An introduction to yoga
Yoga has become one of the most popular forms of exercise today. There are many different styles to try, each with their own postures and benefits. But what is yoga, really, and why should you try it?
Yoga is a science that works best when integrated in our daily life. It works on all aspects of a person: the physical, mental, emotional, psychic and spiritual. The word yoga means ‘unity’ or ‘oneness’ and is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘yuj’ which means ‘to join’.
Most yogis (yoga practitioners) will tell you that with regular practice, the right style of yoga can have wonderful benefits for your life, both inside and outside of the yoga room.
For example, if you have a very stressful life, then yoga may help you to calm down, breathe and relax. Physically, yoga can help you gain strength, flexibility, muscle tone and an excellent posture.
Unlike a lot of gyms, yoga classes are frequented by everyone and not just the body beautiful. So why not dip a toe in the water and try a local class?
Hatha yoga is a very popular style due to its relaxed pace. You perform a series of postures, holding each one for a few seconds whilst breathing deeply.
Ashtanga yoga is sometimes known as ‘power yoga’ due to its dynamic pace. You keep moving throughout the class as you do postures such as the downward dog and the triangle. Madonna first made this style popular – it’s when she got her biceps!
Bikram yoga is like hatha yoga but practiced in a room heated to 38 degrees. It’s challenging but has devotees around the world. It’s particularly good for healing muscle injuries and preventing brittle bones and osteoporosis.