If your goal is to improve your health and reduce stress, then you might want to opt for yoga. Not only will yoga promote relaxation, assist with fitness and toning, but it can do so much more. You may be wondering exactly what this practice is, as well as what are the different types of yoga. Additionally, you may be wondering how you can get started. Here is an overview:
What is yoga?
Yoga is an age-old practice that incorporates deep breathing with light stretches, poses, meditation and exercises. Yoga involves the physical body, but it is also includes spiritual and mental aspects, as well. This practice can be performed at home, during a class, or with a group of friends or family members. Yoga helps people to balance the energy within their bodies, which promotes healing, health and happiness.
History of yoga
Yoga originated in India more than 5,000 years ago, although the specific details regarding its origin is unknown, despite a great deal of research. This ancient practice migrated to America in 1893 when a Hindu monk by the name of Swami Vivekananda spoke at a convention regarding the Hindu religion, meditation, yoga, and related topics. Yoga began to become more and more practiced in America, as Americans fell in love with all the yoga types and the many benefits that it provided.
What are the types of yoga?
There are various types of yoga. Some of the more popular and well-known types are Hatha, Integral, Power, Restorative and Yin Yoga. Here is an overview of each:
Hatha yoga – this is the most basic type of yoga, which has become extremely popular in the United States. Hatha yoga is the basis for other types of yoga, and it is excellent for beginners, although seasoned yogis perform Hatha yoga, as well. Posturing, regulated breathing and meditation are the main components of this type of yoga.
Integral yoga – this form of the ancient practice is more traditional, and it focuses on chanting, prayer, self-inquiry, deep breathing, meditation and postures.
Power yoga – while this type of yoga involves the practice of stretching, meditation and deep breathing like other yoga types, it also includes strength-training, making a session more similar to an aerobic workout.
Restorative yoga – this type of yoga does exactly what the name says—it helps to restore and rejuvenate you. Restorative yoga entails lying down for extended periods of time on blankets, yoga bolsters, and blocks, which assists the muscles with relaxing. This can lead to full-body relaxation, as well as stress and pain relief.
Yin yoga – this type of yoga focuses on healing the joints as opposed to the muscles like other types of yoga. Yin yoga is intended for deeper penetration of deeper tissues, which can provide pain relief. This style of yoga is somewhat more challenging than other types, as some of the postures must be held for extended periods of time.
Types of yoga classes
If you’re interested in learning yoga, then you can purchase some books or videos, and you can even consider taking a yoga classes. There are many types of yoga class available, depending on where you live. In order to find out what types of classes are available, you can check with the local community colleges, the newspaper, and you can even check online. Furthermore, the hospitals in your areas might offer yoga classes, so you can give them a call. If you live in a small area, then you might have to accept whatever type of class you can find, but if you live in a larger, more metropolitan area, then you will likely have more choices.
You might want to start with Hatha yoga, since it is the most recommended kind for beginners. However, if you’re up for a challenge and more advanced yoga classes are available in your area, then you might consider signing up for an intermediate or advanced class.
If you would rather not join a yoga class for whatever reason, then you should be aware of the option to learn the basics of yoga by using a video game like on a Nintendo Wii or Wii U. While doing yoga using a game system can’t take the place of a class since the poses are limited, you can start out doing yoga at home in this manner. As you become more familiar with and more comfortable with the various yoga moves, then you might decide to take a class. The Nintendo Wii will track your moves, and you will move along with the instructor on your TV screen. The Nintendo actually records your moves through the use of a handy video camera. You can play back the videos and correct any mistakes you may have made. It can be a great way to learn yoga, and since it’s interactive, it makes it more fun.
Equipment to get started at home
If you want to start out practicing yoga at home, with or without a video game, then you will need only a few items to get started. You will need some comfortable exercise clothes, a mat, straps for making stretching easier, and maybe some blocks and a blanket. These might all be items that you already have around the house, so it may not be necessary to purchase new equipment. You don’t need a special room to get started, as any room in your home is fine as long as you have the ability to practice undisturbed for the duration fo the session.
If you would like to go on a yoga retreat, then if you check your local newspaper or online, you’re likely to find plenty. There are many benefits to attending a yoga retreat. One benefit is the ability to completely rejuvenate your entire body and mind through yoga and other relaxing techniques. You will also attend classes, eat nutritious meals, and meet others who may be yoga gurus who can share their favorite and most useful tips with you. Another benefit is that you can consider your trip to be a vacation that enables you to possibly explore a part of the country or the world that you’ve never been to before.
Yoga retreats can last for just a weekend, or even a week or two at a time, depending on your preferences. People feeling over-stressed and overwhelmed with life in general have gone on yoga retreats and left feeling completely renewed. If you find that you’ve been feeling rundown lately, then a retreat may be just what you need.
With the many types of yoga practices throughout the world, you will have your choice of where you’d like to learn yoga, as well as what type you would like to start with. When most people think about yoga, they think of a “boring” practice where people simply sit on a mat and move around in a strange manner. However, yoga is so much more than “sitting around” in a strange manner. It is a practice that has been proven for over 5,000 years to bring together the mind, body and spirit in a manner that completely heals, renews, and invigorates the entire body.