As a popular mind-body practice, yoga comes with immeasurable benefits, including improved posture, endurance, and flexibility. It can also help relieve stress, unclutter the mind, sharpen core muscles, and more.
Yoga is considered as a mind-body practice and popular alternative therapy that can promote peace of mind, build muscle strength, improve balance, and boost immunity, all through the practice of meditation, concentration, various postures, and controlled breathing.
Since yoga’s inception more than 5,000 years ago, its rich history and tradition have grown to become the premier choice for holistic health and wellness. While yoga has not always been the same, it has transformed throughout the years to offer its students the best method in obtaining enlightenment.
Vedic Period: Beginning in 3000 BC, yogis lived in solidarity within forests and woods. Their focus remained on enduring hardships as a way to sharpen their minds.
Pre-Classical Yoga: At the start of the new age, the practice of yoga shifted focus to a meditative state. Yogis moved away from a reclusive lifestyle and into practicing in smaller groups.
Classical: During this period, yogis began to concentrate on what to do, what not do, how to relate to others, and how to sit, breathe, withdraw, concentrate, meditate, and enlighten themselves.
Today: Since its arrival in the U.S. during the 1800s, the methodology of yoga has expanded to include practices like Iyengar, Ashtanga, and Kundalini. This expansion requires more of an active involvement.
With numerous styles, hundreds of studios, and thousands of instructors out there, yoga has certainly become the MVP in the health and wellness industry. With that said, the inspiration to choose yoga can come from practicing with a qualified instructor, which is expected to push anyone toward a profound transformation.
Hatha Yoga: A way to transform the inner self, Hatha yoga includes a set of physical exercises, asanas, or postures, designed to open channels of the body so that energy can flow with ease, and align the muscles, bones, and skin. With Hatha yoga, yogi's are also able to create balance and bring attention to the breath, which helps calm the mind.
Vinyasa Yoga: Vinyasa yoga consists of various poses that move students through the power of inhaling and exhaling. For instance, yogis are encouraged to coordinate movement with breathing from one pose to another, or to move and breathe smoothly to relax the mind and release any blockage of energy flow throughout the body.
Bikram Yoga: At a room temperature of approximately 105 degrees Fahrenheit, Bikram yoga includes specific poses and breathing exercises that are known to benefit yogis everywhere. This style also aims to increase overall health with enhanced flexibility, deep stretching to prevent injury, and the flushing of toxins due to perspiration. So, if you enjoy the heat, Bikram yoga is just for you!
Ashtanga Yoga: As a repetitive, vigorous, and quick-paced style of practice, Ashtanga yoga, or eight-limbed yoga, usually appeals to those who like a sense of order. Ashtanga yoga involves a sequence of poses that students must follow each time, which are ideal for stretching tight hamstrings, hips, and shoulders.
Iyengar Yoga: A form of Hatha yoga, Iyengar yoga places attention on the body's physical alignment through various poses and different props, including straps, blankets, pillows, chairs, and bolsters. This style is expected to increase flexibility, strength, balance, and the awareness of one's self, which creates a calm mind and even greater concentration.
Kundalini Yoga: One of the oldest forms and most spiritual styles of yoga, Kundalini yoga is all about recognizing, refining, and expanding awareness in one's self. This yoga of awareness also opens the heart, builds strength, focuses on breathing, and releases the energy that is located at the base of the spine.
Restorative Yoga: Restorative yoga involves simple poses to achieve a deep level of relaxation and calm the entire body, such as Child's Pose, Corpse Pose, and Reclining Hero Pose. Restorative yoga leads yogis to a more therapeutic experience, while also cultivating bodily awareness, promoting mindfulness, and helping to embrace a slower paced life.
Jivamukti Yoga: A hybrid style of yoga, Jivamukti yoga was created in the 1980s to help one maintain relationships with others and provide a path to enlightenment through compassion for all beings. In addition, Jivamukti yoga focuses on five central tenets, which are scripture, devotion, nonviolence, music, and meditation.
Although viewed as an exercise in some parts of the world, yoga delves deeper into achieving enlightenment. It is a powerful, holistic technique that can heal and restore the energy in your body.
The poses, stretches and pauses for meditation are designed to be done while focusing on your breathing. Learning to concentrate on the movement of your body and how you feel is an integral part of becoming aware of yourself. It helps to obtain a clearer focus in life, leading to calm thoughts and a healthy lifestyle.
Yoga is not always about achieving the perfect pose, but becoming healed through the different techniques.
Sleep Restoration: Proper breathing and meditation lead to relaxation, calming of the mind, and the restoration of natural rhythm to the body, resulting in a better night’s sleep.
Chronic Pain: Yoga focuses on a variety of movements, postures, and breathing exercises that can activate the healing energies of your body and provide mental comfort to any painful areas.
Improved Wellness: Between various postures and a wide range of motions, your balance, flexibility, and strength will increase, leading to fewer injuries when participating in other daily activities.
Depression: Yoga, with its movements and controlled breathing, can lower emotional depression, develop self-awareness, and improve and reconnect the energy and functions within yourself.
You can reap several benefits with yoga, such as reducing stress, restoring your natural healing energy, perfecting your posture, building muscle strength, increasing serotonin levels, promoting a deep sleep, and most importantly, improving the health and function of the body and mind.
Yoga has been the talk around town for a long time, as an estimated 20 million people in the U.S. alone practice the beneficial alternative therapy. It not only helps cure pain, improve well-being, and keep sickness at bay, but it allows you to follow a healthy, humble, and devout lifestyle.
Yes, yoga is a popular method to relieve any feelings of stress. There are certain poses or techniques that are particularly effective for promoting relaxation, tension relief, and restfulness, which in turn can flush all parts of the body with fresh blood, oxygen, and nutrients.
Yoga is beneficial for anyone who wishes to enhance their mood and overall well-being, as there are a number of yoga techniques that cater to various age groups. For instance, yoga can help children in developing their intellect, calmness, creativity, and imagination, whereas senior citizens can benefit from improved mobility, concentration, and memory.
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