Yoga

I love yoga! Everybody should try it, and the great thing is, almost everybody can, it’s not a hard to learn sport, there is a type of yoga for everybody (and every body).

For a very long time I thought that yoga was to New Agy for me, until I met a very special lady in my Capoeira class who happened to be a yoga instructor. She invited me to join her weekly yoga class, on the Caribbean beach and Jacuzzi afterwards, who can say no to that? I discovered that yoga is a very relaxed way of exercising your body and your mind. I started yoga over a year ago and I am still discovering and learning a lot about yoga and its benefits but I can truly say it has helped me a lot on my journey to create change in my life by giving me a way to relax and think things over, a quiet and peaceful place to retreat when the world is too stressful and intense.

If you have never done yoga before it is best to see if there is a yoga class near you where you could take a look and join for a try. There are many forms of yoga and many ways to teach it. I was lucky that I met a great teacher who teaches a form of yoga that really fits with me which is Hatha Yoga.

Now my teacher left the island so no more weekly classes, luckily I had enough practice to do a little routine at home, but I also looked on the internet to find some nice yoga videos and to try some new techniques. I do a few basic moves every morning and night just to stretch my muscles and loosen my joints.

If you were interested in starting with yoga I would advise you to look around on the Internet and do a little research about what form of yoga you would like to learn. You can also start to practice at home using the instruction videos you can find on youtube. I made a little list (using Wikipedia) of the different types of yoga, you can use these names to find more information and online videos to start practicing or just to inform yourself about what is out there.

For me personally yoga is about tranquilizing your mind and exercising your body. You do this by controlling your breath and making sure you breath deep into your belly in stead of superficially. You go trough a series of movements while you align you breath with the movement. For example when you stand and raise your hands you breath in and when you lower your hands you breath out. Everything has to do with energy flows. I have tried a few forms of yoga, some focus on flowing movements that help you become more agile and in control of your body and other focus on holding postures for a longer while and help you build strength and some focus on breathing, breathing techniques and meditation, in the end all types of yoga will help you relax your body and your mind.

Hatha  Yoga -> Hatha yoga attempts to balance mind and body via physical postures or “asanas”, purification practices, controlled breathing, and the calming of the mind through relaxation and meditation.

Ashtanga vinyāsa Yoga -> The term vinyāsa refers to the alignment of movement and breath, a method which turns static asanas into a dynamic flow. A practice will comprise four main parts: an “opening sequence,” one of the six main “series”, a back-bending sequence, and a set of inverted asanas, referred to as the “finishing sequence.”

Kundalini Yoga -> Kundalini is the term for “a spiritual energy or life force located at the base of the spine”. The majority of the physical postures focus on navel activity, activity of the spine, and selective pressurization of body points and meridians. Breath work and the application of bhandas (3 yogic locks) aid to release, direct and control the flow of Kundalini energy from the lower centers to the higher energetic centers.

Restorative Yoga -> In restorative yoga, props are used for support the body so that you can hold poses for longer, allowing you to open your body through passive stretching. The postures are usually adapted from supine or seated yoga poses with the addition of blocks, bolsters, and blankets to eliminate unnecessary straining.

Yin Yoga -> Yin Yoga is a slow-paced style of yoga with postures or asanas that are held for comparatively long periods of time–five minutes or longer per pose is typical.

There are many more forms and types of yoga, many are based on the Hatha yoga style. If you are a beginner I would advise to start with Hatha yoga because it will teach you many of the moves that are used in other types of yoga as well. Because you hold the postures for a little while with the Hatha practise you get a change to study the postures in perfect them before trying our a more flowing type of yoga. Again it is best to start at a yoga centre or at a gym because it is really nice to have someone present who can explain the postures and show you how to do them the right way.

I found a great site that has a very rich collection of information about different yoga styles in case you would like to investigate: http://yoga.about.com/od/typesofyoga/u/yogastyles.htm#s4

Enjoy and relax with yoga!

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