What is Yoga
" There is so much more to yoga than getting into twists, binds and impossible poses "
Yoga is a way of life, often described as a moving meditation. Its an integrated system of education for the mind, body and inner spirit.
Derived from the sankrit word 'yuj' which means to 'unite’, yoga was perfected and practised in India thousands of years ago. It is about harmonising the body with the mind through the means of various breathing techniques, yoga postures and meditation.
There is so much more to yoga than getting into twists, binds and impossible poses. If you’re new to yoga and think you will never be able to touch your toes or you have no flexibility, you’re wrong. If you think it will be too boring, slow or not enough of a challenge, again, you’re wrong.
The truth is yoga is for everyone – old, young, fit or not. It is a wonderful way to teach calmness, focus, play, creative movement, group interaction and music to children. It’s also hugely beneficial to those who may suffer from an illness or health condition. It also teaches valuable tools to those with limited capacity to move – through meditation.
Yoga is a discipline that goes much deeper than postures. It’s about relaxation, controlled diet, positive thinking, cleansing of the body, chanting and mudras. And, when it comes to yoga, you are spoilt for choice on how to adapt it to suit you.
To decide what is best for you, read the various descriptions against each class and note the level – beginners, intimidate and advanced.
I would advise you start with a beginners’ class then you can decide what other class appeals to you.
Other classes include:
Hatha – for those who like a gentle flow from posture to posture with focus on strength, openness stillness, awareness and breath.
Vinyasa – a faster pace flow from one posture to another forming sequences moving with the breath.
Restorative – a class which uses props and bolsters, lying on the floor getting into deeper postures and staying in them for at least 10 minutes. This is perfect in the evening for a wonderful sleep.
Ashtanga – a method which involves synchronising the breath with a progressive series of postures – a process producing intense internal heat detoxifying the muscles and organs.
Jivamukti – for those who want a fast pace, lots of energy and music.
Nidra – is a class ideal for those who need help with sleep.
Bikram or hot – this involves working out in a heated room – helping you sweat the toxins from the body.
The benefits to yoga include:
- Increasing and maintaining flexibility of the spine
- Toning and rejuvenating the nervous system
- Improving circulation
- Supplying nutrients and oxygen to all the cells of the body
- Calming the nervous system
- Steadying the mind
- Improving your outlook on life
- Making you feel great
- Decreasing stress and anxiety
- Helping you get better sleep
- Helping you feel stronger and leaner
- Looking better inside and out
Another major plus point to yoga is that you can practice anywhere at anytime. It’s just a matter of finding time to listen to your body, mind and soul.
It has huge healing powers too and can help you become a happy, balanced, centred person who embraces a sense of calmness as well as their physical and mental strength.