Yoga tends to improve health and a sense of well-being. A popular form of yoga is called hatha-yoga (of slowly and measuredly stretching and twisting and turning the body, etc.). There are other forms of yoga too, and several stages of accomplishments. In the West most people who practice yoga are likely to emphasize its health benefits as a form of exercise and relaxation, but there are deeper (higher) sides to these things.
Yoga practice, if well done, enhances your life and life experience
Good yoga helps to develop awareness. It is to awaken the "witness consciousness" - the part of you that can step back and observe dispassionately at times.
Yoga meditation is for calming the mind, and bringing openness to sensations.
Regular yoga practice benefits the following conditions, among others: anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, insomnia, arthritis, chronic pain, respiratory ailments, and diabetes. In books on medical yoga, and from research journals, you can find yoga postures for you. In yoga books you may learn principles for putting together yoga exercises too, according to deep principles.
The sources say well chosen practice may lower blood pressure, increase cardio-vascular health, increase lung capacity, and release tension and stress. Also, increasing awareness of what is happening normally helps. For example, meditating and thereby lifting your awareness may assist strength of mind and moral tone. There is also some philosophy of life that goes along with yoga - but there are differences among such philosophies too. The one nearest to you may work for you - or parts of it. Use your head there, at least a bit.
How often do you need to practice? Practice once a week to gradually release tension. Practice twice a week to maintain good health. Practice 3-5 times a week to shape your body. ◊
Realise that calm, benevolent exercise is something to be thankful for
What we realize intensely should be incorporated in our way of life through relaxed instructions and calm, benevolent exercise.
In the end you should realize this for yourself: Yoga has many benefits. ◊
The focus of original yoga is to harmonize soul, mind and body for greater benefits; a focus of Western yoga classes may be a better body
Integrating yoga into your life suggests learning to relax and enjoy life.
Integrating yoga into your daily life - using gentle breathing techniques and relaxation and finding greater mental clarity - much depends on just how you incorporate yoga into your life:
Neither yoga nor divine dance is not intended as a substitute for a regular medical care regimen. Body yoga (hatha yoga) is a bodily fitness program that involves stretching, strengthening, and elongating the spine for proper alignment.
Among the many benefits of good yoga is a calm attitude that does not have to accept authoritarian dogmas. Look on tenets as suggestions and be on the safe side. ◊
Higher sides to yoga fulfilment are not grasped by words alone. (7)
Let yoga practice usher you into greater gains. Try to sit without slumping too.
New to yoga, make sure that you are practicing yoga for you. Call at least 3-4 people before you select any well-shod instructor. Have a look in the phone book under 'yoga' and maybe on the Internet before you choose an instructor. Make sure that he/she has acknowledged basic knowledge and that you are comfortable with him/her.
Make sure again, at this stage, that you are practicing yoga for yourself. There are many yoga books to borrow in libraries, buy in shops, and study online.
New to yoga, make sure you feel comfortable and safe in the class, and that you can just let go there and be yourself. ◊
Ask questions first, before you enrol. Ask the questions when you have them, well before committing, preferably. If they are ridiculed, it could be very wise and do you a lot of good to drop that arena. Go for something and someone that is proficient instead.
Mantrayana is the 'mantra way'. A mantra is a syllable or set of syllables to be repeated mentally for the best results. Seek to get it imparted from a proficient guru first and foremost. Otherwise, suit yourself to your best ability.
Mantra Yoga is the yoga that works best for artistic or musical persons; that is an old teaching. Purity of mind counts, and a fit body posture for contemplation. A fit way of life and training helps too, along with the main thing, which are:
Focus: aim to centre the mind on one idea - the mantra - for, say, twelve seconds.
Focus (depending on your method) on the area between the eyebrows, the heart in the middle of the chest (around the sternum if you like). I mention just two highly important areas of yoga focus here. There are other sides to and things to focus on too, and many are hinted at in Zen Flesh, Zen Bones by Paul Reps [1971, 151-63].
A little nicely controlled breathing may help some also. There are many forms of yoga breathing, and some of the methods are to be carefully regulated against overdoing it. Tips: [Link].
Moderate body exercise in between could be helpful. Well chosen yoga asanas (postures) may work well too, in between other chores.
For those who excel in focusing the mind, the mind turns inward while attentive. By an inwardly sensitive mind we gain deep meditation (dhyana, Zen, contemplation).
A further stage of proficient yoga training is called sanyama (samyama). It consists of focusing on something worthwhile in very deep, ie, interiorised meditation. Sourcebooks in Hinduism and Buddhism mention things to focus on, and what may be the results of such practice for those to aim high. It may take time to get proficient.
Even better than going for hidden powers, is gaining spiritual being. (3:50)
Based on researched effects of various meditation methods, Transcendental Meditation should be worth trying.