Generally, there are three things you can do in order to promote physical health: good nutrition, sufficient relaxation/sleep and proper exercise. Now you may wonder: what is proper exercise then? This brief article adresses this question. I hope it will inspire you to find ways to get the exercise you need.
Yoga practice is pretty widespread nowadays. But besides hatha yoga, there is also qigong (pronunciation: “chee gung”). This this highly effective exercise system has its roots in China and it’s still relatively unknown in the Western world. Qigong promotes an optimal flow of qi (lifeforce) through gentle body movement and visualisation. The exercises can be easily adapted for elderly people and persons with health issues.
About 200 BC the Indian sage Patanjali wrote the Yoga Sutras . This authoritative work provides a framework for a systematic approach of yoga. In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali outlines eight aspects (Eight Limbs) of yoga. Especially these “Eight Limbs” are an invaluable guide to yoga practice. Today, numerous yogi’s from all over the world use them to integrate yoga into their every day lives.
The Eight Limbs are:
Let’s walk through the Eight Limbs now.
With the Games going on in London at the moment, the question whether yoga should, or shouldn’t be an Olympic sport, has become a topical subject. The non-profit organization USA Yoga strongly advocates for yoga as an Olympic sport. However, I suspect that a lot of yoga practitioners will find this outrageous. “Yoga can’t possibly be a competitive sport, for it’s all about spiritual development!” they may argue.
As there’s a whole lot more to yoga than just physical exercises, I have to agree with those who think that yoga (in its broadest sense) can’t possibly be a competitive sport1. But a contest in perfoming asanas, why not?