Time and people’s stories have told us that yoga was more than a process or training. Yoga is a way of life. It is a lifestyle and a deep experience of transcending meditation approaches integrating healthy eating habits, social relations, and work attitude. Its principles are founded in physical philosophy of health and well-being. Records claim that there are more than 10 million individuals around the world who are doing yoga.
Every yoga pose, also known as “asana”, contains different names, standing postures, seated twists, arm balance, backbend, core holds and inversions. The famous downward facing dog, as an example, helps relax the mind, energize the physical body, improve digestion, strengthen arms and legs, and heals hypertension.
Benefits of Yoga
#Reduces stress and improves moods. There are some particular meditation approaches that de-stress our mind on our breathing to calm our “mind chatters.” It also relieve stress and allows us to feel comfortable. Yoga also helps boost the level of oxygen on our brain making us feel happy and more satisfied with our daily life.
#Propels our self-confidence. Yoga emits tension from our mind, thus, we feel confident about our body and helps us to have inner connection with our self. Such confidence will show on how we perceive others and help us establish better relationships with compassion and consciousness.
#Improves our posture. Yoga helps us maintain a healthy weight, learn how to be more flexible, and improve our resilience and muscle tone. Posture is evidenced by having our abdominals and back muscles support our weight. This will help us sit and stand tall, avoid niggling injuries, pains, and aches.
#Boosts our strength and muscle tone. Yoga asanas are proven to influence our upper body strength and plank centers on our core. The standing poses strengthen our upper leg muscles as well as our lower back. Yoga asanas, when they are performed properly help strengthen a particular part of our body.
#Improves our flexibility. No matter how tight our muscles are, yoga poses works safely, stretching our muscles. It also stretches other soft tissues including tendons and ligaments, expanding the range of motion in the joints that allows us to move freely and without pain.
#Improves breathing and reduces blood pressure. Doing yoga regularly will help improve our lung capacity by deep breathing method. It brings positive effect on individuals who are into intense sports by increasing energy and endurance. Meditation and relaxing yoga poses help reduce our heart rates that lowers our blood pressure and helps improve our immune system and reduce levels of cholesterol.
#Helps lose weight. Overweight is believed to have some imbalances in our lifestyle and studies show that a major factor is stress. Yoga helps us gain some deep sense of calmness on our body and mind that helps us to de-stress and as a result, lose weight – naturally.
#Reduces risks of injuries. Strenuous workouts may bring imbalance of opposing muscles. With yoga, it centers on balancing the activity, thus, uniting our body and mind.
Basic Types of Yoga
Ashtanga is considered the most challenging but orderly method to yoga. It consists of six series of sequenced yoga asanas where you will flow and breathe through every pose to establish inner heat. It works doing the same poses in the exact same order in every session. Some studios has a teacher who calls out the poses.
Ashtanga is ideal for Type A individuals and those who are perfectionists who love routine and strict regulations. The breathing method is designed to focus the mind and control the flow of breath throughout the body and improve flexibility and strength.
Vinyasa connects movement and breathing together in a dance-like method. Each pose may require longer and fast, making your heart rate rise. Yoga teachers inject some music that match the beat of the sequences of asanas.
Vinsaya is a good choice for individual who love high-intensity interval training or HIIT who want faster pace. Most runner and endurance athletes who are into yoga are drawn to Vinsaya sessions because of its continuous movements.
Hatha involves slow movements that need to hold each pose for several breaths. This method is considered as the mild technique of yoga. Actually, “hatha” in Sanskrit refers to any yoga that teaches bodily postures that help balance two energies.
Hatha is designed for beginners because of its slow pace.
Bikram involves 26 poses and 2 breathing exercises done in a room heated up to 105 degrees and 40% humid. Basically Bikram studios do the same 90-minute sequence and you have to know what to perform when you unroll your mat. Take note that strenuous movement and heat may make you feel strained. If you are a starter to Bikram, just take it easy and rest when you have to. Make sure you are hydrated before the class.
Bikram is good for amateurs because of its predictable sequence.
Yin Yoga helps you find your zen to calm and balance your body and mind. Poses are held for few minutes at a time. This is meditative yoga practice aims at reaching deeper connective tissues and fascia to restore length and flexibility. You will need to use props where your body can release into the posture rather than actively flexing or working on the muscles. Just like being new to meditation, Yin Yoga may make you feel anxious initially when you are familiarized with the method, you may be hooked on it because of the restorative powers it brings.
Yin Yoga is ideal for individuals who have to stretch and unwind but not to people who are very flexible because they may overdo the method in some of the poses, particularly those who has connective tissue disorder.
Iyengar is known for using props like yoga blocks, blankets, straps, ropes wall that help you work within a range of safe and effective movement. This method is considered precise technique for nailing accurate alignment in every asana. Be ready to keep the form because the pace is slow and poses are usually held for minute or longer.
Iyengar is a fast-growing and friendly to starters and sessions are upbeat. This may be good for individuals with injuries but you have to consult your doctor first.
Kripalu is a method mild in nature that centers on self-empowerment in three-part practice. Choosing this method as part of your routine helps you to be in touch with your body as you allow it to teach you to discover yourself.
Kundalini involves a spiritual and philosophical method that aims to improve mind and body awareness. The energy flow targets the poses while meditation, breathing methods, and chanting are integrated to keep you grounded.
Restorative is relaxant and helps rejuvenate you more than a nap. Doing few as five poses in a single session, it helps relieve you from stress or pains from injury. This method is also good for those who are experiencing insomnia, or those with anxiety, or for athletes during their recovery period.
Restorative is designed for everybody and you will need props like blankets, yoga blocks, or bolsters to support your body in every pose.
Prenatal yoga is designed for expectant mothers to improve posture, core strength, and breathing method while relieving pregnancy pain. The method is safe and effective form of exercise to maintain shape while expecting and since you are in a group, a wonderful chance to share parenting tips from others.
The wonder of yoga is that it can be performed anywhere, on your own or with other yoga enthusiasts. Transform your life into a healthy and happy life with yoga as your friend and tool.