Today’s world is full of options for keeping in shape so what are essential steps to Yoga. These range from managing stress to preventing health issues. Yoga is used to help heal the body from addictions. People are turning to yoga for many reasons. There are also those who decide to do yoga simply because it is “trendy.” They attend yoga classes in yoga studios because a celebrity chooses to endorse it.
Yoga is about the physical – about improving and toning the body. Yet, yoga is also about the spiritual development of an individual. In truth, yoga is a combination of movements and positions designed to develop the link between the head and the consciousness.
Depending upon which form of yoga you choose, and there are many forms, the focus will be on the exercises or positions (asana) or the development of the consciousness.
Yoga intentionally includes aspects of conscious development of both the physical and the spiritual. This is an integral part of an ancient tradition that cannot and does not separate the body form the spirit/mind/soul.
The following will open up the world of yoga. It will explain and simplify what can become a complicated subject. This post’s intent is to expose the beginner to the different types of yoga.
In doing so, it will provide the information necessary to get any beginner started on the right path. To start off on the right foot, however, it is necessary to understand where the practice of yoga originated and the traditions.
Many individuals seek to find an answer in yoga. Whether he or she seeks the meaning of life or an ideal body, he or she looks to find their own solution in the practices. Part of the average individual’s belief in yoga lies in the perceived benefits.
There are many claims made in the name of yoga. They range from the ultimate unification between body and the universal truths to a healthy body. In essence, the essential benefits of practicing yoga lie in 2 areas: physical and spiritual. The physical effects may be listed as following:
• Yoga develops physical strength
• Yoga has a positive effect on the spine
• Yoga features special exercises that may help in a variety of sicknesses and health complaints
• A healthy body help create a healthy mind
• Yoga practices increase life expectancy
• Yoga strengthens the entire core system through improved blood circulation
• Yoga lowers blood pressure decreasing problems of stroke and heart disease
• The use of breathing results in increased lung capacity and greater endurance
• Stretching reduces stiffness of muscles by releasing lactic acid
• Yoga can help reduce weight
• Yoga can aid in decreasing depression
• Yoga is also beneficial in addressing issues of the female reproduction system, e.g. menopause, menstrual cycle
Yoga’s claims to physical benefits are based on a regular implementation of a regime of specific yoga positions. By stretching the body, yoga helps the individual straighten the spine. Stretching the spine also increases elasticity of the spine and other body parts.
This increases body flexibility and helps the individual to relax and concentrate. At the same time, stretching reduces stiffness and helps the individual avoid or decreases instances of pain, tension, fatigue and stiffness.
The body movements required of yoga also increase the flow of the blood. This increased circulation ensures the body maintains a healthy flow while improving the general sense of well-being.
Improved blood circulation also helps in relieving minor pains and helps with certain health problems. In particular, yoga can reduce short-term pain. Yet, studies indicate the lowering of blood pressure through yoga exercises can impact, in a positive fashion, on such things as hypertension, stroke and heart disease.
Perhaps the best thing about yoga is its lack of side effects. Yoga encourages relief from minor problems. It does so over a short time period. Because yoga works with the body by inducing the release of certain beneficial naturally occurring chemicals, there are no unpleasant side effects.
As a result, yoga can provide an individual with a positive body experience while providing certain health benefits. It can also encourage mental and even spiritual development. If a practitioner decides to move beyond the physical promises of yoga, he or she may experience a form of personal development or even enlightenment.
• Yoga is part of a philosophical path. It open the mind to explore the inner world
• Yoga provides the basic tools for an intense inner journey.
• Yoga is about empowerment of the individual
• Yoga is also about the personal path from the individual to unification with the universal
• Only if the individual has complete mastery over his or her body can he or she is free in spirit or soul
Indeed, yoga does intend to purify both the body and the mind. Yet, yoga is not for everyone. There are those who need to tone down their practice or avoid yoga all together. Certain types of yoga, in particular are not suited for everyone.
Yoga in the Thai tradition may seem to be a cure-all, but it is not a practice suited for cardiac problems. It is not useful for those with hypertension.
This is particularly true if the individual plans to do inversions. This is counter productive and can lead to further complications. If you have a slipped disc or osteoporosis, do not practice Thai Yoga.
If you have a fracture do not practice any form of yoga unless it has become calcified. Individuals with other bone problems such as degenerative discs and degenerative bone diseases are not good candidates for yoga. The asanas place too much stress upon these fragile bones.
Certain types of yoga require modification. This is true in the instance of pregnant women. Once they reach a certain stage, yoga asanas require adjustment to prevent health issues. Furthermore, practitioners do not recommend it for high levels of psychological or emotional stress.
Overall, remember this. Yoga is not a cure-all. If you are sick, see a doctor. If you have any doubts, talk to your doctor and a qualified yoga practitioner. These individuals can help you decide whether you can or cannot do yoga.
For many, the reason to take yoga is simple. They want a fit and flexible body. Others choose this form of practice to help fend off certain health or physical problems. For others, however, yoga is the first step on a path leading to self-knowledge.
There are indeed many motives for doing yoga. Fortunately, different types of yoga currently provide individuals with the varied answers they seek.
I would love to hear your thoughts about this post or this site in general.
I will answer all the comments on my website personally so drop me a line below if you have any Yoga questions or comments.
I’m happy to help any way that I can.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietitian before starting any fitness program or making any changes to your diet.