* Dr. Dimple Lathwal Author:- P.G.. Scholar
** DR. S.S. Waghmar Guide : -Samhita & Siddhant Department
Yashwant Ay. College & P.G.T.& R.C.,Kodoli,Kolhapur
The word “yoga” comes from the Sanskrit root “yuj”, which means, “to yoke” the spirit and physical body together. Yoga has evolved over thousands of years to embrace a wide range of styles and disciplines.
Yoga is a popular activity for athletes, children, and seniors. Yoga can be modified to suit all levels of fitness. Yoga has been proven to lower blood pressure and increases strength and flexibility. Yoga energizes our bodies and calms our minds.
There are many different types of yoga and all of them benefit a different category of people. When you say you do Yoga, you should also be aware of what kind of Yoga you are doing, for only then will you be able to figure out the right benefits of all these yoga types and do the one that would suit your needs the best. Here is a list of the biggest types of yoga – the ones you must know about.
- Ashtanga Yoga: Ashtanga Yoga is one of the oldest kinds of yoga. This branch of yoga has been mentioned in the Patanjali, a Sanskrit verse and book. This type of yoga has 8 branches, which is why it is called Ashtanga yoga. It includes processes such as yoga positions, postures, breathing, concentration on objects, withdrawal of senses, meditation etc. The main benefit of this kind of yoga is the fact that it is supposed to purify the body and the mind at the same time and it is recommended for those people who are looking for a branch of yoga that would let them become physically as well as mentally fit. The postures and stances practiced under this type of yoga have to be done in different sets. There are six such sets. These sets are supposed to increase the heat of the body, hence remove impurities from the body, which will eventually lead to mental and spiritual wellness. The well- known sun salutations or the “Surya Namaskara” form a part of this type of yoga. This is how Ashtanga yoga has to be started, followed by the sets that the person is practicing at that point of time. The first stage of Ashtanga yoga is known as “Yoga Chikitsa” or Yoga Therapy. The second stage is known as Nadi Shodana or Nerve cleansing and the last stage is Stirah Bagah, which is steady strength. The new fad in yoga- Power Yoga is actually adapted from this kind of yoga. It is also one of the most popular yoga types right now.
- Hatha Yoga: Hatha yoga relies extensively on postures and asanas for its benefit. In fact, the combination of the syllables ha and tha itself is supposed to awaken the two governing energies of life. Of all the types of yoga, this is the one that focuses on the need of advancing the life forces, energy, the chakra and the kundalini the most. Hatha Yoga is all about promoting the spiritual and mental well being of a person. It consists of asana, which is followed by the six shatkarmas. Both these put together form the physical and mental detox. It also includes Pranayama, bandhas, which are spiritual awakening and energy revealing practices. Hatha yoga is done in combination, by combining all these practices. The asanas are supposed to rid the body of diseases, following which one can focus on making the body and the mind fit. The shatkarma aids in cleansing the body, so that none of the energy is restrained or kept back. The Pranayama helps in spiritual awakening, which would definitely help a person, lead a healthier and happier life, mentally and emotionally. However, it is suggested that people practice Pranayama only while under the guidance of a guru or a teacher.
- Mantra Yoga: Mantra Yoga is the type of yoga that is practiced through the chanting of mantras. Thousands of mantras exist and it is believed that the vibrations released by these mantras can really help a person achieve their dreams and even cure diseases. What mantra yoga focuses on is learning these mantras in the right way. These mantras are believed to have a lot of power and it will not do for people to just chant them Anahata, Manipura, Swadishtana and Mooladhara. These are the chakras that connect us to the realms of our mind and heighten our consciousness. The Kundalini yoga concept says that all these chakras can be awakened if their six centres are awakened through Pranayama, bandha, asanas, mudras etc. In fact, it is suggested that people practice this kind of yoga with some other branch of yoga- such as Mantra Yoga or Swara Yoga to get the most benefits.
4.Kripalu Yoga : This is the yoga that deals with the consciousness. Of all the branches of yoga, this is the most relaxed one- it is there to make sure that people release all the emotional and spiritual blockages that are stopping them from achieving their goals. As a result of this, the main focus of this kind of yoga is not getting perfect stance or procedure, as in Ashtanga yoga, but it is getting the right kind of emotion. There are three stages in this kind of yoga-learning the postures and your body’s limits, holding these postures and developing awareness of one’s own self and body and the last stage is a meditative one in which the person learns how to shift from one posture to another fluidly, without disrupting their mental processes or thoughts.
5.Raja Yoga : This is yoga that was initiated by the Stage Patanjali. This branch of yoga consists of eight stages, all prescribed by Patanjali. Raja Yoga is a yoga system that deals with the personality and the body. It deals In the practice of pranayama, asanas, yamas (restraint) etc. After the physical fitness of the body is achieved through asanas, this branch of yoga deals with mental and emotional benefits through pratyahara (Sensory withdrawal) and dharana (concentration). This is followed by dhyana (meditation) which finally leads to samadhi (or absorption with the universal conscience). This type of yoga is concerned with mental and physical well-being. It’s basis is the fact that humans will be able to achieve spiritual fitness or emotional fitness only after their body is devoid of diseases and has become fit.
Importance of Yoga
Yoga is not a religion; it is a way of living whose aim is ‘a healthy mind in a healthy body’. Man is a physical, mental and spiritual being; yoga helps promote a balanced development of all the three. Other forms of physical exercises, like aerobics, assure only physical well-being. They have little to do with the development of the spiritual or astral body.
Yogic exercises recharge the body with cosmic energy . This facilitates.
- Helps attainment of perfect equilibrium and harmony.
- Promotes self- healing.
- Removes negative blocks from the mind and toxins from the body
- Enhances Personal power
- Increases self-awareness
- Helps in attention focus and concentration, especially important for children
- Reduces stress and tension in the physical body by activating the parasympathetic nervous system anidra, chittod vega etc. Shirodhara may calm down the hyperaction of vitiated vata dosha and ultimately produces tranquility of mind.
- During the process the patient concentrates on dhara dravya which is falling on their head, which increases the intensity of brain waves and decreases the brain cortisone and adrenaline level thus inducing relaxation and sleep.
- Shirodhara causes stimulation of nerve endings of ANS (autonomous nervous system), which produces secretion acetylcholine, which causes fall of blood pressure leading to decreased CNS (central nervous system) activity.
- Shirodhara also activates prefrontal part of frontal lobe of the brain (Which concerns with cognitive behaviours, personality expressions, decision making and moderating, memory)
- Yoga and Naturopathy — There are 10 nadichakras in human body out of which Aadhnya and Sahastradhara chakra are located in head, which are connected to each other and work in collaboration with each other. Shirodhara causes stimulation of both, thus ultimately proves beneficial.
Contra indications of Shirodhara:-
- Right after meals
- Severe Vatavyadhi
- Recent neck injury
- Alcoholic subject
- Hypersensitivity to certain types of medicated oils
Thus shirodhara proves to be very efficient remedy in a by natural way against insomnia (Anidra) and similar disorders thereby making life stress free and health