YOGA is an acronym coined from the Sanskrit root ‘YUJ’’ which means to join together in harmony or to Unite. A Yogic practice leads to the union of individual consciousness, thereby defining a perfect harmony between man and nature, and between the mind and body. The aim of Yoga is self-realization to overcome all kinds of suffering leading to a state of liberation. It is one of the oldest sciences in the world originated in India. Since the Indus valley civilization began in 2700 B.C., yoga has been considered an immortal cultural product. Yoga can be found in folk traditions, the Indus valley civilization, the Vedic and Upanishad heritage, the Buddhist and Jain heritage, the darshanas of the Mahabharata and Ramayana epics, theistic traditions of Shaivas, Vaishnavas, and Tantrics. In ancient times, there was historical evidence that yoga existed, and it continued until the time of Patanjali.
The eight limbs of yoga are as follows:
There are eight limbs to the yogic life, which provide guidelines for living.
- Yoga has Yamas (abstinences),
- Niyamas (observances),
- Asanas (postures),
- Pranayamas (breathing),
- Pratyaharas (withdrawals),
- Dharanas (concentrations),
- Ghanas (meditations), and
- Samadhi (absorptions)
1) Yoga is a registered Olympic sport
Yoga was approved by the Olympic Committee as a competitive sport by the USA Federation in 2016. Five mandatory poses will be performed by competitors for a total of three minutes before a panel of judges, namely the standing head-to-knee pose, bowing pose, rabbit pose and stretching pose, which will be judged based on flexibility, balance, timing, and breathing.
2) Yoga has tons of health benefits
The practice of yoga can greatly enhance a practitioner’s self-esteem, help them sleep better, and ease anxiety and depression symptoms. Weight loss is also possible with this method. Additionally, it reduces skin breakouts, improves confidence, and delays aging.
3) Yoga is for all
Yoga has many benefits beyond being young, fit, and healthy. Anyone can practice it, whether they are a child or an elderly person. Interestingly, it has been found to improve the symptoms of arthritis in seniors! The practice of yoga doesn’t require flexibility, and practitioners end up becoming more flexible as they engage in it. Women can even practice restorative yoga and hatha yoga during pregnancy since these are both “safe” yoga poses.
4) Yoga is Not a religion
Yoga is not a religion, contrary to popular belief because of its prominent connections to Hinduism and Buddhism. It is practiced by millions of people across a variety of cultures and religions in every corner of the world. Worldwide, there are reportedly 300 million practitioners of yoga, with 36 million practicing in the US alone.
5) Yoga improves productivity at work
Yoga practitioners feel more productive by 69 minutes per week because their stress levels are better managed, according to a 2012 journal of occupational health psychology study.
6) The yoga industry is HUGE
There are more than 84 billion dollars invested worldwide in the yoga industry. In the United States alone, yoga classes and equipment cost about US $ 16 billion a year.
7) Of all yoga practitioners, 72% are women.
There has been an increase of 150% in the number of male yoga practitioners in recent years, but women still constitute the majority of yoga practitioners. People between the ages of 30 and 49 make up 43% of the group.
8) Yoga decreases depressive symptoms across all 17 Hamilton Depression Rating Scale items.
In a recent study, Yoga was found to reduce depression symptoms in patients with depression in only two months. When considering these facts about yoga, it is clear that symptoms are generally reduced. Despite not responding to classical antidepressants, this was still reported in patients.
9) Yoga first came to America in the late 1800s.
In 1893, yogi Swami Vivekananda gave a lecture at the Parliament of Religions in Washington, DC as the first yoga lecture in the US Chicago. Indra Devi started a yoga studio in Hollywood in 1947, which led to the rise of the movement.
10) As much as 67% of yoga practitioners like to do yoga in their homes.
With the recent lockdowns, this trend has been beneficial, but only 43% of practitioners prefer gyms and 38% prefer yoga studios. Interestingly, only 32% of yogis prefer to do yoga outdoors.
11) Research shows Yoga delays Aging:
It is possible to slow the aging process at a cellular level by reducing tension, anxiety, and stress. Strength and relaxation are the two fundamental principles of yoga that slow the aging process. The practice of yoga is even capable of reversing the process of muscle loss when it comes to preventing it.
12) Yoga Boost Immune system:
Additionally, yoga restores autonomic reflex regulation and balances sympathetic and parasympathetic responses to stress, preventing impairment of cell-mediated immunity reflected in IFN-γ levels.
13) Yoga can help to reduce the risk of developing heart disease :
In addition to increasing a person’s ability to lower blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood glucose levels, yoga may also lower heart rate, making it a useful lifestyle intervention.