This millenary discipline is one of the best comprehensive care systems that exist. In yoga, body, mind, and spirit are strengthened and serene with the practice of asanas, breathing, and meditation. In addition, it is an excellent hobby, it can be done at home and it brings many benefits. Then we will know more about this discipline or hobby.
What is Yoga?
More than a practice, yoga is a lifestyle that heals, cares for and strengthens the body, mind, and spirit through the practice of asanas, breathing, and meditation. Practiced in India for thousands of years, it has become one of the systems of physical and spiritual conditioning with more followers in our days.
Hinduism is one of the most complex cultures in the world. Yoga is part of their religious, spiritual, cultural and social tradition. There are texts from thousands of years ago that already speak about meditation practices, breathing, transcendence of the self and a series of postures that help the yogi to purify his body: the asanas.
There are more than one hundred types of yoga. In the West, various styles that derive from Hatha Yoga, one of the most dynamic, are known and practiced. There are more spiritual ones, such as Kundalini Yoga, or more physical and demanding, such as Bikram Yoga, which is practiced in a warm room (at normal temperature in India). There is even a facial yoga to relax and tone the muscles of the face.
What Yoga Consists Of?
During a yoga session, this usually lasts between an hour and an hour and a half, different asanas or postures harmonized with breathing are practiced, beneficial for both the body and the mind. Asanas have different degrees of difficulty, from the simplest ones for beginners to the most extreme ones practiced by advanced students.
Most classes usually start with a warm-up called "Greetings to the Sun", which includes a dynamic succession of positions that start standing and make us go down to the floor to warm and lubricate muscles and joints. All this combined with breathing, which helps us generate heat and body energy.
After the warm-up begins with the asanas or static positions, always making a posture and its contra posture to work the body and the muscles in a balanced way. If the class is dynamic, as in the case of Yoga Flow, Power, Dynamic or Ashtanga, the asanas will be made in motion, in a fluid way.
All yoga classes end with a relaxation of about 10 or 15 minutes in which the body and mind are returned to calm. Depending on the style of yoga or the teacher, a final meditation can also be done.
Yoga as a Hobby can be practiced in a specialized center or sports club or, once you have learned the correct technique and asanas, follow a personal practice (sadhana), which allows us to exercise and calm our mind wherever we are.
Health Benefits Yoga
The practice of yoga in any of its modalities produces a great change, not only physical, in those who practice it, because it provides control, balance and inner peace. Asanas lubricate the organs, improve blood circulation and muscle flexibility, and help the joints, muscles and other parts of the body function properly.
The asanas not only exercise the muscles, strength, endurance, and balance but massage the internal organs, activate the metabolism (practicing yoga usually burn many calories, especially at rest), oxygenate the body and improve intestinal functioning. This is the case of the inverted postures, which renew the blood flow, rejuvenating the organism from within.
Doing yoga regularly provides energy and improves health, strengthens and stretches the muscles of the entire body, correcting postural problems and preventing back and joint pathologies.
Practicing yoga will not only change our body but our energy, it will help us to be more aware of ourselves, to discover many things that have to do with our soul, to take care of our body in a healthy way, to acquire calmness and serenity.
Yoga is especially recommended for those who seek a system of physical conditioning that not only trains your body but also allows you to work your mind. Thus, it is perfect for those who suffer stress, anxiety and have sleep or depression problems; and for those who want to develop their spiritual part and change their lifestyle.
Kundalini Yoga uses Hatha asana but usually associates them in kriya or sets of postures with one goal: to improve kidney functions, open the heart, improve breathing capacity, activate the lymphatic system, and work the pelvic floor, release emotions. The class intersperses songs and mantras and all physical practice is directed to a final meditation. Kundalini practitioners hold that this style of yoga awakens precisely the kundalini, the energy that we all have numbed at the base of the body. Represented as a snake, when it wakes up goes up the body to reach the head.
Iyengar Yoga, created by the master of the same name, is the most technical and perfectionist of all. Based on Hatha positions but without any systematization, Iyengar yoga uses belts, blocks, chairs, blankets and other tools to correct postures and improve practice. A very interesting discipline for those who want to practice yoga safely and acquire a good technical base.
Ashtanga Yoga is the most intense and dynamic of all styles, only suitable for practitioners with good physical qualities. In this style, the same greetings to the sun and positions are made as in Hatha but introducing jumps, balances, postures, and sequences of an athlete. This style is the most appropriate for those who want to train hard and need strong sensations when exercising or want to burn calories.
Bikram Yoga is one of the most original types of Yoga. This style follows the Hatha Yoga series but in a room at about 40 degrees, more or less the temperature of India. The heat causes the muscles to stretch much more deeply and the body eliminates many toxins, as it constantly sweats. To practice it you have to bring light clothing and a large bottle of water.
It is easy to find many other Yoga styles (Flow, Integral, Nauli, AcroYoga ...), especially in California, the place with the most yoga practitioners in the world (as we understand it in the West).
Many are the benefits of yoga as a Hobby, both physical and mental, so it is absolutely advisable to do it, although you must go slowly so that your muscles stretch out and your body gets used to it.