Yoga is a complete science of life that originated in
India many thousands of years ago. It is the oldest system of personal development in the world encompassing the entire body,
mind and spirit. It is the union between a person's own consciousness and the universal consciousness. The Ancient Yogis had
a profound understanding of man's essential nature and of what he needs to live in harmony with himself and his environment.
They perceived the physical body as a vehicle, with the mind as driver, the soul as man's true identity, and action, emotion
and intelligence as the three forces which pull the body-vehicle. In order for these to be integrated, these three forces
must be in balance. Taking into account the interrelationship between body and mind, the Yogis formulated a unique method
for maintaining this balance - a method that combines all the movements you need for physical health with the Breathing and
Meditation techniques that ensure peace of mind.
These 5 principles constitute the essence of the teachings
1. Proper Exercise (Asanas)
Our physical body is meant to move and exercise. If our
lifestyle does not provide natural motion of muscles and joints, then disease and great discomfort will ensue with time. Proper
exercise should be pleasant to the practitioner while beneficial to the body, mind and spiritual life.
2. Proper Breathing (Pranayama)
Yoga teaches us how to use the lungs to their maximum
capacity and how to control the breath. Proper breathing should be deep, slow and rhythmical. This increases vitality and
3. Proper Relaxation (Savasana)
Long before the invention of cars, planes, telephones,
computers, freeways and other modern triggers of stress, the Rishis (sages or seers) and Yogis of yore devised very powerful
techniques of deep relaxation. As a matter of fact, many modern stress-management and relaxation methods borrow heavily from
this tradition. By relaxing deeply all the muscles the Yogi can thoroughly rejuvenate his/her nervous system and attain a
deep sense of inner peace.
4. Proper Diet
Besides being responsible for building our physical body,
the foods we eat profoundly affect our mind. For maximum body-mind efficiency and complete spiritual awareness, Yoga advocates
a lacto-vegetarian diet. This is an integral part of the Yogic lifestyle.
5. Meditation (Dhyana)
Here is the most important point of all, we become what
we think. Thus we should exert to entertain positive and creative thoughts as these will contribute to vibrant health and
a peaceful, joyful mind. A positive outlook on life can be developed by learning and practicing the teachings of the philosophy
of Vedanta. The mind will be brought under perfect control by regular practice of meditation.
"There are two obstacles to
vibrant health and longevity
ignorance and complacency."
World Health Organization