Are you looking for a way to get fit that builds strength, flexibility, and muscle, yet can relax the mind and improve your mood and overall well-being at the same time? If so, yoga may be the perfect practice for you. This ancient art from India dates back over 5,000 years, yet today it is one of the most popular forms of exercise for people all over the world. Yoga offers many health benefits to practitioners, including increased strength, balance, and energy, and a decrease in stress, disease, and depression. There are many different types of yoga, so it is easy to find a style to suit any taste.
Health Benefits of Yoga
Studies show that yoga can have an extremely positive effect on the health and well-being of those who practice it on a regular basis. This low-impact form of exercise involves physical poses that stretch the muscles, which relieves tension and pain in the muscles by releasing lactic acid in the joints. The long duration of the poses also helps to build and tone muscles, particularly those in the core area such as the abs and the obliques. Yoga also involves controlled breathing, which increases lung capacity as well as self-awareness of the body. Researchers have found that people who take yoga often experience lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose levels, as well as an increase in white blood cells, better concentration, and less stress. The practice of yoga has many health benefits associated with it, so read below to discover 63 benefits of incorporating yoga in to you or your patient’s fitness program.
Types of Yoga
Hatha is an excellent type of yoga for beginners or those looking for stress relief, as it involves slow-paced and gentle poses, controlled breath work, and meditation. It is a combination of the basic elements of yoga, and a good starting point for those new to the practice.
Vinyasa yoga involves fast-paced poses and synchronized breathing. It is often called ‘flow’ yoga because the movements and the breath flow together in a smooth, continuous motion. This is a great workout for those looking for a more active form of yoga.
Ashtanga is a very intense form of yoga, and best suited to those who have experience with yoga practice. It involves steady breathing and vigorous, continuous poses. It is very good for building muscle strength and tone, and is often called ‘power yoga’ for its physically demanding nature.
Bikram yoga was created by Bikram Choudhury in the 1970s in Los Angeles, and has become famous as the original ‘hot yoga’. Practitioners work on a series of 26 poses in a room heated between 95-105 degrees. This helps to relax the muscles, increase flexibility, and detoxify the body through sweating.
Restorative yoga focuses on connecting the body to the mind, and holding gentle postures to restore the energy in the body. Classes may include props such as blankets, ropes, and blocks to align the body and many of the poses are done lying down.
Whether your aim is to release stress and tension after a hard day, focus on aligning the mind and body, or sweating through an intense workout, there is sure to be a style of yoga for you. Yoga not only makes you look and feel good, but it can also help ward off harmful conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and depression. Those with existing medical conditions should consult a health care professional before starting a yoga program.
The virtual meaning of Yoga in Sanskrit is ÔÇÿto listen an art or practice of listening to your body. Yoga was developed first in India around five thousands years ago. And now it has become a popularly known practice and adapted across the world. Yoga is termed as physical, mental and spiritual practices that entertain your mind body and soul. The vital role of yoga is to provide peace in mind, energy, release stress, bring positivity to your thoughts. Now the question arises that Why only Yoga ? From ancient times yoga has been in practice, it helps to focus on strength, flexibility, physical fitness, breathing and boost mental wellness. The fundamental component of yoga is the posture which carries a range of different ways or movements to increase strength and flexibility.
who is the father of yoga and how it originated ? Shiva , the first yogi, and how he transmitted the yogic sciences to the Saptarishis (7 great sages). According to the yogic lore, over fifteen thousand years ago, Shiva attained to his full enlightenment and abandoned himself in an intense ecstatic dance upon the Himalayas. When his ecstasy allowed him some movement, he danced wildly. When it became beyond movement, he became utterly still.People saw that he was experiencing something that nobody had known before, something that they were unable to fathom. Interest developed and people came wanting to know what this was. They came, they waited and they left because the man was oblivious to other people’s presence. He was either in intense dance or absolute stillness, completely uncaring of what was happening around him. Soon, everyone left…Except for seven men.These seven people were insistent that they must learn what this man had in him, but Shiva ignored them. They pleaded and begged him, “Please, we want to know what you know.” Shiva dismissed them and said, . The way you are, you are not going to know in a million years. There is a tremendous amount of preparation needed for this. This is not entertainment.” So they started preparing. Day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, they prepared. Shiva just chose to ignore them. On a full moon day, after eighty-four years of sadhana, when the solstice had shifted from the summer solstice to the winter solstice – which in this tradition is known as Dakshinayana – the Adiyogi looked at these seven people and saw that they had become shining receptacles of knowing. They were absolutely ripe to receive. He could not ignore them anymore. They grabbed his attention.He watched them closely for the next few days and when the next full moon rose, he decided to become a Guru. The Adiyogi transformed himself into the Adi Guru; the first Guru was born on that day which is today known as Guru Pournami. On the banks of Kanti Sarovar, a lake that lies a few kilometers above Kedarnath, he turned South to shed his grace upon the human race, and the transmission of the yogic science to these seven people began. The yogic science is not about a yoga class that you go through about how to bend your body – which every new born infant knows – or how to hold your breath – which every unborn infant knows. This is the science of understanding the mechanics of the entire human system.After many years, when the transmission was complete, it produced seven fully enlightened beings – the seven celebrated sages who are today known as the Saptarishis, and are worshipped and admired in Indian culture. Shiva put different aspects of yoga into each of these seven people, and these aspects became the seven basic forms of yoga. Even today, yoga has maintained these seven distinct forms.Transmission of the yogic sciences to the seven rishis The Saptarishis were sent in seven different directions to different parts of the world to carry this dimension with which a human being can evolve beyond his present limitations and compulsions. They became the limbs of Shiva, taking the knowing and technology of how a human being can exist here as the Creator himself, to the world. Time has ravaged many things, but when the cultures of those lands are carefully looked at, small strands of these people’s work can be seen, still alive. It has taken on various colors and forms, and has changed its complexion in a million different ways, but these strands can still be seen.The Adiyogi brought this possibility that a human being need not be contained in the defined limitations of our species. There is a way to be contained in physicality but not to belong to it. There is a way to inhabit the body but never become the body. There is a way to use your mind in the highest possible way but still never know the miseries of the mind. Whatever dimension of existence you are in right now, you can go beyond that – there is another way to live. He said, “You can evolve beyond your present limitations if you do the necessary work upon yourself.” That is the significance of the Adiyogi.
This is a nice crisp article on the many benefits each style has to offer. However, there are many more yoga styles out there, and we do not often know which one to pick for ourselves and how. To handle that issue, here is an article for beginners to crack the tough yoga lingo: Yoga Lingo for Dummies - A Beginner's Guide to Jargon Free Yoga