In his book Light on Life, Mr. Iyengar says, “Most people ask only from their body that it does not trouble them. Most people feel that they are healthy if they are not suffering from illness or pain, not aware of the imbalances that exist in their bodies and minds that ultimately will lead to disease.” He goes on to say, ” Yoga has a threefold impact on health. It keeps healthy people healthy, it inhibits the development of diseases, and it aids in recovery from ill health.”
There are many types of perceived health
Some types of health we think about include: physical health, mental health, intellectual health, and the health of our consciousness (divine health). Yoga addresses all these types of health. Through the practice of asana (poses) alone we are able to feel the effects of better health in the form of firmness of body, intellectual clarity, and benevolence of spirit. Partly from the busy lifestyles of today, we have learned to separate our mind and consciousness from our bodies . We move around like machines with floating heads, not acknowledging or understanding the interconnection of the body, mind and spirit. Often, beginners come to yoga class feeling rigid and stiff. These descriptions are not always limited to the physical body. These same people are often rigid in their thinking and the way they replay memories from the their lives. Rigidity comes from accumulated toxins whether in the physical sense or mental. These toxins cause us to develop a hard shell around us, making it difficult to let the free flow of energy in, as well as letting toxic waste out. The result is disease.
You are the Average of the 5 People You are Around Most
Usually when you hear that phrase, you think of intelligence or success. In this article, Tony Robbins says that the people around you have the power to influence your moods, and affect how you see the world. Let me challenge you to apply this phrase to every part of your life. Do you want to have true health? If you said, “yes” then you need to surround your self with people living a healthy life style. Not only do you need to be taking care of your body with right action such as exercise and proper sleep, but also the food you take in, the things you allow yourself to see (screen time and the news), and the things (ex. music, podcasts, or other people) you listen to. Surround your self with people that uplift you and encourage you to live a healthy lifestyle. Let yourself be challenged by these people and learn new ways of thinking so that you become supple and strong. Healthy people are beautiful, well-balanced, strong and flexible!
The Body Should be Neither Neglected nor Pampered
The body is the only tool you were given to aid your in your journey in this world. It is with your body that you interact in this world and improve your physical, mental and spiritual health. As you work on Headstand, Shoulder Stand, Twisting Poses, Forward Bends, and Back Bends and all the other asanas you are challenging your body as you are quieting the chatter of your mind. You are facing your fears, and developing a healthy self-reliance. You are coming into contact with your truth, learning how to integrate your body, mind and spirit again. Rediscover your wholeness!
What Yoga Poses Should I Practice to Improve My Health?
Here are a few common poses with a list of the benefits (as you know there are so many more poses, and they all have a long list of benefits)
- Triangle Pose: tones the leg muscles, removes stiffness of the legs and hips, corrects any minor deformity in the legs, relieves backaches and neck sprains, strengthens the ankels, and develops the chest
- Camel Pose: good for people with hunched backs or drooped shoulders, the spine is toned
- Chair Pose: removes stiffness in the shoulders, and corrects diformities in the legs, strengthens ankles and legs, diapragm is lifted – masaging the heart, abdominal organs and back are toned, chest is developed
- Upward-Facing Dog: rejuvinates the spine, good for people with sciatica or slipped disk, lungs gain elasticity, circulates blood properly in the pelvis
- Downward-Facing Dog: removes fatigue, good for runners, relieves pain in the heels, strengthens ankles, makes legs shapely, eradicates stiffness between shoulderblades, abdominal muscles are strengthened, heart beat slows
- Head Stand: brings healthy blood to the brain, thinking power increases, nourishes pitituary and pineal glands, good for people suffering from loss of sleep, memory and vitality, strengthens the lungs, improves immunity, relieves constipation, improves haemoglobin content of the blood, decilpines the mind; one becomes balanced and self-relient in pain and pleasure, loss and gain, shame and fame, and defeat and victory.
- Shoulder Stand: helps endocrine glands to be nourished and circulation of hormones is improved, venous blood is returned to the heart without strain, healthy blood is circulated around the chest and neck improving breathlessness, bronchitis, and throat ailments, eradictes colds and sinus issues, allows bowels to move freely, calms nerves, helps with urinary disorders and uterus displacement, relieve low vitality and anaemia
If you wanted to improve the health of the body, there is not just one pose to practice. You need a well-rounded practice is what. Practicing yoga at home is necessary, but practicing in class with a teacher is also necessary. The risk is when you fall into a rut and begin to practice yoga in a mechanical, floating head kind of way. The trap is mindlessness imbalance!