What is Yoga?
What is yoga: 5 exciting health benefits of yoga. Yoga is derived from Sanskrit (Old Indian), and in English we can translate this word as “connection”. It is a philosophy, a way of life and a system of actions that is composed, as you can tell from its name, which is connected to the balance of all the layers of our existence that seem to be opposite (mind and body, inside and above, discomfort and relaxation etc.), finally arrived at a natural state, in which life can live in full. What does yoga do?
Yoga teaches us to balance the body and mind as well as the mind and consciousness. The practice (Asanas) gives strength and energy and a pleasant general feeling of relaxation. Considering our busy 21st century, yoga is a great way to relax and unwind. People who are not familiar with yoga sometimes think that yoga is mostly about doing intense and uncomfortable exercises. The opposite is true. Of course, there are many asanas that require significant strength and flexibility, but those new to yoga quickly discover that many of the classic yoga poses are easy to perform.
Yoga is based on the 8-fold path as described in the founder Patanjali’s yoga sutras, with the aim of integrating the whole process through the practice of yoga and thus basically controlling and calming the flow of thoughts, leading to a land of nirvana; bliss (translated: a state of being in which we are in harmony/balance)
- Yamas: practicing universal moral principles such as non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, anger, and lack of desire.
- Niyamas: moral rules for yourself such as purity, contentment, self-discipline, self-education, and self-surrender.
- Asana: yoga helps you achieve and maintain good physical health
- Pranayam: breath control
- Pratyahara: mastering the mind
- Dharana: control of concentration
- Dhanya: Meditation, control of mental thoughts
- Nirvana: Unity and bliss
Types of yoga
There are different types of yoga. But all these types fall under 3 broad categories which are defined below;
Ashtanga yoga is often referred to when talking about “energy yoga”. This yoga is very powerful and offers many benefits for physical and mental health. Ashtanga is known for its sessions where the group works in a series of poses. Consider, for example, the Sun Salutation. These things are organized so that each one is a preparation for another situation, so they flow easily into each other.
The most practiced and classic form of yoga is hatha yoga. This is what we often hear when we talk about “yoga”. This type is known for achieving good health, strength, and power. During Hatha yoga, the positions you work in are isolated. This means that the method is not practiced serially like Ashtanga yoga. You hold the position for 1-3 minutes and have normal breathing. The steps you take are chosen based on the level of the group. Hot yoga, popular today, is also based on the Hatha style of yoga. Practicing this type of yoga involves slightly different conditions, such as practicing in a room with a 40°c temperature.
The poses you follow in this type of yoga are to make the connective tissue and joints strong; they stretch the deep muscles and loosen the pelvic area. (Yin yoga is also a form that is very suitable, for example, for top athletes and all those who do a lot of physical activity, because they suffer from joints aches quickly afterwards.)
While you strengthen and tone your body in many sports, Yin yoga is all about releasing as many muscles as possible. You hold the pose for less time than during, for example, Hatha yoga. Most of the time, the situation starts from 3 minutes to 5 minutes maximum, which puts a lot of problems on your body.
5 Exciting Health Benefits of Yoga
Improved performance and reduced stress
Whether at work, at the gym, at family gatherings or at the store, challenges are everywhere. Yoga trains you to stay calm and grounded, especially in times of stress. Why would someone struggle with a difficult yoga pose and want to be told to stand and breathe? Because you will meet many more challenges in real life than in your yoga. By keeping you calm in awkward situations, too
Physically and mentally, you are training to remain the best version of yourself. Especially in difficult times.
Fitness and strength
Many people feel that they are not ready for yoga. But your body just needs time to grow. Yoga exercises are designed to make your body strong and flexible, without damaging your body and your muscles. What is important is the right combination of strength, mobility, and balance that you develop during training.
Reduces pain and injury
Many people first come to yoga because of an injury or pain, usually in the back, knees or joints. Yoga uses controlled movement and breathing to open the body. Focusing on proper posture is the most important thing in a yoga class. This careful way of moving reduces the risk of injury. In addition, yoga requires you to pay close attention to your own limits, and above all not to exceed them. There are always changes or changes in the pose that you can do, without compromising the challenge and progress. If you go to classes regularly, pain and injuries are reduced from the first month thanks to yoga.
Prevents cardiovascular disease
Stress and sedentary lifestyle increase the risk of heart disease. Because yoga involves physical exercise and can help reduce stress, it can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Yoga is good for your heart as it increases blood circulation. Yoga can also improve certain risk factors, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol levels
Overall Good health
Once you begin to feel the physical effects of your yoga classes, you will notice that your diet and sleep patterns change as well. The need to get into a bag of chips is gone, because you like to keep your body healthy. During the yoga class you will find that you focus on the situation that there is no room for thoughts about work, debt, or other things. You are in the here and now, and that brings peace of mind. After the class, you will feel relaxed. The combination of that and a good mind is the way to live a better life.