We have all heard the word ‘yoga’ and most of us recognize it as a physical form of exercise. Well, this aspect is only a drop in the vast ocean of yoga as a whole.
What does Yoga mean to me?
For me, yoga is a way of life. Over the years it has definitely become an inherent part of my life and my favorite daily ritual. I try to apply my ‘yoga nature’ on and off the mat, and being so blessed to be able to teach yoga, it has certainly made me a better person. All that I’ve learned on the mat has been a reflection of the challenges that life puts us through in our everyday lives.
* You won’t be able to master a pose unless you keep trying, because practice makes perfect
* You fall 100 times before you get to where you want to be
* You learn patience, acceptance, trust, compassion, awareness, and oneness
* You become love and most importantly you love the self
* You awaken to be fully present to see, to hear, to taste, to feel and to observe
* You learn to let go, but also take control
* You breathe and every breath, as it should be, becomes important
What is Yoga?
Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that focuses on strength, flexibility, and breathing to boost physical and mental wellbeing. The main components of yoga are postures (a series of movements designed to increase strength and flexibility) and breathing.
The practice originated in India and more recently has been adopted in other countries in a variety of ways. You don't necessarily have to be mindful or spiritual to feel the benefit of physical poses called asanas (in Yoga - asana is only a drop in the ocean).
Benefits of practicing Yoga (to list just a few):
1. Improves your flexibility
2. Builds muscle strength
3. Perfects your posture
4. Prevents cartilage and joint breakdown
5. Protects your spine
6. Betters your bone health
7. Increases your blood flow
8. Drains your lymph and boosts immunity
9. Makes you happier
10. Helps you focus
11. Relaxes your system
12. Improves your balance
13. Helps you sleep deeper
14. Prevents IBS and other digestive problems
15. Gives you peace of mind
Styles of Yoga:
This style of yoga is physically a little more demanding. It involves an Ujai breath with progressive and continuous series of postures - which creates internal heat and detoxifies muscles and organs. The result is improved circulation, flexibility, stamina, a light, and strong body, and a calm mind. Ashtanga is an athletic yoga practice, it is not recommended for beginners, it should not be practiced during full and new moon, and a pregnant woman should avoid practicing this particular style.
Is the method of yoga that can be viewed as a workout that includes all the components of fitness: muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular flexibility, and weight loss. Bikram's yoga I practiced in a room with 95 - 105 degree temperature, which promotes more flexibility, detoxification, and prevention of injuries.
Is an easy-to-learn basic form of yoga, it is THE foundation of all Yoga styles. It incorporates Asanas (postures), Pranayama (breathing techniques), meditation (Dharana & Dhyana) and kundalini (Laya Yoga) into a complete system. Hatha yoga is generally taught at a slow pace with the aim of mindfulness, relaxation, and self-realization.
Is the American interpretation of Ashtanga yoga, while power yoga takes ashtanga one step further. The key to power yoga's sweat - producing, muscle-building practice is the pace. Instead of pausing between poses as you would in traditional yoga, each move flows into the next, making it an intense aerobic workout.
In a restorative yoga class, you will spend long periods of time lying on blocks, blankets and yoga bolsters - passively allowing muscles to relax and mostly allowing gravity to do the work for you.
Vinyasa Flow Yoga
Focuses on the coordination of breath and movement and it is a very physically active form of yoga.
Is sometimes referred to as yoga for the joints, not the muscles. It directs the stimulation normally created by the asana into areas deeper than the superficial muscles. Yin Yoga works the connective tissues of ligaments, fascia, joints, and bones. A significant characteristic is the long-held, passive nature of the postures. While initially, this style of yoga may seem boring it can be quite challenging due to the long duration of the postures, which can last from five to twenty minutes.
"Science has proven that yoga can have a transformative effect on the body, resulting in everything from lowered blood pressure to disease prevention. Here are some of the many health benefits of yoga, as proven by science."
Written by Veronika Blanar