A Guide to Yoga
Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that focus on the physical and mental wellbeing of whoever takes up the exercise. The main components of yoga are the postures or poses, as well as breathing exercises.
There are many health benefits of yoga. Dozens of research articles have been published on the health benefits of yoga. Most of these studies suggest that yoga is a safe and effective way for you to increase strength, balance and flexibility. There is also some evidence suggesting that yoga is beneficial for:
- High blood pressure;
- Heart disease;
- Aches and pains including lower back pain;
- Increased strength and bone density;
- Reduced anxiety and stress.
There are many different types of yoga to suit whatever your body type or temperament as well as your flexibility levels. Yoga will develop your strength and balance as well as your flexibility. All yoga styles will create a feeling of ease and relaxation as a sense of calm as you breathe with the poses of the yoga.
Yoga classes vary, depending on the style or tradition of the teacher or school. Participants use yoga/exercise mats.
A common yoga class will typically include:
- An introduction, which may include some breathing exercises and/or some relaxation exercises
- A Physical warm up
- Yoga postures, movements and stretches
- Relaxation and/or meditation.
Meditation often forms an integral part of yoga. Participants usually practise their meditation either on cushions on the floor, or seated on chairs. A dedicated meditation class typically includes:
- An introduction possibly including breathing exercises, relaxation and some inspirational readings
- Many mental focusing and meditation practices
- Various poses depending of the level of that particular class
- Returning to an outward focus and brief discussion
A typical yoga class generally spans for 1 – 1½ hours.
"Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self."
- The Bhagavad Gita
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