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Updated 12 February 2013

What is yoga?

Yoga is an alternative form of exercise, which focuses on elevating the health of the mind, body and soul.

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Yoga is an alternative form of exercise, which focuses on elevating the health of the mind, body and soul.

A complete yoga programme involves exercises (asanas), breath control (pranayama), sleep control (yoga Nidra) and mind control (meditation), which all aid in reducing stress.

Deep relaxation can also help cope with stress and anxiety.

Groschaan Emmanuel, a qualified yoga instructor says: “The impact of pranayama (proper healthy breathing techniques in yoga) is to enhance the life force within our bodies. One naturally oxygenates and energises the vital organs including the king of organs, the heart, which carries this new vitality throughout the body, thereby nourishing one’s being.”

The four aspects of yoga
There are four aspects of yoga that could have an impact on the body’s well-being:

  • Achaar - Character and conduct
  • Vichaar – The perception or the way we think
  • Vyayahaar - The way we behave
  • Ahaar – The diet or the food we eat

The benefits
The benefits of yoga may enhance heart health, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic stress, boost the immune system and enhance cognitive ability.

"Yoga has presented me with many gifts; all brimming with the abundance of health. The greatest gift of all has undoubtedly been the gift of silence which stirred an incredible beauty of sublime consciousness,” Emmanuel says.

(Information supplied by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of South Africa)

 
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