Let’s Flex: Yoga for the Commons

How I started practicing Yoga?

I wanted relief and stress relief, a route for relaxation and a practice for keeping my optimally healthy. I did not want to build or tone muscles but keep my system running clean and neat. I basically need a regular maintenance process and servicing process just like car servicing. However I found too many variation and complexities in current method of teaching Yoga.

However, I found better more simpler complete alternatives that would help me maintain my body system and its smooth functioning.

What is Yoga?

It is started some 3000 years ago by Indian philosopher and yogi named ‘Patanjali’. Parallely in Tamil Nadu by Thirumoolar and other Siddhas.

There are 3 parts:

  1. Postures/ Asanas
  2. Breathing/ Pranayama
  3. Meditation/ Dhyana

Keeping the body and mind straight is only the means to the larger goal of ‘samadhi’ or enlightenment. This purpose I cannot overstate especially with the path the current yoga industry is conjuring up.

It’s bit of a Stretch: What is Not Yoga?

The meaning of word ‘Yoga’ means ‘union/ join’. The Ancient Rishis and Yogis of India taught us the philosophy of Yoga as means of uniting with God. Stretching, balancing and flexing asanas is one part of the Yoga where it helps to keep a perfect body to pursue higher goals of self-enlightenment and mukti.

However such union should not be painful or sternful. In Western exercise proponents harsh, vigourous and punishing regimens. It employs use of lifting weights and complicated machines. The focus is on building the muscle tone rather than on building a healthy body. The idea is sculpt a body that is impressive rather than useful.

While Yoga is considered as alternative, still the western world has an incomplete perception of the idea. The word ‘Yoga’ conjures up images of twisted and elastic bodies. It shows finely sculpted and toned bodies in tights – again working on external appearance of the body rather than trying to attain the union of body and mind which seldom the western practice of ‘Yoga’ misses. In fact, it would not be wrong to say the Western world got attracted by the complexity of the routines and awed by the strangeness of the odd sounding names and techniques and fell trap to the interest of the ‘snake-oil’ selling practitioners.

They made it an elite venture.

I want to break this myth.

And no it would not require twisting oddly and bending unnaturally to tune your body.

It could be practicised by anybody from 6 to 60 years.

It is – Yoga for Simple Folks – like you and me.

What are the problems that Yoga can help address and solve?

Yoga can generally help to:

  • Heightened awareness
  • Empower the body
  • Improve the soul
    • Smooth flow of the life force in the body
    • Feel light

Problems in Mental areas that Yoga can cure:

  • Reduce Mental tension
  • Reduce angry reaction
  • Reduce anxiety and hyper activity
  • Reduce stress level
  • Improve stillness in mind and provide stability and sanity of thought
  • Clear your mental clutter and give clarity of mind
  • Cures insomnia and sleeplessness
  • Increases control over your body and bodily temptations
  • Increases your will power and authority over senses
  • Increases your discipline and confidence

Problems in Physical areas that Yoga can cure:

  • Cures back pains
  • Cures neck/ shoulder pains
  • Lose weight
  • Burns extra calories in natural/ organic way
  • Release muscular tension

Problems in Diseases that Yoga can cure:

  • Arithritis and join points
  • Asthma, seizures
  • Controls cholesterol level
  • Level blood sugar levels
  • Better blood movement
  • Reduce the risk of heart and cardiovascular diseases
  • Better functioning of internal organs
  • Hormonal balance
  • Stabilizes imbalances in metabolism
  • Cures constipation


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