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.

United Nations – Four speeches and a Fight

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Background

On 24th of October 1945 and as a replacement to the ineffective League on Nations, United Nations (UN) was established in New York, United States. At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; there are now 193.

Since its formation UN has resolved many issues, probably created a few. But nevertheless, it has always provided a platform to its member states to share their concerns, suggestions and achievements with the rest of the world.

4 + 1 UN moments

Everyone has their own favorites. Here’s my list of 4 crazy speeches and 1 fist fight, that took place inside the UN.

1. Chavez knows how the devil smells

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Year: 2006

Quote: “The devil came here yesterday, and it smells of sulfur still.”

The Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, who always enjoyed the spotlight that the UN General Assembly provided, once compared the US President, George W. Bush, to Satan.

2. Ahmadinejad hates the Zionists

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Year: 2008

Quote: “The dignity, integrity and rights of the American and European people are being played with by a small but deceitful number of people called Zionists.”

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad primarily used the UN as a platform to preach Shiite religious teachings and release his pent-up frustration against the Western powers, especially his arch-enemy Israel. In this speech he accused “the Zionist entity” of an array of crimes including causing the South Ossetia war.

3. Qaddafi finally speaks, and there is no stopping.

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Year: 2009

Quote: “It should not be called a security council, it should be called a terror council.”

After 40 years in power, the Libyan Leader Qaddafi spoke in the United Nations for the very first, and he made up for all the lost time. He spoke for 100 minutes, during which he made sure to put forward all his grievances, accused the United States for developing swine flu, and compared the UN Security Council to Al-Qaeda, among other things.

4.  The Turks were literally throwing their weight around.

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Year: 2011

The Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanded to go inside the assembly hall when the Palestinian President Abbas was about to declare request for statehood. The Turkish security tried to go through the wrong exit door, and there was a fist fight between the UN security personnel and Turkish.

5. Pakistan’s peacekeeping efforts.

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Year: 2016

Quote: “Pakistan’s unwavering commitment to the UN is well established. We have played a pioneering and consistent role in UN Peacekeeping.”

Ahead of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s speech, two US lawmakers introduced legislation in the US Congress aimed at designating Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism.

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