If you are asking this question ‘why should I learn yoga’ then answer is ‘why not?’ Yoga is definitely the need of the hour and perhaps the easiest solution for the most of our problems. Yoga has been there since the beginning of the time, but people didn’t need more than today.
Let me remind you that few decades before neither so many yoga schools and teachers were out there in the world, nor people cared so much to know about that. Earlier it was an option to practice yoga, but today it is the need of the hour.
For many people yoga is necessary for the health, for others it is about the fitness, for others it is solution against stress and for very few others it is the method to reach self realization. Whatever need you have in the mind, yoga is there for you.
Yoga = Mental Training
Well, there are so many definitions out there. But here I would say yoga is a mental training. It’s a game played on the mental plane, inside your own mind. While learning yoga, you are actually training your mind to be calm and peaceful, to delay your responses.
You are constantly giving some suggestions to yourself. In the beginning your yoga teacher is reminding you to do the same, and then later you remember to do it all the time while doing practice. Practicing asanas, Pranayamas help learning this unconsciously. In meditation we are trying stay in this state of calmness and peace for longer durations.
Please understand. The most of the problems we are facing are not real problems. They don’t exist on the physical plane. Someone is having the problem of the love and relationship, other person is worried for his job or career, and others are worried for finance.
We are not worried of the earthquake or Tsunami or a war. Means, as such on the ground everything is OK. We are troubled in the mind and we need something that can heal our mind and heart. This is where yoga directly works; in our minds. More mental problems and worries, more we need yoga.
Even the most health problems are caused by prolonged mental stress. It’s a well documented fact now that most physical diseases are psycho-somatic in nature. So when you are practicing yoga then you are also buying good health for yourself.
How yoga works
In the beginning yoga seems to be a physical training based on the Asana practices known as postures. But here is the difference between yoga and any other exercise. These yogic postures, pranayama and meditation techniques work mainly on mind and nervous system. They enhance stress buster hormones and neurotransmitters. Since there are no direct methods to access the mind and bring some changes to the level of the secretion of these neurotransmitters, we perform certain physical movements (read Asana, Pranayamas & meditation) to stimulate those areas. So we can say that these yoga practices are practices to heal the mind and heart.