known as the father of Yoga. He is also known as an author of Yoga Sutras and Mahabhashya.