Yoga is an ancient system of practise in India. It is a spiritual practise which includes both physical and mental exercises in order to attain calmness of the mind and thereby to lead a healthy and prosperous life. There are physical exercises called Asanas, which includes many physical postures in order to attain control over the body. This practice should be carried out with certain disciplines and rules and regulations as prescribed by a yoga expert. There are mental excercises in order to control the mind, which includes breathing techniques called Pranayama and Meditation.
Anybody who wants to learn Yoga should start with physical Asanas and thus they can get physical strength and balance, and also they can clean their physial body system through these Asanas. The practise of physical asanas also called Yogasana is usefull when one proceed for mental excercies like Pranayama and Meditation. Pranayama is a breathing exercise, where one control the breathing and thus gives calmness to the mind. Our breathing and mental activities are interrelated. For example, if you observe in your own mental activity and physical responses, you can find that when ever we feel tensed or anxious, our heart beats increases and our movement of hands and legs become more vigorous and sometimes uncontrollable. This is due to the restlessness of the mind which makes all havoc in the physical responses also. So how to control this restless activity of the mind and become very calm and organised in our physical movements and mental state? Yoga reach here with a very good life long support, with a very simple method, which anybody can practise. Uncontrolled and restless mind can be controlled only thorugh Pranayama and Meditation.
Pranayama, is the breathing exercise. Take a deep and slow breath, and slowly breath out. That is all. This, if you do systematically with the expert guidance of a Yoga practitioner, then you will come to know how easy to control the mind! There are different methods and categories in pranayama, which can be learned only with the strict guidance of a Yoga practitioner. There is one method of Pranayama, called Nadishudhi pranayama (nadishudhi means cleaning the nervous system), which is practised by taking breath in, through right nostril and release it through left nostril, when you start. Then take slow breath through left nostril by closing the right nostril with the thumb finger of the right hand and then release through the right nostril and then take a breath through the right nostril by closing the left nostril with the index finger of the right hand and then release through the left nostril. This completes the one cycle in a Nadishudhhi Pranayama. Like this, a minimum of seven cycles have to be practised. This should be practised on empty stomach, and after four hours of any food intake. Always recommended early morning after bath, and before breakfast and, you should eat only after half an hour, once the practise is over. This is the ultimate and simple method to control your restless mind. And your mind will be in your hands! Say get lost to all doctors and medicines! Confidently!
Meditation is another method, which is practised by concentrating the mind on a mental image or an object external, and there by controlling the mind. This should be practised with the expert guidelines from a yoga practitioner. Meditation is the highest form of yoga, with which one can reach the state of self realisation or self knowledge.