Do you know that Yoga is dated as back as over 50 centuries?
I perceive you might be a bit confused with estimating what 50 centuries is.
Let me quickly tell you before we continue.
A century is 100 years.
This means that over 50 centuries is equivalent to over 5000 years.
Hope that’s clear?
Oh yeah, I know it is.
Let’s ride on then.
Despite that Yoga is as old as ages, the major concern is how well you understand what Yoga is and its benefits.
Hence, the reason for this article.
This piece will equip you with in-depth knowledge of what Yoga is about and most importantly the benefits.
You might be thinking if the knowledge of Yoga relates to you.
Yes, it does and that’s why you should stay glued till the end so you won’t miss out on the knowledge that will not cost you a dime and yet it’s highly beneficial to your daily healthy living.
It’s time to verify if you truly know what Yoga means!
What is the meaning of Yoga?
‘Yoga’ is a word derived from the Sanskrit root ‘Yuj’ which means ‘to join’ or ‘to yoke’ or ‘to unite’. It is simply the art and science of healthy living. It involves spiritual discipline based on an extremely subtle science, which is aimed at uniting the mind and body.
The practices of Yoga leads to the uniting of the universal consciousness with that of the individual consciousness, which signifies a flawless unison between the Man & Nature, mind and body.
You are termed to be a Yogi if you are said to be in Yoga.
To be in Yoga means to be at that point where you experience this unity of existence.
Experiencing such unity puts you in a state of freedom which is referred to as Mukti, Nirvana or Moksha.
That being the case, the core focus of Yoga is Self-realization, to overcome all kinds of sufferings leading to ‘the state of ‘freedom’ (Kaivalya) or liberation (Moksha)
Yoga practice has its objectives to be; Living with freedom in all walks of life, health and harmony.
What are the different practices of Yoga?
There are different types of Yoga and we will be discussing 9 of them that will be extremely useful for you in 2022. Experiencing each type will help you determine your most appropriate and favourites so you can enjoy them better.
Let’s explore them;
People gather to practice this type of yoga together at their own pace in India.
Ashtanga is translated as “Eight Limb path” in Sanskrit.
It’s also good to know that Ashtanga Yoga birthed Vinyasa Yoga as the flowing style linking breath to movement.
Ashtanga Yoga is not for a beginner because it involves a very physically tedious succession of postures. Ashtanga Yoga begins with five sun salutation A’s and five suns salutation B’s and then progresses into a series of standing and floor postures.
It takes an experienced Yogi to appreciate and love Ashtanga Yoga.
Vinyasa Yoga is usually regarded as the most athletic yogi and it emanates from Ashtanga Yogi in the 1980s.
Vinyasa means ‘to place in a special way’
Which is yoga postures in this case.
The Vinyasa yogi has the movement to be coordinated with one’s breath and movement to flow from one pose to another through the styles and poses can vary.
Check here for more details on Vinyasa yogi.
B.K.S Iyenga founded Iyenga Yoga. This kind of yoga is focused on alignment, detailed and accurate movements. During Iyenga class, students carry out a variety of postures while controlling their breath.
The Iyengar Yoga depends massively on props to assist students to perfect their form and then going deeper into poses in a safe manner. The poses are held for a long time while adjusting the technicalities of the pose.
Although you will get a workout during Iyengar Yoga class you won’t need to jump around. Iyengar Yoga is most appropriate for people with injuries who need to work orderly and in a slow manner.
“Hatha” is a Sanskrit term that is also an umbrella term for all physical postures of yoga.
Whereas in the West, Hatha Yoga is referred to as all other styles of yoga (Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Iyengar, etc.) that are rooted in a physical practice.
Although physical-based yoga is the most popular and has myriads of styles, there are other branches of yoga that are separate from the physical-based practice.
They are; karma, kriya and raja yoga.
Hatha Yoga is appropriate for beginners because usually, the pace is slower than other styles.
Hatha classes are a definition of a ca classic approach to breathing and exercises.
Kundalini Yoga releases the kundalini energy in your body said to be stuck or trapped in the lower spine. This kind of Yoga is both spiritual and physical in an equal manner.
Kundalini Yoga classes are quite intense and can involve meditation, mantra and chanting. It works on one’s breathing with swift, reviving postures and breathing exercises.
Yin yoga practices a meditative type of yoga that helps one find inner peace. It involves seated postures that are held for longer periods and it is slow-paced.
Yin yoga postures can be held for from 45 seconds to 2 minutes and it’s very good timing for beginners. One is relaxed during the classes because gravity does most of the work.
Anusara Yoga has its major focus on the mind-body-heart connection. It also focuses on alignment just like Vinyasa.
Anusara is referred to as the modern-day version of Hatha yoga. John Friend who created a unique system called the Universal Principals of Alignment founded the Anusara Yoga.
It is known for its emphasis on heart opening and focuses on spirals and how each body part should be moving during practice
This is the type of yoga that is suitable for relaxation after a long and hectic day.
Restorative yoga helps the mind to relax.
It contains fewer postures that you have to spend more time on during practice. The poses here are modified to be more relaxing and easier.
