If we talk about Yoga today, we are talking about a totally popular practice. However, not many know in depth what is necessary in this fascinating world that can lead us to physical and mental strength difficult to imagine. Know everything about Yoga, benefits, risks and more things you need to know.
In this article you can read:
- 1. What is Yoga?
- 2. Benefits
- 2.1 Physical benefits
- 2.2 Mental
- 3. How to practice
- 3.1 Some tips to practice Yoga:
- 4. Yoga Styles
- 4.1 Ashtanga
- 4.2 Hatha
- 4.3 Iyengar
- 4.4 Kundalini
- 4.5 Nidra
- 5. Yoga for children
- 6. Yoga poses (asanas)
What is Yoga?
It is a practice that involves the body, and the mind, originated in India. The word is a term that comes from the Sanskrit language of India, and means ‘union’. Many times this practice is fused with meditation, in religions such as Hinduism or Buddhism.
The philosophy that accompanies this activity is to strengthen the body, mind and spirit as a triad. Today, more than 100 types of various practices are known within Yoga but they all consist of the same thing. Some varieties may have more to do with the spiritual side and others with a side more related to taking care of the physical aspects.
Many are the positive aspects associated with yoga today. Increasingly, this physical activity is recommended by professionals in physical and mental health. These benefits can be divided into two areas.
- Joint flexibility. It works a lot with the stretching of our body, and its importance lies there.
- Shapes the body and increases strength. The force we used to maintain all postures, over time, develops our muscles.
- Increases vital energy. All physical practices increase our energy because they produce serotonin, the hormone of happiness, which gives us more joy and energy every day.
- Releases toxins. Through sweating as a result of this activity, all toxins are eliminated by our body.
- Stimulates metabolic processes. Being part of a physical activity on a regular basis, benefits the internal processes of our body.
- Improves the autoimmune system.
- Helps weight loss.
- Decrease tensions.
- Physical aptitude.
- Improves breathing. All the exercises that are carried out within yoga are accompanied by a particular respiratory rhythm. Each change in posture or sequence is accompanied by a deep exhale and inhale.
- Better posture. If we can define a center on which this practice works, it is our column. All the postures are aimed at helping our back heal, relax and separate itself from daily stress in order to keep it straight and without back pain.
- Improves sex life
- Improve our intuition. Yoga, by making us aware of our body, trains our perception and intuition of ourselves and our surroundings.
- Fight depression and relieve stress.
- Collaborate with the dream. The relaxation practiced during yoga, takes away the tensions from the body and helps us to rest better at night.
- Facilitates concentration. In the practices that combine breathing and physical exercise, we are given all the tools to pay attention to the activity and to our body as such. That ability develops over time, increasing our potential.
- Gives mental clarity.
- Stimulates positive thinking and our self-esteem.
How to practice
First of all, like all physical activity, it is necessary to consult a doctor in advance if we are able to practice it, especially if we are in a particular situation or illness. Anyway, more than some kind of risk, yoga is very beneficial, as we saw previously.
But even so, a doctor will be able to guide us as to the frequency that suits us and so on. In general, most trauma professionals strongly recommend practicing yoga as it helps us a lot with our posture.
Once we make the decision, it is important to consult or seek references to assist experienced teachers or centers with prestige in teaching yoga.
Some tips to practice Yoga:
- Attend class with comfortable clothes and bring our Mat, towel and blanket. It is very important that we feel comfortable within our workspace.
- Have an empty stomach and bladder. In order not to feel uncomfortable or heavy and that our energy is put into the exercises with lightness.
- Turn off our phone so it doesn’t interfere with classes. It is very common that the classes are guided, and that the teachers are in charge of giving us some indications. Furthermore, all encounters usually end with relaxation.
- Listen to our body and respect it if we feel that we cannot demand more of it in any exercise. Gradually, the more expertise we become the subject, the greater our physical and stretching ability. For this reason, we must be patient and refrain from carrying out any of the indications if we feel that we cannot.
If you have never practiced and are interested in starting, we invite you to read our yoga for beginner’s article.
While all retain a basic foundation related to practice through different postures and their accompaniment with a breath, there are some styles of yoga introduced by gurus or emerged in modernity that fit different needs.
On this page you will find details of all the styles that exist, while here we show you the main ones:
Ashtanga means in Sanskrit “eight steps” and has its origin in the hatha since it incorporates several of its postures, but consists of a more active and fluid movement in direct relation to the breath and is considered much faster and more demanding. Find out more.
The hatha is one of the more physical types of yoga and tries to awaken our energy in the body. The main purpose is to increase our flexibility and physical strength along with breathing exercises that accompany the movement.
To achieve awakening our body energy, we work a lot with breathing, closures and openings of energy channels and specific postures of the hands so that the energy can flow naturally. Hatha yoga is considered the basis of the rest of the disciplines within yoga, characterized today as the main practice of slow and deep postures.
More info on Hatha.
The Iyengar is focused primarily on the alignment of our body, through each proposed posture. As resources it has 200 postures and 14 specific breathing exercises that increase with the level of the practitioner. The creator of this style was the guru BKS Iyengar. Get to know him.
The Kundalini starts from the basis that our most important energy is found at the beginning of our spine. His way of working is through songs, mantras in an atmosphere of candles and incense. The main objective is to open and balance all our chakras in order to heal physical and emotional issues that are disturbing us. See more.
The Nidra tries to take the practitioner to a state of deep meditation to physically relax and reach a state of total rest to eliminate those negative thoughts that may be ruling us. It is about achieving absolute inner peace in the student through total silence and extreme body relaxation. See more about Nidra
Yoga for kids
Yoga practice for kids
The same general benefits associated with yoga also work for children. The practice is becoming more and more advisable for parents since the work on stretching and the strength of our muscles practiced in yoga can very well accompany the growth of children.
In addition, it is believed that during their development, children of different ages go through various anxiety attacks and, bringing them to a heightened state of consciousness about themselves and their body, can provide them with tools in the future to control their attacks.
Different specialists recommend that the practice in children begins at the early age of between 4 and 6 years, together with the beginning of the school stage, when the child develops physical skills and is even introduced into sports practice.
Yoga is a perfect accompaniment to the sport that a child can do. Doctors around the world have developed studies where they affirm that an ideal mix is yoga, swimming and some social, recreational sport, such as soccer, hockey, among others.
Learn more about the children’s practice in our specially dedicated article!
Yoga postures (asanas)
Within yoga, the postures that are practiced are called asanas. We have developed a complete guide to asanas, so that you can know the details of each of them, enjoy it! Yoga practice will give you real pleasure. You can also learn meditation for beginners or get basic skills.
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