What is Yoga

In the modern day, yoga is primarily used as a means of exercise or meditation through various postures (known as asanas) and controlled breathing in order to achieve physical, mental & spiritual well-being.
  • Yoga is a holistic system for promoting harmony at physical, mental, emotional, social and even at spiritual levels.
  • Yoga helps create a better understanding of the meaning of complete overall fitness – that is the mind, body & soul.
  • Yoga practitioners work their way into altered states of consciousness.
  • The objective of achieving an altered state of consciousness is to dull the critical thinking process.

Types of Yoga

Many different types and forms of Yoga have been developed over the years such as Ashtanga Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Bikram Yoga, Iyenger Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga to name a few. While the different types of Yoga can be differentiated based on their inventors, level of difficulty, date of origin, equipment used, they can be broadly classified into three basic categories

Power Yoga – (click to expand/ collapse)

  • While yoga in any form is beneficial to health, power yoga is the form best suited for weight loss or as a substitute for a traditional gym workout. It focuses more on improving the strength and stamina of the practitioner and less on the spiritual aspects like meditation and chanting.

  • A few decades back, it was a commonly held perception that yoga was just about gentle stretching and meditation and that it didn’t really push the participants physically.

  • It is believed that Power Yoga was developed keeping this in mind in order to encourage more people to take it up. Moreover, using the term power yoga differentiated the intense, flowing style of yoga being taught from the more traditional versions. Power Yoga is now one of the most popular forms of exercise & workout worldwide, with many prominent public faces & celebrities endorsing it and its benefits.

It’s also referred to as Dynamic yoga.

  • Power yoga is a general term used to describe a vigorous, fitness-based approach to traditional yoga.
  • Power yoga lays emphasis on strength and flexibility.
  • Unlike traditional yoga, in power yoga there are no set poses or positions which have to be done in a particular sequence. This makes the sessions very interesting.
  • A power yoga session will generally include suryanamaskar– a common sequence of asanas.
  • There is no specific definition for power yoga. Each trainer applies his own learning and experience to traditional yoga asanas to develop a yoga workout which will best serve his students.

Therapeutic Yoga - (click to expand/ collapse)

  • Therapeutic Yoga blends gentle yoga, breath-work, hands-on healing, and guided meditation techniques combined in such a way that it is an excellent choice for those who need something gentle yet effective for bringing the body into balance and reducing stress.

  • A lot of patients use therapeutic yoga to supplement physical therapy or sometimes even as a substitute for it. It helps people cope with injuries and illness, pain, emotional adjustments, challenges of aging, limiting conditions and life-style changes.

  • While each & every yoga session has therapeutic value, therapeutic classes are created with the sole purpose of reducing discomfort and pain. Therapeutic yoga sessions are generally done on a personal basis or for a group of people suffering from the same ailment. It lays a special emphasis on the person’s physical condition. However, instead of focusing on the perceived limitations, and getting stuck with the feeling of helplessness, the teacher helps the patients see their true potential and the possibilities despite limitations.

Traditional Yoga – (click to expand/ collapse)

  • The traditional form of yoga, which is considered to be the original and true form of yoga, is very different from what is practiced today. It is purely spiritual in nature. Although important, asanas constitute only a very small part of traditional yoga.

  • Traditional yoga talks about both external & internal practices.

External Practices

  • Yama
  • Niyama
  • Asana
  • Pranayama

Yama and niyama are ten commitments of attitude and behavior. One set of disciplines (niyama) is meant to improve the human personality and the other (yama) is meant to guide our relationships and interactions with other beings in the world. Thus traditional yoga is an education for both internal and external growth.

The five yamas, or restraints, are nonviolence, truthfulness, nonstealing, sensual moderation, and non- possessiveness. Their practice leads to changes in behavior and emotions, in which all negative emotions are replaced by positive ones. The five niyamas, or observances, are cleanliness (both external and internal), contentment, practices which bring about perfection of body and senses (tapas), study of the scriptures, and surrender to the ultimate reality. The niyamas lead to the control of our behavior and eventually are extremely positive factors in developing the personality.

In the beginning we should not be discouraged by the challenge of these first two steps. For example, even before we have succeeded in developing the trait of nonviolence completely, we will see increasing peace in our lives and meditation as a result of attempting to practice this yama.

Usually, when yoga is taught in the modern world, only asanas (physical postures) and certain breathing practices are taught. Yama and niyama often are ignored. Because of this, hatha yoga has become somewhat superficial, sometimes emphasizing only physical beauty or egoism about skill and strength in postures. Certainly asanas and breathing exercises create physical health and harmony, but only when our minds are free from violent emotions can we achieve a calm, creative, and tranquil mental state.

Actually, there are two types of asanas - meditative postures and postures that ensure physical well-being. A stable meditative posture helps us create a serene breath and calm mind. A good meditative posture should be comfortable and stable, ensuring that the head, neck, and trunk are erect and in a straight line. If the body is uncomfortable, it makes the mind agitated and distracted. The second kind of postures are practiced to perfect the body, making it limber and free from disease. These postures stimulate specific muscles and nerves and have very beneficial effects.

The fourth step is pranayama. Prana is the vital energy that sustains body and mind. The grossest manifestation of prana is the breath, so pranayama is also called the "science of breath." These exercises lead to calming and concentration.

