Yoga is different things to different people, so what it means to you will depend greatly on how you were introduced to it and how you enjoyed your initial experiences with it.
For some people Yoga is simply a method of exercising that ensures they have a healthy supple body. For other people Yoga transcends a method of exercise and is a spiritual experience that allows them to find the balance and centering their lives need.
This type of Yoga comes closer to a life philosophy than any other.
Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga is often placed in this final type when assessing its place as a Yoga discipline.
It descends from a document known as Korunta Yoga which deals with the 8 spiritual movements which are described by Patanjali in Sutra Yoga.
Today most Yoga disciplines are directly descended from the descriptions of Yoga exercises in these documents, and so most forms of Yoga are variations of Ashtanga vinyasa.
Getting a complete understanding of Ashtanga Yoga is important as its proponents treat it as more that a form of exercise.
While its base is in physical movement it is suggested that its power in fact comes from the strength of spirit that is developed from regular and disciplined practice of the 8 stages of Yoga.
Through the eight stages of Yoga the body and mind become pure, and so they are seen as a purifying discipline.
Furthermore, the discipline of Ashtanga Vinyasa deals with a profound and deep way of relating to others.
The closest word to describe this aspect of the Yoga discipline is manners, but it really does go beyond that.
Yoga is a discipline of balance, and the physical balance required to complete many of the exercises should be mirrored by an internal balance or harmony of the soul.
It is said that a hyperactive person cannot be successful with Yoga and this is true on several levels.
Firstly they lack the discipline to sit calmly through the exercises, but they also lack the mental calm to focus wholly and completely on a single task.
Yoga requires deep concentrating on the simple act of breathing and feeling the breath bring life to different areas of your body.
Power Of Yoga:
The power of Yoga is found in its combination of the physical strength and flexibility needed to complete movements and the mental discipline that is required to maintain them.
Yoga is not just a form of exercise but most often it is thought of as a form of meditation.
Meditating successfully with Yoga requires a pureness of thought and singularity of focus that is not found in most modern exercise programs.
It seeks to bring the body back into balance and focus on maintaining that balance.
This aspect of Yoga is often misunderstood, but balance plays a huge role in Eastern Medicine and the purpose of Yoga and similar meditative techniques is often no more than to achieve and maintain the level of balance that keeps our bodies healthy.
Yoga teachers will often talk about oneness and inner harmony, and this can be misinterpreted by people who lack a holistic understanding of what Yoga seeks to achieve.
The Harmony Of Meditation:
Simple the harmony that is achieved through Meditation and Yoga is a self-contentment or acceptance of oneself.
This shows that the first step to becoming completely happy and healthy is to be content with yourself and your life.
The Universal Appeal of Yoga:
Yoga has been practiced for 5000 years and is a system of exercises which are very easy and effective at increasing a persons overall health ad well-being.
Yoga instructors and students alike will often talk about phrases like “being in harmony with oneself and surroundings” and indeed this is a primary goal of Yoga, to achieve a unity of body, mind and spirit in a oneness with the world around us.
Yoga will teach a person to stimulate internal organs including the likes of the prostate, which is practically never exercised by any other discipline.
It will teach you to apply pressure upon glandular areas of the body and it will combine this with meditation and breathing techniques that will grant you the ability to turn your concentration inward to examine your feelings and thoughts.
There are a number of different aspects in Yoga, but one of the most appealing is that this is a set of exercises that anyone can enjoy and benefit from.
It does not require any expensive equipment or a special setting, it can be practiced by anyone, man or women, rich or poor, young or old, healthy or ill.
Perhaps its greatest appeal has always been that it is a set of beneficial exercises that anyone can do at any time and in any place.
Yoga is even a safe form of exercise for pregnant women and prenatal Yoga classes are often recommended to expectant mothers.
A specially tailored prenatal yoga class will help prepare a woman, physically and mentally to become a mother.
It gives her a number of useful tools for coping with labor and the strengthening of the body means that the recovery period after giving birth will be much shorter.
Yoga Is Also For Men:
There is a preconception amongst many men that Yoga is a female pastime, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Yoga provides numerous benefits to men: decreasing stress, assisting in relaxation and increasing power, stamina and flexibility across the board.
Senior citizens can get a number of benefits from a yoga course and are often the first to praise the mental advantages such as an increased attention span and a better memory both long and short term.
Yoga Is Ok For Children:
Even young children will benefit from a Yoga regime by stronger bones, increased circulation and a better disposition resulting from breathing exercises and the relaxation of the exercise.
Regardless of the person Yoga has a number of lasting benefits and will aid in a wide variety of different health issues.
Regular practitioners of yoga will live an overall enhanced lifestyle, are more likely to have a strong memory and better stamina combined with a stronger sense of balance.
Even late starters can use Yoga to combat a range of health disorders from Blood pressure to arthritis to breathing orders.
It’s no wonder when you consider all the different benefits of Yoga.
How popular it is, and the fact that it is a regime of exercise that is open to everyone is one more big advantage of it.
It means that families can stay fit and healthy together and include everyone from the youngest child through to the oldest family members.
The exercises can be performed at varying levels of difficulty and intensity, which means that two people at completely different levels of strength and flexibility can go through the same motions and both benefit.
It’s odd that as I’ve done more Yoga I have built up a spiritual side that I never had.
It is anything but a religious thing yet more an instance of perceiving that my very own well being and prosperity are significant and deserving of being made a priority.
Regardless of whether the equivalent occurs for you is yet to be seen.
However on the off chance that you’ve been putting off learning Yoga or trying it out in view of all the spiritual talk.
I can guarantee you there are logical explanations for it and that on the off chance that you give it a go you may simply be surprised.
Yoga is a philosphy and so much more if you want it to be.
Depending on what you want to achieve from yoga as stated in my first paragraph will be up to you.
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 programme or making any changes to your diet