Without getting too much into semantics, I’m going to dive straight into what it’s known as to the general public, in pop culture if you will. Yoga is a form of exercise based on an ancient Indian system, studied and documented by sages over a period dedicated to the study of the human anatomy. Technically, it’s called Hatha Yoga. You guys, It is not a religion, and has no religious implications. Yoga is a set of exercises based on the control of the breath and discipline. That’s all! On the face of it, yoga seems to be about stretches and getting into pretzel like poses. Sure, that’s one aspect of it. But there is a lot more to it than just mere poses and “being bendy”
Yoga Is Peace, Man
Runners you have probably have felt this, that feeling of inner peace and escapism after some time into your run. This is known as the runner’s high. Numerous other forms of activities such as fishing or painting takes you into a deep meditative state. Yoga has that effect too. The scientific part of it is simply common sense. Increase blood flow to your brain and all parts of body causes calming effects. There are numerous claims that yoga frees the mind from negativity, hatred and brings about peace. Well, how the heck does that happen? Focus on meditation, clearing your mind, control of breathing. The art of controlling your mind, thoughts and breathing has a placebo effect on the body. So if you are fatigued and can’t handle life anymore then try taking your shoes off, sitting criss cross apple sauce and just focus breathing deeply. No hocus pocus needed.
Yoga for Weight loss
Does yoga help with weight loss? It can, but that’s not the objective of yoga. Yoga promotes the optimal function of the human body through a set of exercises and breath work. Your goal shouldn’t be to achieve fat burn during yoga, rather intend on achieving flexibility and mobility. Both of which prevent injury caused by vigorous exercise – which is more common than we think. Yoga should be a part of everyone’s health routine!
Yoga’s immense popularity today is a testament to the benefits of this system of exercise. According to Yoga Journal’s national survey, as of 2016, there are more than 36 million yoga practitioners nationwide, up from 20 million in 2012, and 15 million in 2003. So does one need to be naturally flexible and strong to begin yoga? Heck no! You just need a mat and some props (if you need any) to get started. Practice practice practice and all will fall into place.
Yoga And You
When you sit cross legged on the floor, you are in “Sukhasana”. So you may have yoga incorporated in your life already. If you are used to furniture, try sitting cross legged on the floor or on the sofa/chair. There are numerous benefits to the hip joints and spinal health with just sitting cross legged. There are various aspects of our lives that require the function of our body which calls for some level of flexibility, be mindful of those activities and incorporate yoga alignment to it. At the core practice of yoga, it is a mind-body connection. The alignment of certain points in the body can not be achieved without conscious effort and focus. This is the basis of all types of exercise, not just yoga. Thus incorporating yoga into your life will ripple benefits through out your other exercise routines. Of course, that is all applicable when you are already familiar with yoga in the first place. Which then brings me to the next segment – how to begin yoga.
How To Get Started
Ideally, you sign up for a class with a certified teacher who can guide you.
Alignment matters in yoga. The pose is not the ultimate goal.
All of the technicalities that goes into the instruction of yoga has a restorative and meditative goal. Bear in mind that yoga is not just about stretches that modern conventional exercise enthusiasts claim. For those without access to a teacher, there are many videos available online for your perusal. I would urge you to review them yourself and decide for yourself what suits your needs.