What is Yoga?
Yoga is a spiritual form of exercise, based around physiology and concentration, it has various forms of techniques of controlling the body and the mind which originated in India around 5000 years ago.
Yoga has developed over time into these various forms:
1. A meditative approach to discovering perception and cognition, and a release from suffering, inner peace and salvation
2. Raising the expansion of consciousness from oneself to being co-extensive with everyone and everything
3. A path to enlightened consciousness enabling one to comprehend the impermanent (illusive, delusive) and permanent (true, transcendent) reality
4. Yoga's goal as meditation-driven means to liberation in tantric practices
The main types of yoga performed in the UK are:
1. Ashtanga - Systematic exercises and self-development techniques for body, mind and spirit
2. Hatha - Focusing on physical and mental strength building exercises and postures described primarily in three texts of Hinduism.
It is advisable to do your research and to choose the type of yoga that suits your needs, as each has a different area of emphasis, such as posture or breathing. Often yoga teachers develop their own style by studying more than one style and merging them together.
No style is necessarily any better nor more authentic than another; the key is to choose a class appropriate for your fitness level and what you want to get out of it.
Health benefits of Yoga
Regular yoga practice is beneficial for people with high blood pressure, heart disease, aches and pains such as lower back and osteoarthritis, core body & muscle strengthening, depression and stress.
Who is Yoga suitable for?
Everyone, young and old! It is good practice for young children to start thwir lives with to learn to chill out, and for older people it is great for muscle strengthening. People of all fitness levels can do yoga to build up strength & improve flexibility.
Why did I choose Yoga as a form of exercise?
I am not a fan of exercise at all; I hate exercise bikes they hurt my knees; I cannot stand the gym; I hate mud so no winter sports for me; and running is not my thing!
When I was looking for something to do that would be of benefit to me, I came across yoga.
For me I decided to choose something that would feel like I have been to the gym, so I chose Ashtanga.
What did I gain from doing Yoga?
The first time I did yoga I was not sure what I to expect. When you do yoga, you often do not feel like you are actually doing exercise, however afterwards I could feel my muscles aching all over, so I knew that I had done some exercise!
It is worth paying for decent mats, as you are on the floor, either balancing on your hands or feet or lying down, so I advise you to make sure that you are protecting your body well. Albeit Manduka mats look like an expensive outlay at first, hwoever they are cheaper than expensive running shoes, and you will use them a lot to practice on, here is the link to the website: https://www.manduka.com/
Other Types of Yoga
1. Pregnancy - this type of yoga is designed to stretch and not strain, and will help you to keep calm and with relaxation and to support with breathing exercises ready for birth. It is a safe way to exercise without straining yourself.
2. Dog - a new trend is to do the yoga poses with your dog and is called Doga, in which traditional Hatha poses are performed. The aim is to seek a more positive attachement and greater harmony with your dog.
3. Mother and Child - simple yoga sessions can be a playful way to help your child keep his/her mind and body balanced, that can strengthen the bond of mother and child, and show from an early age the importance of prioritising mental and physical wellbeing. They often contain some relaxing massage too! Family yoga sessions, also have the same benefits of strengthening the family relationships and bond.
This post was entirely independent and was not collaborative.