Yoga is a practice of physical fitness, meditation, and spirituality. Yoga means “union” in Sanskrit, so the ultimate goal of yoga is to unify the mind, body and soul. This guide will provide you with an introduction to this ancient practice by giving you an overview on what it means to do yoga and some general guidelines for how to get started with your personal practice.
Before you begin your yoga practice, it is important to consider some advice from your personal physician. If you have any existing health problems, or any physical limitations, speak with your doctor before beginning this or any other physical activity program. Additionally, if you are pregnant or are suffering from chronic pain, certain postures that maintain extreme positions could prove to be too challenging for you to adequately master without a professional instructor present to offer guidance and support.
It is important to remember that yoga is a practice that is about learning and mastering your muscles. If you haven’t been exercising regularly before starting yoga, it is recommended that you start with an initial series of 5-10 classes in order to build the muscles needed for proper form. By practicing yoga consistently, you are strengthening the body’s nervous system which is necessary for optimal health and healing.
There are many different styles of yoga you can practice including Hatha, Ashtanga, Iyengar, Bikram, Kundalini, and Power Yoga.
There are many advantages of yoga including physical, mental and spiritual, and as a result, yoga has become more popular in recent years. While the practice has been around for thousands of years, it is only recently that it has begun to gain popularity in Western culture. What is it about this physical activity that has made people want to take part in a practice that originated across the globe? Yoga offers many different benefits to those who practice it; however, the results will be different for everyone and depend on your own personal goals. Yoga has also been recently used to treat anxiety and depression, and is also used to help control panic attacks. People with anxiety often benefit from the breathing techniques involved in yoga. Yoga also promotes an increase in blood flow to all major organs.
The disadvantages of yoga are that many people may think it is too difficult to do. This is a great point and makes sense because it can be difficult not only for beginners, but even for experienced practitioners. It does require lots of practice and discipline in order to master the different postures and breathing techniques. Another disadvantage is that many people do not have the time to take up such activities, this includes those who work long hours or have hectic schedules, but that is precisely why you should do it.
There are many different styles of yoga you can practice including Hatha, Ashtanga, Iyengar, Bikram, Kundalini, and Power Yoga. Each style has numerous variations to either meet the needs of the individual practitioner or to address specific health conditions. Likewise, there are many forms of yoga that a beginner can choose from as well. This article will outline a broad overview of these varied types of yoga including general guidelines for how long to practice each pose and how many times a week you should practice them.
Hatha yoga is a style of yoga that is well suited to beginners. It incorporates simple poses that flow into each other, holding the poses for a longer time, and using deep breathing techniques to bring circulation to the body. This style of yoga has been popularized in recent years by Bikram Choudhury who founded the Bikram Yoga College in Los Angeles which focuses on a specific set of 26 postures completed within two sets of 90-minute classes held each day.
Ashtanga yoga is an energy-based style of yoga that focuses on the connection between breath and movement. The poses are performed in a specific sequence often containing intense spinal twists or “inversions” that increase the amount of oxygen flowing to the brain and body.
Iyengar Yoga is a form of Hatha yoga that involves greater postural control, advanced breathing techniques, and deeper relaxation. Its focus is gravity rather than postures and use of props such as blocks and straps. This style was developed by B.K.S. Iyengar and is the most common style of yoga practiced among beginners.
Kundalini yoga involves the use of props such as blocks, straps, and belts to enhance the body’s capabilities. The practice aims to integrate a person’s awareness with their physical state in order to create a direct link between the mind and body. Kundalini can be practiced as a group class or individually with an instructor guiding you through each pose. This style of yoga is not recommended for those recovering from a recent injury.
Power yoga is a form of Hatha yoga that uses both slow and fast movements to stretch and relax every muscle in the body. This style of yoga has become more popular due to its effectiveness in tightening and strengthening the body along with its increased cardio-vascular benefits. Power Yoga consists of 28 poses that are usually performed in pairs. The time it takes to complete each pair varies depending on the intensity of the pose.
A recently popular form of yoga is hot yoga. In this form of yoga, the poses are performed very intensely utilizing light clothing, sweating, and sometimes hot yoga towels which promote passive heat loss.
Lastly, Chakra yoga is an energetic practice that uses specific breathing techniques and meditation to release negative energy from blocked chakras in the body. The practitioner must remain still and calm during this process so as not to interrupt the flow of chi or energy.
The yoga types outlined in this guide are meant to be used by people with a range of fitness levels. It is recommended that you do yoga at least twice. Typically this would be around 20 minutes for beginners. Longer sessions upwards of 60 minutes can be done, but it is recommended that you progress to such lengths gradually. Newcomers should not use extreme poses or intense exercise routines, and it is highly recommended that you consult with a yoga instructor before starting any new form of yoga.
Remember that proper breathing techniques are critical in every style of yoga. As you hold each pose, your breathing should be deep and even while concentrating on the physical sensations in your body. Never hold your breath while practicing yoga poses, as this can lead to dizziness and fainting.