Yoga

Yoga is a mind and body practice. Various styles of yoga combine physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation. It is an ancient practice that originated in India about 5 000 years ago. It involves movement, meditation, and breathing techniques to promote mental and physical well-being. There are several types of yoga and many disciplines within the practice.

Yoga is an ancient practice that has changed over time. Modern yoga focuses on poses designed to stimulate inner peace and physical energy. Ancient yoga did not place as much emphasis on fitness. Instead, it revolved around cultivating mental focus and expanding spiritual energy.

There are many different types of yoga available. The style a person chooses will depend on their expectations and level of physical agility.

The first mention of the word “yoga” appears in Rig Veda, a collection of ancient texts. Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word “yuj,” which means “union” or “to join.”

Indian monks spread their knowledge of yoga in the West during the late 1890s. Modern yoga teachings became widely popular in Western countries by the 1970s.

And yes, looking at Instagram and TikTok one might come across the obvious online truth: lots of yoga classes are attended by a majority of fit, flexible females in tight clothes. But, contrary to what you might think, it’s not just a sport for sexy ladies. There are tons of reasons why you should be doing it—other than picking up a women.

Do not forget that a regular yoga practice will promote endurance, strength, calmness, flexibility, and well-being.

 

What is Yoga ? Inspired by Sadhguru: 

Of all the things in the world,
of all the things that a human being can do,
why yoga?
Everything that human beings can do is
essentially an expression of who they are.
Somebody sings a song
somebody dances,
somebody writes a book,
somebody paints a picture.
Whatever else we do,
is an expression of who you are.
You may be conscious of it,
you may be unconscious of it
but still everything that you say,
everything that you do,
everything that comes out of you is
essentially an expression of who you are.
So yoga, in that way is diametrically opposite to this
because it’s not an expression of who you are;
it’s about determining as to who you are.
It’s about determining as to what you want to be,
changing the very fundamentals of one’s existence.
Today there is substantial medical and scientific evidence to show
that the very fundamentals of the activity of your brain,
your chemistry,
even your genetic content can be changed
by practicing different systems of yoga.
This needed no confirmation
because we have always witnessed this,
but today there is scientific data to prove this.
So this is not an expression of who you are;
this is about determining the nature of who you wish to be,
changing the fundamental ingredients which has made you who you are.
So yoga as a system, needs much more involvement
than any other things that one..
any other…other forms of things that we do
which are merely an expression of who we are.
If you find full expression through any particular activity,
it may also leave you somewhat transformed.
If you cook with all your heart, some transformation may happen.

Taking care of a cow can change your life, you know?

If you sing with all your heart,
some transformation may happen.
If you dance with all your heart, some transformation may happen.

But that is only a certain impact that is happening

because of absolute involvement in a particular activity.
But essentially that activity by nature is an expression of who you are,
it is not determining the nature of who you are.
So when we transform our activity,
not as an expression of who we are,
’cause who wants to find expression like this in the morning?

Definitely not, isn’t it?

So, it is not an expression,
it is a method,
it is a means,
it’s a technology through which you can change the shape of who you are;
literally also, otherwise also.
You can change the very shape of who you really are right now,
that can be transformed
because who you are right now as a person, is a combination of things –
genetic material,
before that the karmic substance that you carry;
because of that you chose a certain womb,
so the genetic material and since the moment you’re born,
whatever kind of impressions that have gone into you
in the form of variety of experiences,
situations, thoughts, emotions, relationships, associations,
whatever else you have imbibed,
all these things make you a certain kind of person.
When you say, ‘I am a certain kind of person,’
what you are saying is,
‘I have this kind of compulsions.’
When you say, ‘I’m this kind of person,’
what you’re saying is,
‘This is the kind of compulsions that I identify myself with,
so I am this kind of a person.’
People, you know
It’s a very western thing but it’s very much there in India today,
‘cause lot of Indians are far more western than West.
You know, if you go all the way west,
you come back to India,
so they are much more western than Westerners are today.

So people say, ‘I’m a morning person. I’m a evening person.’

So what they mean is,
‘Morning, I cannot wake up in the morning,
that means I’m a evening person.’
‘I can’t stay awake in the evening, so I’m a morning person.’
Not only that, people
it’s going far, you know,
some are Blackberry people,
some are Apple people.
It’s all getting… world is getting divided into so many ways.
They’re not just instruments that you use and keep it down,
you get identified with it.
So there are chapatti people,
there are rice people,
there are dosa people,
there are idli people, you know, all kinds.
So what kind you are
is essentially a certain type of compulsions.

