What is Yoga?
You may be asking yourself 'What exactly is yoga, and why do so many people do it?' It is important not to get scared off by all of the seemingly difficult terms that are involved, but once you understand the most used terms yoga will not seem as intimidating. It is encouraged and advised to enter into yoga with an open mind. Practicing yoga allows you to improve your flexibility and strength, while increasing your awareness of your entire body.
Different Types of Yoga
There are many different variations and forms of yoga. The most popular form in Western societies, the United States is Hatha Yoga. Below is a list of the various different types some have similar characteristics and are categorized together:
- Hatha Yoga
- Raja Yoga
- Jnana Yoga
- Bhakti Yoga
- Kriya and Karma Yoga
- Tantra, Mantra and Kundalini Yoga
Benefits of Yoga
Yoga causes no strain or pain to muscles and joints that other exercises are known for. If you feel any sharp pain at any point during a yoga session, you should stop holding that pose. The problem may be that you are doing the pose incorrectly or that you did not follow your own body's limits.
People at all ability levels and ages are encouraged to practice yoga. You are not expected to be able to fold your body into a pretzel. Flexibility, like strength, is a quality that must be practiced in order to be maintained and improved. Over time your flexibility will increase and many of the poses that you once believed to be impossible will come with ease,and you will be able to set new goals.
Yoga is also praised for it's physical benefits toward your body systems. It provides for better circulation, hence decreasing any risks of heart problems. Your digestive system will work more smoothly and increase your metabolism. The poses that are held in yoga extent the range of motion in joints.
There are also mental benefits to practicing yoga. These include ultimate relaxation. Stress can be better coped with through yoga. The concentration that is practiced during yoga spills into your daily life.
Unlike the majority of workout activities and exercises that require expensive and heavy equipment, yoga requires only one piece of equipment, your body. There are various yoga mats that you can purchase; however they are not necessary and used for comfort purposes only.