Using the Force of Yoga
As our knowledge of health and fitness increases, people are becoming more and more interested in not only taking care of themselves physically, but mentally and spiritually as well. As a result, many are turning to more complete approaches to health, including less mainstream fitness methods such as yoga.
Yoga’s origins lie in Hindu philosophy, which was developed thousands of years ago in India. Today, yoga is a system of movements and meditation that emphasizes physical control and discipline as a way to achieve a state of spiritual knowledge.
Yoga’s ideal state of knowledge is reached after a person has gone through eight different stages. These include aspects of self-control, religion, postures, regulation of breath, restraint of senses, steadying of the mind, meditation, and profound thought. For a practitioner of yoga, or "yogi" the progression through these stages is a movement from the physical toward a perfect mental state.
There are eight major schools of yoga, each varying in its area of emphasis. The type of yoga that is taught in the West is mainly a combination of exercise and meditation called Hatha Yoga. Hatha Yoga is said to have a number of positive effects, such as reducing weight, strengthening muscles and nerves, cleaning out the body, and generally improving health and prolonging life.
Recent decades have seen yoga gain widespread acceptance as a method of staying in shape, as well as a way of handling stress. Pop singer Madonna and supermodel Christy Turlington are just two of the many celebrities known to be strong advocates of yoga.
At present, there is a lot of speculation and uncertainty about yoga and its effects. One thing, however, is certain: In our modern world of fast-paced lifestyles, taking time out to meditate and do some relaxing exercise cannot be a bad thing!
2011-12-01 12:00 编辑：wjy2005tom