Yoga: The Science of Health and Happiness


Yoga and Science

Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India (Bharat) about several thousand years ago. Its founders were great saints and sages of ancient India (Bharat). Yoga is the Sanskrit word for “union”. Yoga is union of breathing techniques, exercise and meditation. It is union of both Spiritual and Physical Discipline. It helps to improve health and happiness. Yoga is a discipline to improve one’s natural power in a balanced manner. Yoga offers the way to achieve complete self-realization.

And hence, Yoga can, therefore, be termed as “a means of uniting the Individual spirit with the God’s universal spirit”. The Lord Shiva is considered the father of ancient yoga while Patanjali is considered the father of Modern Yoga, as per some historians.

Today, Yoga is no longer restricted to Saints, Sages and hermits, but has entered into our everyday lives. However, to make Yoga, acceptable among general people inside India and outside India has a long way and hard work by many of Indian Leaders and Famous personalities. And because of their continued efforts  21st June was declared as International Yoga Day finally, by United Nations General Assembly. Swami Ramdev, Acharya Balkrishna, PM Shri Narendra Modi, Sri Sri Ravishankar, etc. are among some of the famous names who have done very hard work in last many years to bring the benefits and usefulness of Yoga in-front of people worldwide.

The idea of International Yoga Day was first proposed by Prime Minister of India- Mr. Narendra Modi during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly on 27-Sep-2014.

He stated following salient points about Yoga during proposing for International Yoga day:

  1. Yoga is a precious gift of India’s ancient tradition.
  2. It embodies unity of mind and body; restraint and fulfilment; thought and action; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being.
  3. Yoga is not about the exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature.
  4. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, Yoga can help in well being. Let us jointly work towards adopting an International Day of Yoga.

A Total of 177 nations supported the proposal. It was the highest number of co-sponsors ever for any UNGA resolution of such nature.

When proposing 21st June as the date, Mr. Modi said that the date is the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere ( and it is the shortest in the southern hemisphere). 21st June have special significance in many parts of the world.

The second full moon after summer solstice is popularly known as Guru Poornima.

Shiva,the first yogi –  Adi Yogi- is believed to have begun imparting the knowledge of yoga to the rest of mankind on this auspicious day, and became the first guru (Adi Guru). Dakshinayana is also considered for selecting this date. Daksinayana- a time when there is natural support for those pursuing spiritual practices.

Thus, International Yoga Day started being celebrated every year on 21st June.

The first International Yoga Day was practiced around the globe on 21-Jun- 2015. The Ministry of AYUSH made the necessary arrangements in India. 35,985 people, including Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi and dignitaries from 84 nations, performed 21 aasanas (yoga postures) for 35 minutes at Rajpath in New Delhi.

Yoga improves Physical and Mental Health.

Yoga is the practice of non-competitive, physical exercise involving body poses (in Sanskrit, asana) combined with regulated breathing (pranayama) and meditation techniques. The past few decades have seen a great increase in the practice of yoga around the globe.

Physical Health Benefits:

The relaxation techniques in yoga can reduce chronic pain, such as lower back pain, arthritis, headaches, etc… as well as it can also lower down blood pressure and reduce insomnia. There are many other physical health benefits like:

Increased Body Flexibility

Increased Muscle Strength.

Improved Respiration.

Improved Energy and Vitality.

Balanced Metabolism.

Weight Reduction.

Improved cardio health.

Protection from injury.

Mental Health Benefits:

Regular yoga practice creates mental clarity and calmness. It relaxes the mind. It increases body alertness and relieves chronic stress patterns. Regular Yoga practice centers attention and sharpens concentration.

The Science Behind Yoga:

Yoga is an ancient but Perfect Science. It deals with evolution of humanity. Evolution from Body Health to Self Realization.

Modern-day science confirms that the regular practice of yoga has substantial physical health benefits. Benefits such as improved brain function, improved and denser bones, healthy immune system, improved nerve system functioning, etc. Millions of people across globe, now practicing Yoga and enjoying the benefits of a stronger body, calm mind, increased happiness and reduced stress.