How is yoga different from any other physical exercise?
Physical exercises emphasize on violent physical movements which produce large quantities of lactic acid and fatigue in the body.
Developing muscles doesn’t necessarily translate into healthy body. Health is a achieved when all the organs of the body are functioning effectively under the intelligent control of brain.
The word asana means steady pose. Yoga Asanas are supposed to be held for some time for a few breaths. However this is for the advanced practitioners. Initially ones aim should be to gain flexibility. The very first aim of the yoga posture is to improve health of spine, its strength and flexibility.
When flexibility and strength of spine are increased through yoga, blood circulation improves and nerves are ensured their supply and nutrients and oxygen.
Asanas work on the internal organs and glands along with the muscles. As opposed to ordinary exercises that work on superficial body parts, yoga has an effect on deeper and more subtle parts of the body. Various asanas are meant to provide massage and stimulation to different internal organs.
Yoga has an effect on the endocrine system, (glands and hormones). The endocrine system is rejuvenated helping to balance emotions and improve mental health.
Along with yoga postures we also practice deep breathing, which results in relaxation and focus on breath. Thus yoga provides benefits of meditation and concentration.
When practiced consciously, benefits of yoga are far beyond physical strength. It improves memory and concentration. Yogis pay complete attention to control their own minds. The power of focus and concentration is to being in the present moment.
By nature, mind is unsteady and at every moment, it is affected by sight, sound, taste, touch and smell.
Effort should be taken to detach your mind from objects of senses and take it through inner journey towards self realization.