“Yoga means union, the union of the body with consciousness and consciousness with the soul.”
Would you like to start exploring the world of yoga and meditation?
Here you will find a summary to give you an idea of what yoga is, its benefits and the main different types of yoga that are practised.
WHAT IS YOGA?
Yoga is a group of physical, mental and spiritual practices or disciplines that originated in ancient India/Pakistan/Afghanistan/China over 5000 years ago. In Mohenjo-Daro, a city of the ancient Indus Valley culture whose ruins are in the territory of present-day Pakistan (2600 BC and 1800 BC) carved figures of people in yoga postures were found, and according to the Hindus, some of these represent Shiva performing this practice.
In the 4th century, BC Patanjali founded the Yoga Sutras (He did not create yoga, he only collected it), which consist of 195 sutras, where all the information about yoga is collected.
The ultimate goals of yoga are to calm the mind and attain Moksha or Kaivalya (Enlightenment), i.e. to come out of Samsara (Cycle of Life and Death). Thus, thanks to the combination of asanas (postures), pranayama (breathing), meditation and other techniques, we purify the Naris (energy channels) so that the mind can reach a state of greater consciousness.
To simplify it we can say that Yoga is the connection and union of body, mind and breath. It means being aware of your whole being: your body, thoughts, emotions, etc. and getting, through this practice, a lifestyle in which you are always aware of the present moment, with your mind calm.
• Maintain and improve the health of our muscles, joints and organs.
•Improves balance and flexibility
• Improves anatomical posture and prevents pain and injuries derived from sedentary habits or bad postures in our day-to-day.
• Improves the immune system, reducing the chances of contracting diseases or digestive problems, since we reduce the level of cortisol and blood pressure.
•Breathing capacity is increased by breathing techniques.
• It teaches you to live in the present moment, here and now.
• Reduces stress, anxiety and depression thanks to relaxation techniques.
•Improve the feeling of well-being and happiness.
•Keep the mind healthy.
• Sleep better and improve sleep quality.
TYPES OF YOGA
There is a great variety of styles of Yoga since yoga evolves depending on the needs of society and are 840,000 Asanas (postures) coming from different life forms and inert beings: animals, plants, mountains, etc.
Anyone can practice yoga, you just have to build a good physical base (asanas) and mental, until little by little you discover which style best suits your needs, abilities and limitations.
There are dynamic styles (Flow-movement-breathing) such as vinyasa yoga or ashtanga, others are leisurely such as Hata (You hold postures for long periods) and other restorative ones such as yin yoga or yoga Nidra.
THE MOST POPULAR ONES ARE:
• HATHA: It is to balance body and mind. Hatha is the root of all other styles of yoga. It is the balance of the Sun/Moon, Masculine/Feminine, S.Sympathetic/Parasympathetic. Here you maintain postures for long periods, accompanying it, of course, with breathing. It is a slow and precise style. This philosophy is to purify the body and thus the mind will be purified as well.
• ASHTANGA: They are the same 6 sequences where you repeat the asanas always in the same order, you can skip asanas but you can not change the order. The flow involves sequences of 1 movement with 1 breath (Patanjali).
• VINYASA: It is a style of freestyle yoga that unites breathing and postures in a very fluid and energetic way.
• KUNDALINI: This type of yoga, in addition to postures and breathing, incorporates meditation techniques and mantras. It is based on the repetition of a sequence and continuous breathing to set in motion the energy from the first to the last chakra.
• YIN YOGA: It is a very relaxed yoga based on postures that will help muscle relaxation through stretches on the floor that are maintained for several minutes and accompanied by breathing and meditation.
• Acro: Acrobatics are performed in pairs.
•Aerial: In suspension with fabrics hanging from the ceiling
•SUP yoga: On a paddle board.
•Tantra: Energetically intense (Sexual energy)
• Facial yoga: To help the health and youth of your skin
•Yoga for pregnant women: Helps during pregnancy and prepares for childbirth.
These are just some of the most practised styles today, but the truth is that there is much more because yoga is not just an exercise or practice, it is a style and philosophy of life. Yoga helps you not to think about the past or future, helping you to be in the only moment that is real: The present!
I hope this very brief summary of the introduction to yoga has helped you and encouraged you to try and explore this wonderful world of personal self-knowledge through its practice. Yoga and meditation are excellent ways to achieve peace and physical and mental health.
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