Learn The Basics Of Yoga and Chakras
What Is Yoga?
Yoga is a system of techniques that reflects real and proven scientific concepts. Many things Western scientists understand about the body have actually been known by yoga practitioners for centuries. Yoga sees the body from a different perspective than traditional Western medicine, but the basic principles are the same. What we Westerners call nerve plexus, yoga calls chakras (although these terms don’t coincide precisely— chakras include psychospiritual energy). What we Westerners call spinal alignment, yoga accomplishes through various poses or exercises designed to do what many of us pay chiropractors to do. The human body is in a constant state of flux, continually adjusting internally to the influence of a changing external environment. Western medicine calls this process homeostasis. Yoga’s five sheaths of existence—in essence, the body, the breath, the emotions, the intellect, and happiness—reflect the same need for balance between internal and external forces. The terminology may be different, but the concepts are universal.
Yoga (pronounced YOH-gah) is derived from the Sanskrit root yuj, meaning “to yoke or join together.” Prana (PRAH-nah) is a form of energy in the universe that animates all physical matter, including the human body. Prana is the soul of the universe. Doing yoga maximizes your body’s flow of the universal life force, giving you better health and increased vitality. Chakras (CHAH-krahs) are centers of energy located between the base of your spinal column and the crown of your head. Each chakra has a corresponding color, sound, perception, and biological function. Note that the actual spelling of chakra is chakra, but this spelling isn’t commonly used.
Yoga is a fun activity that can produce powerful results. Yoga will wake up your body, sharpen your mind, and clarify your spirit. Yoga doesn’t hurt, is only as difficult as you make it, and allows you to proceed at an individualized pace. Yoga can be a tiny part of your life; or you can incorporate its theories, rituals, postures, diet, and philosophy into every aspect of your life. You control how deeply yoga touches you. But if you begin a steady practice, be assured that yoga will transform the way you look, feel, move, breathe, and interact with friends, family, and co-workers.