Prenatal yoga is the most appropriate for expectant mothers because it helps in the pelvic floor work, focus on breathing, and bonding with the growing baby.
It also prepares the expectant mother for labour and delivery.
Props are used to modify one’s poses and ensure stability while practising prenatal yoga.
More so, it is important to note that all the different Yoga practices discussed have major principles you should follow.
What are the main principles of Yoga?
The main principles of Yoga are listed below.
- Meditation and positive thinking.
- Adequate breathing
- Proper relaxation
- Adequate diet and nutrition
- Proper exercise
Catch some breath here because I know that you have been engrossed with the information contained in this piece.
However, you should not go off this page because of the breath I recommended you should catch.
Just have a few seconds of stretch and let’s see what the benefits of Yoga are.
I am sure you wouldn’t want to miss it.
Top 10 benefits of practicing Yoga
- Yoga is an effective mindfulness practice. Its practice unites the body and mind. Specifically, mindfulness practices strengthen the immune system, reduce depression, and improve social relationships and anxiety.
- Yoga reduces blood pressure. The relaxation and deep breathing that comes with yoga practice in reducing blood pressure. Legs up the Wall Pose, Supported Bridge Pose and Corpse Pose are very useful for people with high blood pressure.
- Yoga enhances breathing. Generally, yoga practice improves lung capacity and breathing both in asthmatic people and every other healthy adult. It helps in controlled breathing which increases energy levels, reduces stress while relaxing the muscles, anxiety and depression.
- Yoga hastens the body’s natural healing process. Because of the mindfulness nature of yoga, it increases the body immune system and the ability to fight disease and restore health.
- Yoga helps one to make better healthy life choices. One very good thing about yoga is that it helps one to adjust to what the body system needs and wants.
- Yoga lowers stress. Practicing it is a good way to cool off from stress because it relaxes the mind, body and keeps you energized.
- Yoga helps you to keep healthy joints. As you practice yoga, your muscles and joints are strengthened. If you suffer arthritis or other joint problems, start practicing yoga because it will help reduce the pain and improve physical function.
- Yoga helps one build strength. With yoga, your athletic performance is certain to improve and you will be less prone to injury.
- Yoga increases flexibility. Flexibility is one of the main reasons people start yoga. Yoga practice ensures that the body is stretched safely.
- Yoga improves one’s posture. Yoga practice helps one to correct any form of imbalance caused by bad posture while the weak muscles are strengthened in the process.
In addition to the aforementioned benefits, there is another benefit that will excite you.
Let me tell you by asking you this;
Does Yoga reduce weight?
The active forms of yoga help one to lose weight. There are different ways yoga practice helps one to maintain a healthy weight. They are;
- Yoga and calorie burning: – Ashtanga, vinyasa, and power yoga are examples of yoga practice that will help you maintain a good weight because of the nature of the physical involvement.
- Yoga and sleep: – Do you know that if you sleep less time than you should for like 5 times a week, you will lose less fat than someone who sleeps normal time, maintaining the same level of calorie consumption?
A 2018 study proved the above assertion.
Ideally, one should sleep between 6 to 9 hours each night.
Ensure to have a quality sleep because it hurts body composition, including fat loss.
- Yoga and mindfulness: – Practicing yoga keeps the spiritual and mental aspects focused on developing mindfulness. This helps to increase your awareness and makes you more conscious of how different foods affect your mind, body, and spirit.
Yoga is extremely useful for people who are struggling to lose weight via other means.
What next to do you think you should do now that you’ve consumed a lot of useful information about yoga?
Don’t you think you should start already?
Let me show you a few points to note because you should get started.
How do I start doing Yoga in 2022?
- Begin with acceptance
- Be filled with expectations and release them
- Have a deep understanding of Yoga
- Be at ease while in stillness
- Take cognizance of your breathing
- Learn simple Yoga poses
- This is not the least rather the first thing that is recommended for you to do.
Enrol in a very good Yoga class to understand the nitty-gritty.
I would recommend you start here.
I perceive you are probably thinking if one must enrol in a Yoga class instead of self-learning.
Well, you are not out of context with your thought or if you are asking a question like;
Can I learn Yoga on my own?
Yes, you can learn Yoga on your own but there are downsides to it.
The downsides of learning Yoga on your own
- It will take much of your time and even money.
- High tendency of non-consistency
- It is risky because you are prone to making decisions that may be detrimental.
- You can easily get distracted.
- In the case of self-learning through an online course, you won’t get an immediate response as it is not real-time.
- The quality of your self-learning is dependent on the proficiency of the tutor if you are watching Youtube videos. This is a risk.
I listed the disadvantages of learning Yoga on your own to show you that it’s a better option any time any day to enrol in a real-time class.
Enrolling in a real-time class is void of those disadvantages.
In conclusion, Yoga is a must-do for you in 2022 because I am sure you wouldn’t want to miss out on the huge benefits.
Before, I let my brain and pen rest, let me remind you that whatever is good is worth doing well.
What am I trying to say?
Start Yoga in the right way by enrolling in a quality class instead of engaging in self-learning.