Yoga has mental and physical benefits. On its physical level, yoga mainly helps you improve flexibility. It provides you strength, balance as well as endurance. Almost all exercises have been proved to help people fight against depression, feel good and live better life, so yoga is not an exception.

A study has been conducted from Duke University Medical Center, which was suggested that Yoga could benefit those people who are suffering from anxiety, muscle pain, depression, schizophrenia, sleep problem and other psychiatric conditions. At the outset, you should know what are the benefits of yoga and what you can gain of this wonderful practice. After reading this page carefully, you will be able to understand the various types or styles of yoga and its benefits for physical and mental well-being.

  • Mahabharata defines, the aim of Yoga is the experience of Brahman/Atman/Soul or pervading all things.
  • Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra defines, the aim of Yoga is a state of permanent peace and cessation of the perturbations of mind.
  • LIBERATION / MOKSHA is the ultimate aim of YOGA, according to the philosophical and theological system.

Apart from the spiritual freedom and peace, yoga can alleviate different health problems, reduce stress and make the spine supple in contemporary times. Yoga is widely used as a complete therapy and exercise for mind and body.

History Of Yoga

YOGA may have Pre-Vedic origin. Many valuable things discovered at Indus Valley civilization earlier denoted common poses of YOGA and meditation. Many people think that philosophical schools of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism had taken the philosophical system of yoga for their divine purposes. The system of YOGA and its importance has adopted by educated Western public in the mid 19th century with other topics of Indian philosophy.

  • According to Zimmer, yoga is a part of Pre-Vedic heritage, which also includes Jainism, Samkhya and Buddhism.
  • In accordance with White, the word ‘YOGA’ first used in the Rig Veda and YOGA is discussed in the Upanishads many of which predate Patanjali’s sutras. But the actual term ‘YOGA’ was first used in the ‘KATHA UPANISADA’, where the word ‘YOGA’ and ‘Meditation’ used in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad.

Mahabharata defined ‘YOGA’ mean ‘a divine chariot that carried him upward a burst of light to and through the sun, and to the heaven of Gods’.

  • The term ‘YOGA’ widely used as a steady control of sense, which cessation of mental activity, leads to the supreme state. In the Bhagavad Gita (Song of Lord) used the term ‘YOGA’ in a variety of ways. It introduced three types of yoga namely:
  1. Karma Yoga – The Yoga of Action
  2. Bhakti Yoga – The Yoga of Devotion
  3. Jnana Yoga – The Yoga of Knowledge

In the chapter 2 of the Bhagavad Gita (Song of the lord) God Krishna explained to Arjuna about the importance of yoga as practiced in daily life.

Benefits of Yoga / Benefits of Asana

In West, the term YOGA widely used and associated with Hata Yoga and various Asana or Yoga Poses, as a form of exercise. Where yoga poses have been using purely as a form of exercise for the profound benefit of mental, physical and spiritual awareness.

  • Yoga improves musculoskeletal and mental health, and prevent different disease, such as Asthma, Back pain, Spinal pain, Diabetes and so on. Regular Yoga practice increases brain GABA levels, improves mood and anxiety.
  • Yoga is good for people suffering from heart disease.
  • Yoga prevents and reduces high blood pressure, improves symptoms of heart failure.
  • Yoga enhances cardiac rehabilitation, decreases cardio vascular risk factors.
  • Yoga can decrease depression, insomnia, pain, fatigue and increase anxiety.
  • Yoga also shows a positive effect on sleep anxiety.
  • Yoga improves quality of life and improves spiritual growth for cancer patients.
  • Yoga is very helpful as a treatment for schizophrenia and improves health related quality of life. Yoga is good for sports injury.
  • For women during menstruation, for pregnant women, breathing exercise, meditations are very good and helpful to stay healthy.
  • Yoga can be helpful for children and adolescents, either as a form of physical exercise or improving mindfulness and stress relief.

The three main aim of Hata Yoga are:

  • Exercise – Workout
  • Breathing – Pranayama
  • Meditation – Dhayan

Hata Yoga is the foundation of all yoga styles. It is associated with postures / asanas, pranayama, breathing practices, meditation and kundalini yoga to achieve self-realization.

Yoga  Poses – Yoga Postures – Yoga Asanas – Yoga Styles – Yoga Types

Adho Mukha SvanasanaKriya YogaPashimottanasana
Awkward Chair PoseKarma YogaPincha Mayurasana
Agni YogaKundilini YogaFeathered Peacock
Anusara YogaKarnipidasanaForearm Stand
Anu YogaKnees to Ears PoseRocket Yoga
Anand YogaEar Pressure PoseRaja Yoga
Astanga Vinyasa YogaLaughter YogaSalamba Sarvangasana I
Bhakti YogaMysore YogaSupported Shoulder Stand
Bikram YogaMysore Style YogaSivananda Yoga
Bando YogaMaha YogaSiddha Yoga
Baddha KonasanaMarichyasana IISalamba Sirsasana I
BhujapidasanaSpinal Twist variationSupported Headstand
ChakrasanaNatarajasanaSalamba Sirsasana II
Chair YogaDancer’s PoseSupported Headstand
Cardiac YogaNatarajasanaSherri Baptiste Asana
DhanurasanaDancer’s Pose variationSiddhasana
Dream YogaNaked Yoga/NudeAdept`s Pose
Dog YogaNagna YogaPerfect Posture
Dhan YogaNauli (Abdominal Exercise)Supta Bhekasana
One-Legged Crow PoseNaam YogaSleeping Frog
One-Legged Head PosePiYo YogaSural Sahabad Yoga
One-Foot PosturePranava YogaTadasana (variation)
Forest YogaPadangustha DhanurasanaMountain Pose variation
Ganda BherundasanaBig toe in bow poseTolasana
HalasanaPadmasana (Lotus Pose)Scale Posture
Hatha YogaRevolved Head to Knee Balance Pose
Iyengar YogaParivrtta Janu SirsasanaTriBalance Hot Yoga
Integral YogaParivrtta TrikonasanaTrul Khor Yoga
Jivamukti YogaRevolved Triangle PoseTaoist Yoga
Kum Nye YogaBack-stretching PostureTri Yoga

Other Yoga Styles

Urdhva DandasanaUtthita HastaVrksasana
Upward Staff PoseRaised Big Toe-to-HandTree Pose
Urdhva KukkutasanaVamadevasana IIYoganidrasana
Lifted Rooster PoseVasisthasanaYogic Sleep
Urdhva Muhka UttanasanaSide Plank PoseYoga for synthesis
Upward-Face Stretch PoseVirabhadrasana IVini Yoga
Urdhva PadmasanaVirbahadrasana IIZen Yoga
Extended Lotus HeadstandVirbahadrasana IIIWarrior I, I and III Pose

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