Recently I am doing Yoga more regularly and I am observing some minor positive changes.
I am trying to think of reasons why Yoga must be working, mostly to motivate myself. Here are a few I can think of.
Long long ago Monks sat in meditation poses for long time. They felt stuck by the end of the day and thus they started a routine of stretching. That later evolved in Yoga. Since our today’s lifestyle is a lot like those monks, sitting for most of the day, Yoga brings us the same benefits.
But that might not be the only reason to do Yoga. Reading this comment on Slashdot confirms what I have thought for long time. Every time you do Yoga, it does a bunch of micro-adjustments to your bones and joints. That often relieve pressure on your nerves. These nerves are responsible for sensing and moving muscles, so when these nerves are free, you feel energetic and light and experience finer control over your muscles.
Also not to forget, in the sedentary lifestyle we live today, many of our muscle groups do not move on regular basis. These muscles do not get fresh supply of blood. This is where disease is likely to begin. With Yoga, all these muscle groups get exercised, thus contributing to overall health.
I have attended Yoga classes in India as well as in USA. I personally liked Yoga classes in USA more as they stress more on health benefits. Also classes in USA tend to experiment with Yoga, trying different variations of poses and different sequences of poses. In comparison, often Yoga classes in India are burdened with tradition and tend to stick to things “as they are passed down thousands of years”. That is definitely not true. Nothing has stayed the same for thousands of years. Perhaps the change might have been too slow to notice, but it certainly has evolved.
One thing often makes me chuckle inside. Often times the teachers explain the meaning of word Namaste as “the light in me bows to light in you” or something exotic like that. That’s not really true. The Sanskrit word Namaste is formed by combining two elements, Namah + Te (pronounced like Tay). It literally means “(I) bow to you”. And in common usage it is simply a polite way of saying hello or nice meeting you.