Yoga For Healing
Article by Linus Xavier
From ancient times, the purpose of yoga was to prepare the human body for enhanced spiritual enlightenment. Although today there is often still a strong spiritual element, the benefits of yoga for healing, for health and for general well being are more and more appreciated.
Many people who may not necessarily be spiritual, are finding a sense of peace and tranquillity while they participate in the yoga exercises, and then, a feeling of vitality and ‘aliveness’ afterwards.
An example of a merging of spiritual and healing exercises is to be found in the healing sun yoga. This yoga exercise is also known as Surya Namaskar or ‘Sun Salutation’.
The exercise consists of twelve smoothly integrated poses. It is performed in warm sunlight. The body is warmed up, while the muscles and spinal column are gently flexed and strengthened.
These movements are among many healing yoga poses. Each pose in its own way works on muscle groups in such a way as to avoid strain yet stretch the body and greatly increase flexibility of both muscles and joints.
As time progresses with regular time spent on yoga, these muscles and joints become increasingly strong and supple.
It must become immediately clear to anyone who suffers from painful, stiff joints that the practise of yoga for people with arthritis can be of immense benefit.
It is becoming increasingly well known and accepted that for most diseases and disabling conditions exercising is absolutely vital. The problem for arthritis sufferers is that most forms of exercise are jarring to the joints and very painful indeed.
For this reason, therapeutic yoga stands alone as the gentlest and easiest way to exercise. No unnecessary stress is placed on the damaged joints, while the gradual and gentle easing encourages flexibility without pain or further harm.
At the same time, the muscles are stretched and built up so that they begin to build a effective support system for the joints and helps relieve the strain on them.
In order to enhance the flexibility of stiff joints and to decrease soreness, Hot yoga was developed. The exercises are performed in a room where the temperature is maintained at about 95-100 F [35-38 C]. This is extremely warm; it encourages perspiration and eases stiffness.
Bikram yoga is the method of Bikram Choudhury. He uses Hot yoga. He created a set of 26 yoga poses that can be executed in about 90 minutes, each exercise being performed twice.
So much for the physical benefits of yoga; hundreds of people throughout the ages can verify the spiritual aspects of yoga; very closely allied to this is the powerful emotional effect that yoga can have.
Yoga for emotional healing is as important as yoga for physical healing. In fact the two are inseparable. There is abundant evidence that physical well-being is hugely influenced by emotional well-being. The reverse is equally true.
With the importance of emotional and physical healing foremost in the minds of yoga masters, the significance of laughter yoga benefits has not been overlooked. The old adage ‘laughter is the best medicine’ has been proved over and over again to be so true.
Anyone who has just enjoyed a hearty bout of laughter can vouch for the fact that they emerge from it relaxed, revitalised and in a very positive frame of mind.
These days you will even find laughter yoga dvds available to help you explore the benefits and joy that laughter can give you.
If you are thinking of trying yoga for yourself, there are types of yoga for beginners. These are simple and gently progressive. But from the word ‘go’ you should be able to feel the immediate relaxation benefits and renewed vitality from even the ‘beginner’ exercises.
At the other end of the scale, Kundalini yoga is an advanced type of meditation and yoga. Kundalini yoga healing involves physical, mental and spiritual discipline that foster the growth of strength, awareness, character, and ultimately, consciousness.
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