What is Yoga?|Types of Yoga|Benefits of yoga|How to do Yoga at home? Yoga for kids:
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What is yoga?
As the history of Yoga is so rich, hence there are many definitions and explanations of what Yoga is. IYoga is the practice that gives humans a chance to understand their innermost selves and a chance to catch a glimpse of Universal Consciousness, Energy or Unity (whatever that means to you). The classic book Raja Yoga suggests that we “start from the internal world, to study internal nature, and, through that, control the whole – both internal and external.” So Yoga is a tool for understanding ourselves and our world.
Yoga is personal, experimental and experiential.
Personal: Your practice belongs to you. Finding the style and practice that speak to you are part of the journey.
Experimental: Yoga is a science. Don’t expect to simply believe that you hear about it. When you practice, you will become a living example of the benefits.
Experiential: Possibly the most important element. Your experience will be completely unique to you. And it cannot be given, released or passed between people. Yoga will provide you with the individual healing that you seek.
What are the benefits of yoga?
The benefits of Yoga practice are now being validated by much scientific research. Below is a selection of research-backed benefits:
- Stress reduction
- Relieves anxiety and depression
- Helps to reduce inflammation
- Improves heart health
- Increases mobility, flexibility and balance
- Reduces the risk of injury
- Aids sleep
- Improves breathing
- Increases strength
- Increases sense of well-being
What are the different styles of Yoga?
Yoga is an old practice. The pre-modern Yoga’s are Raja Yoga, Karma Yoga and Bhakti Yoga. Today, most Yoga poses we practice in the West is evolved from Raja and Hatha Yoga. Hence in a Yoga studio, you might see any number of these on the schedule. B
“Hatha” means the physical practice of yoga. It also refers to the combination of the sun(“ha”) and the moon(“tha”). Hatha means a class that will include basic yoga poses combined with deep breathing, focusing on the breath, and meditation.
Hatha classes are great for people new to yoga or who want to focus more on the gentle, unhurried, meditative aspects versus a practice that is also physically demanding.
It was developed by B.K.S Iyengar. It places great focus on precise physical alignment and refined instructions. In other words, students are guided step by step into the poses, sometimes with the use of props to cater to the needs of each individual student. Poses are held for longer periods of time.
This ancient system was developed by Sri K Pattabhi Jois. It involves a series of set postures practised in sequence: where each posture prepares for
1. the next pose,
2. building heat,
3. strengthening and toning the body,
4. increasing flexibility and
5. focusing the mind.
Steady rhythmic breathing is maintained throughout, fostering mental focus and internal awareness.
This is a dynamic flowing style of yoga, which includes harmonizing breath and movement to develop strength, flexibility and concentration. Some classes can be slow-paced and focus on holding poses and fluid, graceful transitions, while others can be more fast-paced and emphasise a vigorous aerobic workout.
It is a gentle, nurturing, slow-paced type of yoga anyone can do. Postures are usually deeply supported by blankets and bolsters and held for several minutes at a time. Hence encouraging the body and nervous system to relax deeply.
Yin yoga is a slow-paced style of yoga. So, classes involve mostly passive poses practised on the floor wrapped in blankets. Poses are held for 2-5 minutes. So it helps to target connective joint tissue and fascia flexibility, unlike more yang styles of yoga which generally target muscle flexibility.
Kundalini Yoga is also called ‘Yoga of Awareness’. Hence this dynamic practice incorporates breathing exercises, movement through yogic postures, held stretches, meditation, relaxation, and mantra (repetition of sound) to develop awareness. These classes vary focusing on different aspects of mind, body and soul.
How to do Yoga at home?
1. Create a comfortable space for your yoga session
Firstly, find a peaceful and quiet spot where you can perform yoga without any disturbance and noise. So, I suggest you use an extra room for your yoga practice.
2. Get your yoga accessories
All you need is a good quality yoga mat which suits all your needs. But a yoga mat is not a prerequisite to performing yoga. You can also perform yoga on a carpet or on any flat and smooth surface.
3. Don’t force or push.
Before doing yoga you should warm up your body properly. Also, you should be very particular about your vulnerable areas knees, hips, spine and neck and If you feel any painful sensations, adjust the pose.
4. Choose your yoga style/routine
Choose your yoga asanas carefully according to your needs. Also, write your goals and follow them every day.
5. Practise yoga regularly
Firstly, set realistic goals for yourself, make a daily routine and follow it regularly to achieve your goals.
6. Always relax with Savasana
After a long yoga session always relax with a savasana. It is very important to relax your body after a yoga session otherwise you will feel unnecessarily wired after a yoga practice, especially after an intense yoga class.
Yoga for kids:
There are many yoga poses which kids can also follow:
1. Candle Pose(Sarvang asana)
2. Vriksh asana
4. Camel Pose
5. Paschimotan Asan
6. Ujjayi Pranayama
7. Hal Asanas
8. Chakra Asana
9. Cone Asana
10. Surya Namaskar
So I hope I had answered all these questions What is yoga ?, Types of yoga, Benefits of yoga, How to do yoga at Home ? and Yoga poses for kids.
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