 

Philosophy of Yoga 

The overall philosophy of yoga is about connecting the mind, body, and spirit.

There are six branches of yoga. Each branch represents a different focus and set of characteristics: 

  • Bhakti yoga: Bhakti Yoga aims to establish the path of devotion, a positive way to channel emotions and cultivate acceptance and tolerance.
  • Hatha yoga: This is the physical and mental branch that aims to prime the body and mind.
  • Jnana yoga: This branch of yoga is about wisdom, the path of the scholar, and developing the intellect through study.
  • Karma yoga: This is a path of service that aims to create a future free from negativity and selfishness.
  • Raja yoga: This branch involves meditation and strict adherence to a series of disciplinary steps known as the eight limbs of yoga.
  • Tantra yoga: This is the pathway of ritual, ceremony, or consummation of a relationship.

 

Yoga & Meditation

Why you should practice Yoga

If you think yoga might still not be for you, I invite you to reconsider and read the following reasons why you should start doing yoga … maybe today, or tomorrow but definitely soon:

1. Yoga is an awesome workout

First of all and most obviously, yoga is a fantastic workout for your body. You can adapt the practices to your own speed and level of comfort. No matter which yoga exercises you choose, the practices will always be part of a great workout routine. There are some fantastic series of movements out there that are perfect for every kind of day and for every kind of person, meaning there is no reason not to start doing some yoga as soon as you can. Check out Adriene on YouTube and her 30 day challenges. They are awesome and help you to commit to your practice.

 

2. Yoga gets you in touch with your body

Yoga stretches and exercises are designed around the idea of moving your body to increase its strength and durability. Therefore, doing yoga on a regular basis will really get you to be much more in tune with your body and know when something is really working and when it is not. It will also make you noticing how uneven our bodies are. Something might me easy on your right side but just does not work on your left side.

At times it can be very discouraging when certain exercises aren’t working for your body the way they were maybe the day before; however, it does have its benefits, and it makes improvements in your physical state that are much more pronounced and noticeable.

Aerial Yoga
Aerial Yoga

 

3. Benefits of pranayama

A big part of yoga is the breathing exercises, also pranayama, that are incorporated into positions or doing breathing exercises on their own.

The exercises encourage a more focused and centered way of breathing, and while they might not be something you will do consciously every day, they are absolutely sure to provide methods of effective stress- management and help  make you feel much better.

 

4. Find better sleep with Yoga

Studies have shown that doing some light physical activity before going to bed can help us get off to sleep more quickly, which usually leads to a much better quality of sleep.

Over 55% of yoga practitioners report improved sleep and over 85% report reduced stress. Many studies demonstrate that yoga can improve sleep for a variety of different populations. These studies typically focus on one’s quality of sleep rather than the quantity, as increased amounts of sleep do not necessarily correlate with quality sleep and overall wellbeing. While the definition of quality sleep varies among sleepers, it usually includes feeling energized for the day and a lack of disturbances.

You can either check out type of “bedtime yoga” on YouTube or try out Yoga Nidra.

Yoga eye pillow
Yoga eye pillow

5. Yoga improves your posture

Yoga is pretty effective at helping you develop some premium, proper posture, since a lot of the breathing and seated positions require a straight back for proper effect.

Good posture is definitely something going to develop during your yoga practice.

6. Yoga can develop your physical and mental strength

Another side effect of yoga is that it will help you develop incredible mental and physical strength. The whole point of yoga is to work on your body’s strength so that you can sit for longer in meditation, and the physical investment in the stretches and positions ensures that you’ll experience plenty of physical strength benefits as a result.

The breathing exercises can improve your lung capacity, and lunges and stretches can increase your core strength as well as every muscle you can think of.

Meanwhile, the exercises force you to focus on the moment, and during meditation, to clear your mind, which helps alleviate stress and improve your mental health.

 

Meditation Pillow
Meditation Pillow

7. Meditation can change your life for the better.

Meditation, meditation, meditation. It’s really the key to all things yoga.

Even if you can do every kind of complicated pose under the sun, it loses all of its true meaning if it’s not done with focus and thought.

Meditation has been shown time and time again to be a beneficial practice that everyone should implement into their daily routine.

 

Yoga Wrist Beads
Yoga Wrist Beads
Let me please know if this blog post could motivate you to start or deepen your practice.
Namaste ( sometimes called namaskar and namaskaram, is a customary Hindu non-contact manner of respectfully greeting and honoring a person or group)
Ellen 📿🧘🏼‍♀️💟
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