A guest blog by Tully Humphrey.
What you need to know.
The word yoga means “union” in Sanskrit, the language of ancient India where yoga originated. We can think of the union occurring between the mind, body and spirit. What is commonly referred to as “yoga” can be more accurately described by Sanskrit word ASANA, which refers to the practice of physical, postures or poses.
Many people think yoga is about flexibility and stretching. Yes stretching and flexibility is involved. Yoga is more about creating balance between strength, mental/spiritual ability and flexibility. This is done through a performance of postures each of which has specific physical/mental benefits. The poses can be done quickly in succession, creating internal heat in the body through movement or more slowly to create stamina and perfect alignment of the posture. The approach to the postures varies depending on the tradition in which the teacher has been trained.
The most amazing thing about yoga is it is your practice it’s always evolving and changing, so it will never get boring!! Although some the postures do not change, your relationship with them will.
Anyone can start yoga practice, even if you don’t feel like you are very flexible or strong. These things will improve the longer you practice.
There are many styles of yoga some are fast, hot, slow you just need to find the right one for you. Everyone is different. Below are some styles of yoga you might be interested in trying.
Ashtanga yoga (also referred to as Power yoga) is a fast-paced, intense yoga style. It focuses on constant movement from one pose to the next. However, this system does allow each student to work at her own pace.
Bikram, or Hot yoga, is practiced in an environment where the temperature is 37- 40 degrees. The heat promotes intense sweating that will loosen tight muscles and facilitate cleansing of the body.
Hatha yoga is a general term. These workouts usually include basic introductory yoga poses, and move at a gentle and slow pace. ?
Iyengar Poses are held for a longer duration. The purpose of this is for students to recognise the subtleties of each posture and to pay attention to their musculoskeletal system and body alignment. Using props (blocks, belts, blankets, etc.) to accommodate a variety of fitness levels and special needs is common in Iyengar yoga. ?
Vinyasa yoga includes more aggressive stretches. These workouts focus on sun salutations and the connection of breath and movement.
Yin yoga class will feel different from a hatha practice. Yin focuses on stretching the deep connective tissue in the joints and lengthening the time spent in each pose. You will do fewer postures in a yin yoga class, and because you are working on stretching, will not be engaged in standing or strengthening poses. In a yin class, you will hold each pose for approximately five minutes, though some yin yoga instructors may hold the pose for longer. You eventually will find that you have greater range of motion due to the lengthening of the connective tissue.
As a teacher I often get asked by my students how often should I be practicing yoga? To be honest you can practice as often as you can. There is no real answer some people can only make it into the yoga room once a week or some maybe 3-5 times as week, it doesn’t matter how often you practice the yoga. When you do come to class you will become to see positive changes in your life and your practice!
See you on the mat soon!
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