Swami Vishnudevananda summarised the wisdom of yoga in five basic principles which promote physical, mental and spiritual health.
Proper exercise (Asanas)
Yoga asanas enhance the flexibility of the joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments and stimulate circulation. Flexibility and strength of the spine keep the body youthful.
Proper breathing (Pranayama)
Yogic breathing connects the body to its battery, the solar plexus, which is an enormous storehouse of energy. Stress and depression can be overcome by breathing more deeply and with increased awareness.
Proper relaxation (Savasana)
If the body and mind are subjected to constant overload, their performance suffers. Yoga relaxation techniques not only help to relieve existing stress symptoms (like muscle tension and breathlessness) but also help develop resistance against external stress factors.
Proper diet (vegetarian)
A vegetarian diet is healthy, natural and simple to prepare. It is digestible and easy for the body to absorb. It consists in proper food choices which have the most positive effect on body and mind, at the same time causing the least harm to other living beings and the environment.
Positive Thinking and Meditation (Vedanta and Dhyana)
Positive Thinking & Meditation (Vedanta and Dhyana) are the keys to peace of mind. By controlling the mind, we can eliminate negative thought patterns and experience inner peace.