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Yoga, as the word says, is just not a form of exercising for a particular reason, but it means YOG. Meaning, a correlation between the mind and body, or rather your senses. When the mind (thinking), and deed (action) are in sync with each other, it is then you can say Yoga has been practiced.
Does the mind and body control happen in a day? Or does it take months or years?
A question that only we as individuals can answer. It all depends on how strong we are consciously and subconsciously and what level of Yog we are looking out for.
For a layman, yoga is just a form of exercise, to keep oneself fit. We perform yoga for many reasons, mainly health related like weight loss or a back pain or weak muscles, headaches, etc. But going deep into it, the root cause of the problem is the mind; that is how we think and how we respond. This leads to stress and stress is the major cause of all the issues we face.
So now, the point would be, how much yoga should be practiced for relieving stress.
The question here is, should we practice yoga or meditation?
Please note, yoga and meditation go hand in hand. When we practice yoga, we focus on the movements in relation to the breathing, and hence we need to concentrate on the movements and the breathing, or else it could lead to issues which cannot be ignored.
But the point still remains unanswered, how many times?
Firstly, yoga is not like a medicinal prescription that a doctor prescribes. For example, you have a back pain. A yogi may not be able to prescribe yoga, say for 2 weeks for the pain to vanish.
The point to be noted here is that yoga is a life-long prescription. You and only you, after practicing, can decide on how long you will be able to continue with it. Probably as a beginner, the strain would be too much to bear, and so smaller sessions like say twice or thrice in a week, and one or two exercises, but with full concentration.
Next, there must be a reason why you want to practice yoga. For someone, it may be a form of fitness, while for someone else it may be a medicine for an ailment. So depending on your reason, keep practicing. The effect would be slow initially, but long-lasting effects would be seen.
Lastly, make yoga an everyday ritual. Just like the way we eat and sleep, we must practice yoga too. It has a long-lasting effect. You can eliminate stress, which is the major ailment.
When we say make it a regular practice, it does not mean, lay the mat, and start exercising. If you could practice yogic exercises daily for a few hours, the benefit would be yours.
But what we mean here is that, be consciously aware. Every activity you do, right from eating to talking to walking to working to studying, be aware of it. Make conscious movements, and be aware of your actions. It would be like meditation on the go. Slowly and steadily, you would be relieved of all the issues and complainants you have.
As said earlier, yoga is a means of life, whereby it keeps the mind and body or action in sync with each other. So before you take an action, you are aware, and so you have the magic wand in your hand itself.
As an end line, we would just like to say that just like other forms of exercise like aerobics or gymnastics, yoga is a different form of exercise, which focuses on the co-ordination of the mind and the body. It gives results slowly and hence requires long-term practice for a better and long-term steady effect.
Initially, begin under a trainer, and slowly begin on your own. Practice less but practice daily and make it a friend for life.