Yoga: Origin, Mantras, Benefits

By Metsongmalem M Chang

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What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the mantra, “Om…. Shanti….. Shanti….. Shanti….. ”? Did you guess it right ? I hope so! Well,  the first thought that would come to our/your mind when we hear those above cited words would obviously be a yoga mantra which is usually chanted during yoga classes. This topic called “Yoga: Om Shanti Shanti Shanti” is all about how our mind, body and soul is mentally, physically and spiritually transforming through yoga. But before that, what is yoga and how beneficial it is to those who are regularly practicing it? Well, in simple terms yoga can be defined as the spiritual practice of mind, body and soul. Those people who continuously practice yoga are physically healthy, emotionally strong, mentally active, physiologically smart, psychologically motivated and socially an epitomic idol. 

Origin of Yoga

Yoga is one of the oldest forms of art that has been practiced for thousands of  years. The trace of its origin is found in the Southern part of Asia in a country called India. The word “Yoga” is initially derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Yuj’ meaning to join or to unite; concisely it is the journey that peacefully connects our physical, mental and spiritual soul together called oneness. Before the invention of modern pharmaceutical medicines ancient people were usually practicing yoga to keep them as healthy and wise as possible as the true yoga essence could. The International Yoga Day is internationally celebrated on 21 June annually since 2015 after crystal clear proclamation from the United Nations. Today, throughout the world  people are very curious to meditate and synchronize their mind, soul, body and reconnect with nature for optimal health benefits. 

Mantra: Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

Nature may not be dependent on humans but we are all dependent on nature for all forms of needs and wants. Similarly talking about Yoga, it is also totally associated with nature. In other words, yoga is indeed nature’s best friend. 

“Om Shanti Shanti Shanti” is one of the most popular mantras chanted during yoga classes. This Mantra is chanted to invoke inner peace in our body, mind and spiritual soul. Another reason could also be chanted for peace in the past, present and future. Moreover, Shanti is also chanted thrice to bring peace in oneself, family as well as blissful peaceful blossomy harmony in the world. This mantra can also reduce tension, stress and gives you refreshing, relaxation and also the feelings of the true taste of nature: the smooth waterfall, gentle breeze of soothing wind and chirping birds soaring in the sky. 

Yoga teaches us how important it is to keep our mind, body and soul mentally active, physically healthy and spiritually at peace. These three are also a triangular strong peaceful chain that is connected to one another. If anything happens to any one of these three then it is ultimate that even the rest two will also be affected. Same like that if we keep those three unitedly powerful then the true essence of yoga can really synchronize our mind, soul and body for cohesive balance in our life. 

How beneficial is yoga? 

Now, the question raises, “is yoga really fostering health”? Well, the answer to this simple question depends on how often we practice yoga and how properly we follow asana( body posture during yoga classes). The ones who devote more time for yoga are optimally fostering their health directly or indirectly. They are able to maintain a balance between body, spirit and mind at its best. They are also able to cope and overcome the challenges with problems. 

There are many diseases which can be cured by modern pharmaceutical medicines. At the same time, there are also many diseases which cannot be cured by modern pharmaceutical medicines but can only be cured through yoga. The below mentioned points are some of the most prominent benefits offered by yoga:

Breathing: Yoga also teaches us how important breathing is. According to studies in 2009 practicing yogic breathing improves alertness, reduces stress and boosts the immune system. It also promotes enduring body relaxation and provides lungs and heart health. 

Asanas: Stretching our body is what defines asanas. It improves flexibility, strength and balance of our body. It also helps in strengthening our body joints and ligaments keeping our body away from body pains. 

Researchers also found out that yoga can also improve the quality of our life by reducing anxiety, insomnia and depression. 

Another important lesson that we also learn from yoga is concentration power. It teaches us how to focus on the positive side of life amidst melange challenges. Many people who practice yoga are inwardly as well as outwardly healthy, more sensitive, attentive, boost memory and energetically active in society and their career. 

A great personality once quoted, “Your body exists in the past, your mind exists in the future. In yoga, they come together in the present. Most of the time we feel like our life is drifting in nowhere and are left perplexed in dilemma either to move on or to ideally not to move on. Sometimes the challenges become so dense that we are left alone in bleak. But, no worries! The solution is already with us. We just need to meditate on our life and seek peace upon darkness. In this way we can really focus on the present and build the best foundation for a prosperous future. Western world has shown us how to land on the Moon, now it is the time for the Western people to learn from the Eastern world how to perform yoga for a healthy living. Outwardly we all look healthy and happy but it is not deniable that we all have different problems in our life. In order to cure bacterial, viral and fungal diseases we need proper modern medicines and in order to cure our mental and spiritual stress and anxiety we need yoga to keep us relaxed, happy and wise. Yoga is not only an exercise but it is also a natural medicine that spiritually, mentally and physically free us from problems.

By Metsongmalem M Chang

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