Yoga means Sangha(Union) in Sanskrit. It implies breaking the boundaries of limitations and experiencing the universe as a part of us.
Yogis or realized souls are aware of the truth that everything is subsumed in a single entity and yoga helps to increases this awareness in a gradual manner.
It is not surprising to note that yoga increases the levels of serotonin, the happy hormone.
Another important thing to note here is that yoga consists of a series of steps/exercises namely meditation, pranayama, and asanas(poses) that plays a key role in reducing stress by controlling cortisol, the stress hormone.
Today, there is enough medical and scientific evidence to prove that every fundamental activity in our brain can be improved considerably by practicing different asanas or poses/postures in yoga.
Tired and stressed, practicing yoga weekly once or twice can definitely improve one’s physical and mental wellness.
In The Article
Types Of Yoga And Hot Yoga
Types Of Yoga:
- Hatha yoga
- Karma yoga
- Hot yoga
- Power yoga, etc.
The Top 10 Yogasanas or Yoga poses or Yoga postures that are commonly practiced today worldwide are Padmasana, Vajrasana, Setubandhasana, Chakrasana, Bhujangasana, Dhanurasana, Ustrasana, Suptavajrasana, Halasana, Sarvangasana.
When yoga poses or exercises are practiced under hot and humid conditions, it is called as hot yoga. Hot yoga leads to profuse sweating.
This yoga style/school was developed by the famous yoga practitioner Bikram Choudhury.
He developed and improved various types of yoga exercises undergoing rigorous practice/training in hot and humid conditions.
It is normally performed in a heated room. One can practice difficult asanas/poses compared to those performing yoga exercises in normal room conditions.
It will be easy to overstretch and push beyond one capacity.
Dos And Dont's Of Yoga
- Practice yoga early in the morning on empty stomach. You can have a liquid diet before doing yoga – a cup of coffee, tea or a glass of water. It is better to avoid caffeinated beverages whenever and wherever possible.
- It is better to perform yoga after taking a bath. You can also perform yoga before bath and wait for some time.
- Always perform yoga on a yoga mat or spread out a blanket.
- Keep your mind focused and do not concentrate on unwanted thoughts.
- Women should not practice yoga during menstrual periods or pregnancy time. Prenatal yoga can be learned and performed but not all regular postures come under this category. Only specific practices/exercises are allowed during pregnancy.
- Children below 7 years of age are not required to practice yoga.
- Never practice yoga while you are ill or immediately after undergoing an operation.
- Do not stuff yourself before practicing yoga.
- Yoga should be performed on a leveled floor where windows and doors must be kept open for receiving the fresh breath of air to come. You can also practice Upstairs yoga.
- Pranayama should follow the Asana and meditation should follow the Pranayama.
Is Yoga safe?
Yoga is safe if practiced under the supervision of a trained yoga teacher. Because it may lead to minor to major injuries if not practiced properly.
Yoga And Fitness
Yoga and fitness are two sides of the same coin. It goes hand in hand. Noticeably, yoga can make a person active and continuous practice produces tremendous results.
It is a celebration of life, an ancient scientific technology. It is suitable for anyone in the age group of 6 to 60.
It has no age limits peruse. Different sets of exercises/asanas are there for different age groups.
Benefits Of Yoga
Practicing yoga has numerous benefits for the mind, body, and soul.
Physically it has the ability to cure almost most of the chronic diseases like heart problem, diabetes, blood pressure, etc.
Some of the benefits are as follows
- Improves flexibility
- Increases blood flow
- Healthy lifestyle
- Peace of mind
- Maintains blood sugar level
- The high amount of concentration
- Improves your balance
- Takes care of the nervous system
- Relieves you from stress
- Gives you more energy
- Maintains weight
- Improves athletic performance
- Excellent toning of the muscles
- Stress relief
- Burns fat
Meditation is a practice where a person sits close to his/her eyes and watch the breath.
Be aware of the breathing process and allow the mind to dissolve. It helps well in concentration and to keep the mind in peace.
Often we see people who meditate are calm and composed. They are many benefits to meditation and there are many types of meditation.
1. Attention Focus Meditation: Focusing the attention on a single object is the whole purpose of this meditation.
The object may be one breath, external object, visualization or a mantra. When practiced well, the ability to focus the object becomes stronger.
