Kerala, the God’s Own Country is a hub of ancient yoga tradition which has its roots in Hinduism, and Buddhism. The Indian sages believe in the union of body, mind and soul. It is a union of physical and mental exercises. The word Yoga is derived from Sanskrit word Yuj which means “to unite, to control, and to yoke”.
Origin of Yoga in India :
Yoga, one of the six orthodox schools in Hindu philosophy and major sects of yoga in Hindu philosophy are Raja Yoga, Karma Yoga, Jnanna Yoga, Bhakti, Yoga and Hatha Yoga. Yoga Sutras of Patanjali describes the Raja Yoga, and early Hindu texts which mention yoga are Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Hatha Yoga Pradipika, etc.
It is believed that yogis of Indus valley civilization practiced yoga. Yoga is a combination of both mental and physical exercises, Indian sages believe in the union of healthy mind and body. Now Yoga is scientifically proven workouts of both body and mind and practiced by not in India but also foreigners.
The 8th yogic practices are :
- Disciplined Behavior (Yama)
- Self Purification (Niyama)
- Bodily Posture - lotus position (Padmasana)
- Breath control (Pranayama)
- Sensual control (Pratyahara)
- Concentration (Dharana)
- Meditation (Dhyana)
- Absolute state of tranquility and eternity (Samadhi)
Meditation is a part of yoga Buddhist texts are considered as first text that explains the meditation techniques. It is mentioned here that meditative practices belong before Buddha.
Benefits of Yoga :
One has to learn the techniques (Asanas) of yoga from an expert yogi or modern yoga teacher. Yoga has various benefits; it makes the heart healthy and decreases blood pressure. The other benefits of yoga are :
- Slows the respiratory rate,
- Mental relaxation,
- Reduces stress, strain, allays anxiety,
- Improves coordination, posture, flexibility, concentration, digestion, etc.
- Additional therapy for anemia, insomnia, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, obesity, asthma, migraine and Aids;
- Helps to fight addiction like Consumption of liquor, smoking and drugs
Yoga Centers in Kerala :
Kerala Yoga ashrams are visited by a large number of international tourists to learn the techniques of yoga from a professional expert or traditional yoga guru. On a kerala tour one can visit the yoga centers of Kerala to take a course on yoga and meditation. The yoga centers located in Trivandrum are Ayur Health Center Fort, Sivananda Ashram, Neyyar Dam, and Sivananada Yoga Vedanta Centre. The Kollam yoga centers are Kollam Yoga Kendra, Uilyakoil, Jawahar Balabhavan and Holistic Eastern Advance Research Temple (Heart).
Kochi, the Queen of Arabian Sea houses the Prajapahi Yoga center, Kacheripady, Life Yoga Center, Edapally, Adithya Yoga Institute, Thrikkakara, Pathanjali Naturopathy & Yoga Clinic, Kaloor and Kerala Yoga Centre.
More great destinations can be found in the Explore India page.