Benefits of Yoga

Yoga

Today being international yoga day, I felt it only necessary to write a couple of lines about yoga and its benefits.

What is yoga?

Yoga is a way of living that aims towards ‘a healthy mind residing in a healthy body’. Contrary to the belief, it is not a religion. Which means that even if you hate Hinduism you can still safely practice yoga. Although just like everything that has originated in this country and been there since millenniums, yoga has its roots in the Hindu culture.

What is the use of yoga?

The benefits of yoga mostly depend on the lifestyle one follows and the kind of asanas one practices. But even after regularly practicing yoga for just a few weeks, here are some of the benefits one may experience:

  1. Improved flexibility
  2. Muscle strength
  3. Better posture
  4. Better blood circulation
  5. Lower stress levels
  6. Relaxed body and mind
  7. Better focus

What are the advantages of yoga?

The relaxation techniques incorporated in yoga can lessen chronic pain, such as lower back pain, arthritis, headaches and carpal tunnel syndrome. Yoga can also lower blood pressure and reduce insomnia. The various poses and deep breaths help the heart do its job, increasing blood flow throughout the body, and improving the entire circulatory system. Yoga is also known to relieve stress, reduces muscle tension, strain, and inflammation. It also sharpens attention and concentration.

Can yoga get you in shape?

While yoga is not an intense workout as running or aerobics would be, but you can still get in shape if you stick to a regular workout schedule.

What is the ultimate purpose of yoga?

The goal of yoga is to help the individual transcend the self and attain enlightenment.

यदा विनियतं चित्तमात्मन्येवावतिष्ठते |

नि:स्पृह: सर्वकामेभ्यो युक्त इत्युच्यते तदा ||

Which means, when a perfectly disciplined mind gets freedom from all desires and becomes absorbed in the self alone, a person is said to have achieved yoga.

But this is easier said than done and takes years of devotion, practice, dietary restrictions and control over senses to reach such a state. As for the ordinary person, it improves circulation, posture, flexibility, muscle strength, helps relax the body and the mind, brings down stress levels and helps sleep better.

In 2014, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggested United Nations to celebrate June 21 as the International Yoga Day as it is the summer solstice; the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.

“Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. This tradition is 5000 years old. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in wellbeing. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day.” — Narendra Modi, UN General Assembly, September 2014.

If you still haven’t welcomed yoga into your life, it’s never too late.

Circumcision is a Human Rights Violation

Mutiliation

Even in this century many parents believe that getting their child circumcised is not only their religious duty but also a social responsibility. Should this not be the decision of the person who owns the organ? Does performing such a procedure on non-consenting adults (mostly infants) makes this an in-humane act?

What is circumcision?

Circumcision is surgical removal of skin from the very tip of the penis.

Benefits of getting circumcised?

One of the epic benefit that people acclaim about circumcision is that they have a less chance of catching an STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease). The important thing to remember is that this procedure has questionable safety against protecting an individual from STDs. Also, many people would agree that there are many better things to do in life than being a whore-monger, and having unprotected sex with multiple partners.

Dangers of getting circumcised?

Below are the few complications that may arise:

  1. Bleeding, people suffering from haemophilia may even die.
  2. Infection or improper healing.
  3. Blockage of the urethra, the opening where urine leaves the body.
  4. Removal of too much or too little foreskin.

Religion and circumcision

The reason circumcision is performed is because it symbolises faith in God. Although Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs do not get their children circumcised but they are as religious and God fearing as people practicing other faiths, who get their infants circumcised.

While circumcision is primarily done for religious reasons, but this necessary does not make a person a good human being. If that was the case radical Sunni Islamic believers wouldn’t be killing Shias and waging a global war against all non-believers of Islam, or those who do not agree with their Wahhabi and Salafi ideology.

Message

We live in the 21st century where even an animal has rights and culling an animal on the road is not only considered uncouth but is also a punishable offence. While a blanket ban on circumcision would be unnecessary, but circumcising non-consenting adults and infants is also not civilized. Since we neither live in a theocratic society or in the dark ages, religious rituals should not eclipse the fundamental right to bodily integrity.

The Rest is Just Sand

Dunes

A philosophy professor stood before his class with a few items on the table in front of him. He picked up a large glass jar and started to fill it with rocks.

The professor then asked his students. “Is the jar full?”

The students nodded their heads and agreed that the jar was full.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks.

He then asked the students again. “Is the jar full?”

The students again nodded their heads and agreed that the jar was full.

The professor then picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. The sand filled up the remaining open areas of the jar.

He then asked once more. “Is the jar full?”

The students this time responded with a unanimous “Yes.”

“Now” said the professor. “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The rocks are the important things – your family, your partner, your health, your children – things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter – like your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else, the small stuff.

“If you put the sand into the jar first” he continued. “there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take your partner out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party, or fix the disposal.”

Take care of the rocks first – the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.

Welcome positivity into your life (Part 1)

taunting

Identifying negative people in your life

Negative people will cause you more harm than good, if any. The best thing is to stay away from such people, but to do that you need to first identify the negative people around you. Below are some pointers which will help you identify the negative people.

  1. Relationships are about give and take: Negative people will suck your time and energy, when they want something from you. But they do not reciprocate in the same way when you need them.
  2. Some people are always critical: Constructive criticism is good; it helps us improve and move forward in life. But you will find that there are some people who are always critical about you, no matter what you do. Such people may insult you, pick on you, and make negative comments about your looks or aptitude.
  3. Short fuse: Agreeing to disagree is a sign of maturity. But there are some people who will start shouting at you no sooner than you contradict them or present your point of view, which is different from theirs.
  4. Negative about everything: There are few things in life which we love, we hate a couple of things and are okay with most of the things. But there are some people who are critical about everything; there is absolutely nothing in the whole wide world that pleases them.
  5. Perpetual liars: We all lie, but most of the things that we say are true. However, there are some people who are perpetual liars. Such people will lie to you about everything, and no sooner than you ask them a couple of questions they will change the topic.
  6. Bullies: There are some people who make it a point to unnecessarily tease you, as if they are looking for a reason to bicker with you or pick a fight.
  7. You did it: It takes courage to accept one’s mistake. When a project or a task fails, most people tend to blame the other person. But there are some people who make it a point to blame you for everything that is wrong in their lives.
Once you have identified the negative people in your life, the next step is to get rid of them – and that is what my next post is going to be about.

Always remember, you cannot live a positive life with a negative mind.