Internal Practices

  • Pratyahara
  • Dharana (Concentration)
  • Dhyana (Meditation)
  • Samadhi

Pratyahara means withdrawal and control of the senses. While we are awake, the mind becomes involved with the events, experiences, and objects of the external world through the five senses of sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. The mind constantly gathers sensations from the external world through these senses and our mind reacts to them. To attain inner calmness, the student of yoga will want to develop the ability to voluntarily remove the distractions of the world outside. This is not a physical process but a voluntary, mental process of letting go of our involvement with external sensations.

Our sensory impressions distract the mind when we want it to become aware of serenity within. Thus, it is useful to learn Dharana, or concentration. In concentration, the scattered power of the mind is coordinated and focused on an object of concentration through continued voluntary attention. This voluntary attention uses a conscious effort of the will, and it is developed through consistent practice. Through concentration, a scattered, weak mind is focused and made more powerful.

Next step is Dhyana, or meditation. Meditation is the result of continued, unbroken concentration. Concentration makes the mind one-pointed, calm, and serene. Meditation then expands the one-pointed mind to the superconscious state. Meditation is the uninterrupted flow of the mind toward one object or concept. When the mind expands beyond conscious and subconscious levels and assumes this superconscious flow, then intuitive knowledge dawns. All the methods of yoga prepare us to eventually reach this stage of meditation and thus attain peace, perfection, and tranquility.

In our daily lives, meditation can be very helpful in eliminating many physical and psychological problems. A significant amount of the disease we experience is actually either directly or indirectly the result of conflicts, repression, or emotional distress arising in the conscious or unconscious mind. Meditation helps us to become aware of these conflicts and to resolve them, establishing tranquility and peace. In this way, meditation becomes a powerful resource for facing the challenges of daily life.

If we really consider how we learn in the modern world, we realize that despite all our emphasis on education, our education is one- sided and shallow. We may learn to memorize equations and facts, but we do not really learn to understand and develop our own inner life. Our minds remain scattered and our emotions persist as negative, conflicting forces. We are able to use only a small portion of our mental abilities, because we are preoccupied with confusion, fear, and inner conflict. Meditation helps us to overcome these limitations; it helps us to become aware of the subtler and more positive powers within. In gaining this awareness, we become creative and dynamic. Abilities such as intuition, which many consider unusual or rare, are actually within the potential of all human beings who meditate. Such gifts are available to those who make contact with the deeper aspects within themselves.

Prolonged and intense meditation leads to the last step - The state of Samadhi, the superconscious state. In this state we become one with the higher Self and transcend all imperfections and limitations. The state of samadhi is the fourth state of consciousness, which transcends the three normal states of waking, dreaming, and dreamless sleep.

This superconscious level is our human essence; it is universal and transcends all the divisions of culture, creed, gender or age. This awareness of the infinite consciousness is the practical and real goal of yoga.

Corporate Yoga

  • Yoga can help alleviate the physical and mental stress among today’s executives
  • The strain of long working hours and uncertain schedules can be lessened through the use of proper breathing techniques and asanas
  • Components of Endzone’s yoga session
    • Desktop Yoga
      • Basic stretches
      • Asanas on chair
      • Understanding how to avoid injuries and aches through correct postures
      • Correction of wrong postures
      • Incorporating Yoga in daily life
      • Understanding of basic breathing patterns and correction of incorrect ones
      • Interactive Q & A session with participants

Corporate Meditation

  • A practical training program that can empower staff and managers to experience unshakeable calmness and inner clarity in the midst of any challenge or crisis
  • Endzone’s meditation sessions involve simple meditation techniques combined with various pranayamas for deep impact and definite results

What does a Meditation session entail

  • Introduction to meditation
    • Understanding its true meaning and clearing myths
    • Learning about the right environment, right posture and appropriate breathing techniques to practice meditation
  • Pranayama session (gearing up for the meditation session)
  • Meditation session with the help of visualization
  • Culmination of the meditation session
    • Returning from a meditative state
  • Interactive Q & A session with the participants
    • Understanding one’s experience

Benefits of Yoga

Physical benefits

  • Increases Strength and stamina
  • Improved balance
  • Greater flexibility
  • Toning of muscles
  • Facilitates weight loss
  • Complete detoxification
  • It is used for maintaining proper posture.
  • Removal of toxins through sweat
  • Increased metabolic rate

Psychological benefits

  • Improved concentration and discipline for better work and study habits
  • Increases activeness of the mind
  • Helps create a better understanding of the meaning of complete fitness
  • Reduction of stress and tension

Medical benefits

  • Improved blood circulation
  • Stronger immune system
  • Reduced chances of lifestyle diseases like insomnia, hypertension and obesity
  • Help in dealing with sinus problems, asthma and bronchitis.

Benefits of Meditation

  • Reduction in stress and anxiety levels
  • Improved mental abilities and heightened creativity
  • Better problem solving skills
  • Increased focus and concentration
  • Better and more restful sleep
  • Healing of unresolved mental & emotional blocks

For yoga & meditation, we can provide trainers for

  • Corporate workshops
  • Regular sessions at the office/ workplace
  • Personal sessions
  • Group classes
  • Community/ neighbourhood classes
  • Trainers for institute & gyms
  • Trainers for schools

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