Yoga is practiced by some so that they can become more physically fit. Others use it to gain better mental control or to help them meditate or relax. Yoga helps to unify the body and the mind, and it has grown in popularity with both men and women.
Millions of people around the world practice yoga regularly, but not all of them do it for the same reason and not all of them get the same benefits from it.
Yoga schools are so versatile and varied that there is something in yoga for everyone. This ancient practice can be modified to fit anyone’s particular needs. It is an excellent way to destress and to get rid of pressure from the rigours of daily living for both men and women.
The versatility of yoga is what attracts so many people to it. Yoga’s meaning for one person may be different from how another person perceives it. Their experiences may differ as well. Let’s look a bit closer at yoga and how it can benefit you. Let’s start by looking at some of the more common styles of yoga, since there are more than 100 different variations on basic yoga.
Hatha Yoga is a very physical type of yoga, and it focused on breathing and physical exercises. This is really the generic yoga form and what most people think of when they are speaking about yoga. It’s very popular in the West, and it is accessible to just about everyone because of how undemanding it is.
Raja Yoga is a bit deeper, and it includes study, meditation and breathing exercises. Hot Yoga combines exercises with a heated room for a sauna-like experience. It is designed to help people lose weight and sweat out their stress and problems. This is hardly gentle at all, and those who try it should be prepared to put in some serious exercise.
Iyengar Yoga is very detailed and requires perfection to master. People are not allowed to sit any way they want in this type of yoga. They have to get their postures just right, and the teachers will be far more demanding of students in these types of yoga classes.
Power Yoga, also known as Ashtanga Yoga, is made up of intense exercises. The various position for these schools have to be performed in a way that can be very physically demanding. Bhakti Yoga can be very spiritual, and it requires devotion and a focus on higher powers. The adherents are expected to see God in all the exercises they perform.
The history of yoga is a very fascinating one. It began thousands of years ago, but no one is really sure when it started. We simply know that it has been a spiritual practice in India for many years and that a number of schools have emanated from the practice. There are so many different varieties of yoga that anyone should be able to find one that suits them.
Some say that Buddha introduced yoga or that the practice began during his lifetime. Others trace the origins back to Indus-Sarasvati peoples. The introduction of yoga to Western culture, however, has been far more recent. It moved to the West as a real trend in the 1970s The benefits of yoga on the body and overall health are myriad. How great those benefits are depends on the kind of yoga being used. Hatha Yoga, for example, because it is so relaxing, is excellent for those going through pregnancy. It helps to make the muscles more flexible and prepares the body for childbirth.
Gentler forms of yoga can still help people achieve a fit body as well as improve their posture. Yoga in its many forms has also been shown to help fight high blood pressure and improve heart health.
Yoga also teaches people slow down and take time to relax. This is at the core of the yoga practice, and those who feel stressed can really benefit from some yoga classes.
There are a lot of aspects of yoga that can be challenging, however. Those who want to push themselves and try to achieve yoga perfection can find schools that encourage this same mindset. If you are fit enough, you may want to go for one of the more physically demanding schools of yoga. This can greatly benefit your health, and it’s suitable for men and women of any age.
Whether you are looking for a spiritual connection, a way to relax, some healthy living or some fun exercise, yoga has a form that is right for you. There are relaxed schools of yoga and very active ones where perfection of form is highly valued, and you just have to find one that works well for you. It may be necessary to experiment a bit before you settle on one that is a good fit, but there is no reason to think that yoga is not for you.