What is yoga? - Tenerife Yoga
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Sun, sea and stress free

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Sun, sea and stress free

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Sun, sea and stress free

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Sun, sea and stress free

What is yoga?

Yoga is an Indian philosophy. The word Yoga originated from the Sanskrit and means unity (literal translation: to yoke, to tighten, to tie together). This stays in the context to bring the body , the mind and the soul in harmony together, with the aim to unify yourself with the consciousness.

To be able to practice this with the best possible conditions, the Yogis created body exercises (Asanas), breathing exercises (Pranajama), deep relaxation exercises (Savasana), guidelines for right food (Sattvig vegetarian food), as well as practices of positive thinking (Vedanta) and meditation (Dhyana).

There are many different ways of yoga, because the people have different preconditions and tendencies. Classically the following 4 main yoga ways are described. But in each way a lot of different yoga methods are developed:

  • Jnana yoga: (Yoga of the knowledge and recognition)
  • Raja yoga: the 8-stage way (Ashtanga) which was described by Patanjali. It contains (Yama – bans; Niyama – commendments; Asana – maintained position; Pranayama – control of the live energy and breath; Pratyahara – Withdraw of the senses; Dharana – concentration; Dhyana – meditation; and Samadhi – above conscious state).
  • Bhakti yoga: (the way of the devotion, love and admiration)
  • Karma yoga: (the way of the good deed and action or activity)

The Hatha yoga which is most practice and best known in the west, is the yoga of strain. It is part of the Raja yoga and focus more on the physical aspects.

Where does yoga come from?

Approx. 5000 years ago (ca. 3000 B. C. ) in the Indus culture representations from yoga positions were found (e. g. , Northern India in Harappa). That means yoga is minimum this age, but very likely to be older.

From approx. 3500 years ago the oldest Yoga scriptures started with the Veden and Upanishaden.

Patanjali which taught the classical principle of the yoga, the “Yogasutra” lived approx. before 2400 – 2200 years.

With Alexander the Great, the influence of yoga reached by the yogis at that time, also to Greece and their poets and philosophers.

Yoga is therefore already a millenniums proven practise to keep body, mind and soul in harmony. Which practise can say this from itself?

Is yoga socially recognised?

In 2006, the NHS in Germany agreed on a prevention guideline, which stipulated that health courses for phisically exercises, stress management, nutrition and avoidence of addiction behavior would be supported.

Yoga is considered a primary prevention according to § 20 paragraph 1 SGB V (German legal social code) for the area of stress reduction and relaxation. Hence the health insurance subsidised Yoga courses to 80% but very often up to 100%. This shows that the health care system is fully aware of the benefits of yoga.

According to BDY (German Yoga association), about 3.3% or about 2.6 million people in Germany practiced yoga in 2014. A further 12% or about 10 million Germans have already experied Yoga.

Yoga is also becoming more and more popular in the professional sports.

For example, the German national football team, various NBA players (including Dirk Nowitzki, Joe Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) are practicing yoga. Yoga is practice in American football clubs, in Golf (Tiger Woods) and many other professional sports such as athletics, Hockey, etc.

In addition, also many celebrities practice yoga and know of its advantages. Such as Madonna, Sting, Daniel Greg, David Lynch, Lady Gaga, Julia Roberts or Richard Gere) to name a few.

Companies are also discovering more and more yoga as part of their company health management.

In short, yoga has already arrived and is accepted in the society. This is not only expressed by the recognition of the health insurances, but also because of the large number of yoga practitioners and endless numerous positive studies, which proofs the benefits of yoga and is therfore used in sport and in the industry health management as well.

Yoga and health

There is already a huge number of studies of universities, industry and research institutes which were private and public initiated, and which witness the high grade of effectiveness given by yoga. This apply for physical, as well as for psychological sufferings.

The effect of yoga among others are:

  • Cells age slower,
  • positive effects on genes
  • helps at tuberculosis and COPD
  • is good for the heart
  • keeps the brain young
  • helps after a stroke and in case of high blood pressure
  • strengthens the immune system
  • helps with chronic back- and neck pain
  • helps in case of overweight and alleviates diabetes
  • helps in the case of rheumatism and osteoarthritis, as well as in case of various cancers or at bone reduction
  • helps for sexual functionality
  • reduces depression, anxiety, stress, and pain

by reading this list it becomes clear that yoga has an incredible potential for health.

Download 75 Health Conditions Benefited by Yoga, as Demonstrated in Scientific Studies, From Yoga as Medicine by Timothy McCall, MD

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