Amidst the stress of the daily activities our mind yearns for tranquility. Often it is temporarily attained by a walk on the seashore or by gazing at the soothing sunrise. So what better way to relax than to take a break and opt for the soothing activities yoga and meditation?
Practicing Yoga and meditation are not just key techniques to unwind you. They can be opted to channelize your mind, rejuvenate your soul and keep your body fit. It is in the coordination of the three: body, soul and mind that the perfect state of composure can be attained. Yoga clubs the rhythm of the body with the melody of the mind and the harmony of the soul, to create symphony of life. The term Yoga is perhaps linked to the English word 'Yoke'. Probably Yoga means to 'yoke' the body, mind and soul together. The practice of Yoga aims at uniting the three. Yoga originated way back in the 4th century BC.
A sage, Patanjali, put forward yoga as a system of philosophy. The common form of Yoga is also referred to as the Ashtang Yoga, which comprises of eight basic features namely Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratayahara, dharna, dhayan and samadhi. Each feature has its own significance. Yama promotes the universal disciplines of truth, self-control, non-violence, non-stealing and non-greed. The second feature, Niyama, endorses human values of contentment, self-study, penance, cleanliness and surrender to God. Asanas are the various yogic postures that are to be performed to keep the body fit and fine. The management of the breath is covered under the aspect of Pranayama. The feature of Pratayahara is practiced to compose the mind and alienate oneself from the five senses. Dharna and Dhyan are about concentrating and meditating and the final aspect of Samadhi refers to the ultimate state of oneness with God.
The people till date practice the ancient art of medication of Yoga religiously as it brings out the best in the person. Usually the common man practices Yoga for curing specific problems and taking remedies against the illness.
Healing oneself through yoga is neither instant nor very pleasant. The common people may practice yoga to cure the common modern day ailments like Asthma and Arthritis. There are several asanas that can be practice to inculcate confidence and keep depression at bay. Attainment of the certain pose instructed in an asana makes the body supple.
Since times immemorial sages have been know to meditate. Meditation is done to reach positive and holistic health. Meditation can be practiced to develop the awareness and the energy required to transform deep-rooted mental habit patterns. Meditation has been known to cure common problems of depression and schizophrenia or irrational fears. The various forms of meditation comprise of chakra, yantra and mantra. They all aim at calming the mind through concentration. Meditation, the state of extreme absorption leads to peace and empowerment. Meditation is practiced in various styles like concentrating on an image, chanting or regulatory breathing. All of the styles aim at preventing thoughts and aiming at the energy centers in the body.
There are several centers bringing the authentic forms of Yoga and meditation techniques within the reach of the common man. In case you undertake a yoga tour the yoga classes will be specially organized for groups as well as individuals. For performing meditation of any form, the back should be straight. You may either sit of the floor or a chair. You should not have excessive food before performing meditation but should clean your face and hands.
India has been the land of saints and sages who meditated and practiced yoga. The spiritual city of Rishikesh happens to be the Yoga capital of India. Tourists and travelers flock to contemplate and practice Yoga and meditation in the lap of Himalayas. The city hosts the International Yoga Week every year in the month of February attracting several experts and participants. The trip to Rishikesh is incomplete without the visit to the Glasshouse on the Ganges, which was once a private garden retreat of Maharaja of Tehri Garhwal.