Yoga is an ancient art. By practicing the art, it frees from life’s sorrows and from the diseases and fluctuations of the mind. It gives serenity, composure, and an inward unity amid the diverse struggles of life. Yoga is the study of the functioning of the body, the mind, and the intellect in the process of attaining freedom. Yoga aims to restrain both physical disturbances and mental modifications. Physical disturbances are sickness, inaction, doubt, delusion, carelessness, non-abstention, inadvertent conception, non-attainment, instability in their activity, sorrow, dejection, restlessness and disturbed breathing.
Health means total freedom from physical and mental afflictions in order to achieve one’s goal in his/her life. If life has to be protected, health must be maintained and the functioning of the various organs of the body, especially the central nervous system, should be well taken care of. Many diseases are due to mental depression, anger, grief, uninhibited sexual indulgence, anxiety, discontent, distrust and other psychological disturbances.
The practice of Yoga brings a perfect balance in body and mind. It gives the body the needy health to cooperate with the mind, so that steadiness, composure, and firmness are developed. Sage Patanjali, the creator of Yoga, explains that the practice of Yoga enables one to avoid the pain that might be in store in the future. Yoga is not only preventive, but also curative. Unlike other systems, its aim is to develop symmetry, coordination, and endurance in the body. It activates the internal organs and makes them function harmoniously.
Yoga is a naturopathic process of treatment with slow but certain progress. It can complement the medicines provided by modern science by speeding the recovery and helping to counteract harmful side effects. Asanas are most helpful in eradicating fatigue, aches, and pains. They heal and also help to remain healthy. The Asanas can help to correct the faulty muscle movements that cause strains and sprains. They create freedom from pressure and tension, increase range of movement, and give speed, elasticity, strength, endurance, and coordination to the entire system.
The Practice of yoga has a tremendous effect on character and makes one morally strong. One’s approach to life becomes more positive and tolerant. Pride and egoism are eradicated and humbleness and humility set in.