Jnana means the knowledge. Jnana yoga is the yoga for the intelligent and selected people. Jnana yoga is the ultimate goal of all the other varieties of yoga. Jnana yoga teaches you to look at the world as it is without any ignorance and bias. You can achieve this state by practicing rigorous mental discipline and virtue.
This yoga is also called Raja Yoga or the king of all the yoga’s, since it is of the highest variety and rules over all the other varieties. This is the Yoga that Patanjali has described in his Yoga Sutras. This yoga is made up of eight parts of which five are external and the other three are internal.
Two of its parts, viz yama and niyama deal with types of behavior that the student of yoga should avoid like lying, cheating, stealing etc. and those behaviors that he should cultivate like cleanliness, non-collection etc. Asanas and Pranayama are the next two parts of this yoga. Asanas are the physical movements that help in developing the suppleness of the body and thus cure any diseases.
You can control your breath by using pranayama which increases the capacity of the lungs to take in air and thus increases the vitality of the body. The next part Pratyahara denotes the withdrawal of the sense organs from objects of enjoyment.
The remaining three parts deal with intense mental concentration. Patanjali maintained that practicing these eight parts of yoga faithfully and intensely will, over a period, erase all the impurities of the body and mind and thus attain knowledge that will liberate the person from bondage and ignorance.
This yoga is called Ashtanga Yoga since it is made of eight parts. It is also called as Dhyana yoga due to its stress on mental concentration. Hence, whenever there is any mention of yoga, it is usually implied that the person is talking about Jnana Yoga.
Where Did Yoga Originate?
Yoga is believed to have been in existence thousands of years ago even before the ancient people learned to write. It originated in India where its name was derived from the Sanskrit word yui which roughly translates to English as unite.
Experts believe that the practice was named this way because it unites the body, the mind and the soul into one to create a holistic effect. Over the years, more and more techniques are created to make a better yoga experience for people who want to improve their overall health condition.
Yoga Is more than stretching
Yoga is more than just stretching it is a spiritual experience as well as a physical one mastering exercises and postures as well as your breathing. Yoga is considered by some to be an alternative for medicine. It has a lot of benefits not only to the physical but also to the mental state of a person. So to conclude this beginners guide we will recap what we have just covered.
The Physical Aspect
Some people started practicing yoga because they wanted to become more flexible, The practice involves different asanas where muscles have to be stretched. This is very useful for people who have arthritis and those who are in their old age. As the body ages, the bones become more rigid and the muscles become weak. With yoga, even elderly people can move like they are 20 years younger.
Yoga poses are specially designed to improve the core strength of the body. As people continually practice the positions, the muscles are becoming more and more toned. After doing yoga for several weeks, you will realize that your stamina has improved and you will feel stronger.
With yoga’s focus on asanas, posture will be improved dramatically. A lot of medical conditions are brought about by poor posture which include spinal cord problem, chronic fatigue syndrome and back pain.
Good posture, on the other hand, will improve the circulation of blood in the body and will result to a healthier and more alert mind.
The Mental Aspect
Yoga focuses more on breathing than perfecting the poses especially for beginner classes. Proper breathing will
help clear the mind and reduce stress. With effective meditation techniques, people will be able to create more sound decisions and these will prevent them from acting out of whim.
Practicing yoga will prove to be essential in fighting depression and increasing concentration. When a person is depressed, a lot of things fill the mind and this can lead to several accidents involving poor concentration. This can directly affect work and daily routines.
How Does One Get Started With Yoga?
Although it is perfectly fine to practice yoga at home with instructional videos, it is still recommended for beginners to take basic lessons. Learning the proper way of breathing and the proper way of doing basic poses will be helpful to maximize the health benefits. Everyone should have all the necessary items which include yoga mats, straps and proper attire.
Knowing the basic order will also help beginners prepare for the sessions, Warm up asanas are done during the first few minutes followed by the asanas in their respective order standing, sitting, twists, supine and prone.
Finishing poses are done at the last part of the session which aims to cool down the body.
Yoga is great for everyone. Don’t procrastinate and start yoga today to reap the benefits.
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Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietitian before starting any fitness program or making any changes to your diet.