2. Vipassana meditation: Vipassana is a Pali word which means insight. Vipassana is the most popular meditation of this century.
It has reached the whole world. In this meditation, the one who performs close the eyes, focus the attention on the belly at the abdomen.
Breathe normally and focus on the breath. Don’t try to change your breathing pattern. Just observe it.
3. Chakra Meditation: They are seven chakras in the body corresponding to seven colors. They are as follows:
1. Root chakra
2. Solar plexus
3. Crown chakra.
4. Throat chakra
5. Sacral chakra
6. Third eye chakra
7. Heart chakra
Focussing the attention on these chakras and activating it one by one is the method of doing chakra meditation.
Attention has to be drawn starting from the root chakra, the to the sacral followed by solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye and finally the crown chakra.
A person who meditates will feel the energy all around their body as the chakras are activated
4. Third Eye Meditation: This involves focusing on the spot between the eyebrows which is popularly known as the third eye or Ajna chakra.
The attention is constantly directed towards this point.
A person who does third eye meditation may feel a kind of vibration between the eyebrows which is a natural sign that they are able to activate the third eye.
Best Yoga Accessories And Clothing
It is very important to wear proper clothing for yoga. Accessories should be avoided.
Yoga Clothing For Men and Women:
It is not advisable for women to wear long and heavy earrings, bangles and chain. It is better to avoid the use of accessories.
Wearing a track pant will make you feel comfortable along with a top or a T-shirt for men. Wear yoga pants. Yoga clothes are easy.
A yoga shirt must be comfortable and fit appropriately. Whatever shirt you use, practice a range of movements in it before you go and practice yoga.
This will make you feel comfortable. Wear a tank top to yoga. If you don’t have sleeves, you don’t have to worry about pushing them out on your way.
A loose shirt and a low neckline will leave you exposed when you bend. So note this point and wear a top that fits well as well as comfortable with high necklines.
For women, wear a sports bra. A full-length pant is better suited for outdoor classes.
If you are going for shorts wear ordinary and loose-fitting short. Don’t use super short shorts or loose shorts.
Go for full-length leggings. Don’t Use cotton or lacy underwear.
Online Yoga Classes In US
Yoga For Women
Women’s yoga is very important nowadays. Because we are seeing varieties of a health problem for women related to their menstrual cycle.
There are even yoga practices for women who are pregnant.
So in this article, we will see what are the Asanas women can practice getting rid of the natural health problems that they face.
Yoga for pregnancy and menstrual disorders (prenatal yoga):
- Sit with stretched legs.
- Bend the right leg and put it by your side till it rests beside your left knee.
- Place your right hand behind your back and lets arm over the knee.
- Push your right knee as far as possible.
- Twist your trunk to the right side.
- Take support from your left arm. Now repeat the same steps on the left side.
- This is also called a chair pose.
- Stand straight on your mat.
- Stretch your arms forward palms looking downwards.
- Do not bend your elbows.
- Keep your arms straight.
- Gently bend your knees and go to the position like sitting on the chair.
- Keep your legs apart.
- Sit in Padmasana.
- Raise both your hands above your head and join the hands
- Sit erect with your legs stretched out in front of you.
- Raise your arm over the head.
- Bend forward and touch the tip of your both the legs.
- Let the right hand hold the tip of the right leg and let the left hand hold the tip of the left leg.
Yoga For Men
Yoga is not just for women. It is for all. Men may benefit even more from certain postures of yoga than women.
Because of the larger muscles, men have. There are some poses that work magically on men.
The basic four postures of yoga as follows:
- Kneel on your knees open shoulder-distance without your toes touching.
- Place your forehead on the floor.
- Stretch your hands.
- Stay in this pose for 10 breaths and relax.
Butterfly pose is to bring awareness on both the legs. This pose is also done by bending down and the head touching the ground. There are two variations in this pose.
- Place a yoga mat.
- Sit on the floor.
- Bend your knees by bringing feet as close as possible.
- Hold your feet with your hands.
- Start flapping like a butterfly by bringing thighs up and down slowly.
- It is called as neuk asana.
- Lie on your back with feet together and arms beside your body.
- Raise your feet and chest off the ground; stretch your arms towards your feet.
- Feel the vibration in your naval area.
- Come back to the ground slowly and relax.