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"An important aspect of every religion is prayer.
A prayer is anaction or practice of communicating, commonly with a sequence of words,to a deity or spirit for the purpose of worshiping, requestingguidance, confessing sins, or to express one's thoughts and emotions.The great spiritual traditions offer a wide variety of devotionalacts. There are morning and evening prayers, graces said over meals,and reverent physical gestures.
Prayers exist in many different forms. Some Christians bowtheir heads and fold their hands. Native Americans dance. Some Sufiswhirl. Hindus chant. Orthodox Jews sway their bodies back and forth.Quakers keep silent. Almost every religion has it's own form andstructure.
What you didn't know
Prayers, apart from nourishing your soul, are also good for health! A Malaysian study suggests that prostration in praying is benefic for one's health. Salah (the Islamic prayer), is an exercise which is good for hearth and spine. It also enhances memory and concentration abilities.
The Islamic prayer consists of the following steps:
- standing with hands on top of each other at chest level
- bowing down with hands resting on knees
- standing up from bowing with hands by the side
- going in prostration (sajjda) once
- lifting face up from prostration but sitting on the ground
- doing a second prostration (Sajjda) and then getting up
These psysical movements that a Muslim does during prayer strenghtenthe joints and muscles and stimulate blood circulation. Consequently,they also prevent the stagnation of bloog in the veins of the legs(which may lead to coagulation and other problems).
Sajdah is a unique position or stance in the regular prayers, which a Muslim is supposed to offer at least five times a day.
Although the basic purpose of obligatory prayers isn't to provide anexercise for people, it is being increasingly recognized that it hasplenty of medical advantages.
Sajdah is a unique position as this is the onlyposition in which brain (or head) becomes lower than the heart andhence for the first time the blood gushes towards the brain with fullforce whereas in all other positions (even when lying) brain is abovethe heart when it has to work against gravity to send blood to thebrain.
In the position of Sajdah due to the increased blood supply thebrain receive more nourishment and it has good effect upon memory,vision, hearing, concentration, psyche and all other cognitiveabilities. People who offer their prayers regularly have more willpower and can cope with the difficulties of life in a much bettermanner. They have fewer incidences of headaches, psychological problemsand other defects of cognitive function.
Prostration in prayer
Not only the Muslim prayers have such benefic prayer movements. References to kneeling and prostration to express one's humblenessbefore the Almighty abound in the Bible and are practiced bysuch notables as Abraham, Moses and Aaron, Joshua, Elijah, Solomon andJesus.Prostration in prayer is still practiced by some members of the Russian Orthodox Church and some Catholics still maintain kneeling in prayer.In contrast, Baptists and other Christian denominations have abandonedkneeling, and the Jewish liturgy has eliminated it altogether. The onlyexception perhaps is the Samaritan Jew, whose prayer is similar to theMuslim's prayer, but for the language.
I'm Christian, and I haven't abandoned kneeling. Seems like a good thing.
While getting up from Sajdah the perennial musclesare one of those muscles which have to pull the trunk back to sittingposition and they contract actively. Similarly while standing up from Sajdah theperennial muscles are again actively mobilized and this gives muchstrength to the muscles important for manpower.
The unique position of Sajdah also has positive effects upon theback muscles as while going into Sajdah and getting up from it the backmuscle contract actively and they become stronger. Probably it isbecause of this reason that a person who is regular in prayers willuncommonly get backache.
Although prayer in religion is not meant to be an exercise, there are lots of medical advantages associated with it. Still, the best thing a prayer can offer is peace of mind.
I think I should be praying more..."
Source taken from : http://www.armannd.com/prayers-and-health.html