Article by Robin Van Auken on Volunteer Forever

The ancient science of yoga has been practiced in India for thousands of years. It’s well researched and acknowledged as bringing happiness, health, and peace of mind to those who practice it.

During the past 100 years, yoga has been recognized and welcomed in the West, and become important as a fitness regimen.

But yoga is not merely a physical exercise.

Yoga practitioners know that slow, measured breathing, mindful meditation, and focused body movements improve the quality of their lives on all levels: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.

Imagine waking up every morning at sunrise and welcoming the sun in the shadow of the mighty Himalaya Mountains. You’ll improve in strength and flexibility as you learn the proper techniques from authentic Yogi masters when you participate in a yoga adventure with organizations such as FrontierLove Volunteers, or Volunteering Solutions. Your body will become stronger as you gently contort it to achieve new poses.

You’ll also learn the importance of yoga breathing, known as pranayama, which is consciously observing your breathing as you inhale and exhale. Pranayama changes the pattern of your breathing, and focuses your mind. Your thoughts will become more clear and focused, and your attention span will increase.

You’ll also learn about Ayurveda, one of the world’s oldest medical systems and that’s still used in India’s traditional health care systems. The term “Ayurveda” are the Sanskrit words “ayur” (life) and “veda” (science or knowledge). This ancient concept uses herbal compounds, special diets, and other unique practices to improve health.

You’ll become mindful, using meditation to relax, become aware of your mind and body, and overcome suffering. You’ll practice meditation techniques and focus on three basic aspects: body, breath and thoughts. Psychology specialists recognize the power of mindful meditation, or paying attention to details as they arise. Mindful meditation doesn’t alter your thinking; it helps you become aware of what is already true, moment by moment.

If you have a special interest in learning and practicing yoga, Ayurveda, and meditation, consider traveling to India, where it began, and learn from experts who have been practicing it their entire lives.

Whether you’re traveling alone or with a group, there are yoga adventure programs that can enhance your life as well as the lives of others.


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