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A Beginners Guide to Yoga
Posted by thelegacyresort On Fri 24 Jan, 2020

What is Yoga?

     Yoga is a vast collection of spiritual techniques and practices aimed at integrating mind, body, and spirit to achieve a state of enlightenment. What is normally thought of as “yoga” in the West is really Hatha Yoga, one of the many paths of yoga. The different paths of yoga emphasize different approaches and techniques but ultimately lead to the same goal of unification and enlightenment. 

History of Yoga

    The beginnings of Yoga were developed by the Indus-Sarasvati civilization in Northern India over 5,000 years ago. Yoga teachings were mentioned in the Rigveda, an ancient spiritual text. The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit word yuj, which loosely translates to “to yoke” “to unite” or “to join”. Yoga is centuries passed, yoga also became celebrated for its purely physical benefits how it energizes and strengthens the body—but to this day the belief that yoga helps bring the mind and body into harmony is one of the biggest things that draws people to their mat.

Different types of Yoga

       The form of yoga that initially took hold in the west is considered Hatha yoga. Hatha is a general category that includes most of the yoga types we think of today, from Ashtanga to Iyengar. Hatha simply refers to practicing poses (or asanas) and breathing exercises (called pranayama) to find balance, release tension, and calm the body and mind. Hatha classes are great for both beginners or yogis who want to deepen their practice, because holding the poses for longer helps you sink into each them and ensure proper alignment.

      Another type of yoga is Vinyasa. Vinyasa classes are more fast-paced, with the idea that you are synchronizing movement with breath and learning to work your way through a series of poses in a fluid manner. Vinyasa offers a vigorous movement with a continuous “flow” from one posture to the next. This style will be more dynamic and athletic in nature to hit the person searching for more of a “workout” rather than a time for relaxation. 

      The third most common form of yoga is Ashtanga. Ashtanga classes use the same series of poses for every class. You have to master the first series before going onto the second, and so on, making it ideal for perfectionists. Beginners might want to dip their toe in Vinyasa or Hatha before going to an Ashtanga class.

Health Benefits of Yoga

    There are countless health benefits of yoga. It’s a great way to work on one’s flexibility and strength. Poses stretch the muscles and help to make people feel less stiff or tired. Certain types of yoga focus on toning the muscles as well. When flexibility and strength increase posture will also improve. Yoga has also been known to lower blood pressure and slow the heart rate. A slower heart rate can be beneficial to those with high blood pressure or heart disease. Yoga also has the ability to help you lose weight, burn calories, boost metabolism and reduce stress.

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