Role of Yoga in Fitness

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  • Topic: Yoga, Pranayama, Sanskrit words and phrases
  • Pages : 3 (1066 words )
  • Download(s) : 412
  • Published : April 30, 2008
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Yoga is defined as “a Hindu discipline aimed at training the consciousness for a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility. [It is also] a system of exercises practiced as a part of this discipline to promote control of the body and mind” (Webster). There are many different styles of yoga, but in the West, hatha yoga is the most commonly practiced. In 1893, Swami Vivekananda introduced hatha yoga to the United States in Chicago at the World Parliament of Religions, yet it took two more decades for the discipline to become popular in the United States. Yoga is based on exercises called asanas, or postures, and focuses on pranayama, or breathing exercises. The combination of the two are centered around chakras, which are located between the base of your spine and the crown of your head. Each chakra has a corresponding color, perception, sound, and biological function (Budilovsky and Adamson 5). There are many qualities about yoga that are appealing such as getting physically fit, becoming healthier, and achieving mental wellness.

Yoga can be essential in becoming physically fit. Whatever your fitness level, yoga offers an exercise program that is challenging which builds strength and endurance along with increased elasticity of muscles and balance. Any athlete as well as a couch potato can benefit from hatha yoga. Yoga is an isometric form of exercise which is easier on your muscles than lifting weights, yet super effective for building up strength. One of the main principles of yoga is about being centered, so all of the asanas have an opposite posture as well, which keeps the body physically centered. When yoga is introduced into an athletes routine, the benefits are mainly seen in increased agility as well as flexibility. Professional sports teams such as the Philadelphia Eagles have added yoga to their workouts. To someone who is a beginner to physical fitness, the ease and convenience of yoga is alluring. One can practice this five-thousand year...
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