A lot of people are trying yoga today because of its many health benefits. However, different individuals have different perspectives about it, which is totally normal. Some believe that it can help them physically while some do yoga to find inner peace. No matter what your reasons behind your interest in doing yoga, the best thing that you should know is it can help a lot with your health.
What is Yoga?
Before this article discusses the benefits of yoga and the different poses, you should get to know what yoga is all about.
Yoga began 5,000 years ago in India and it was considered a spiritual tradition. In history, yoga practices have been adopted by different religions like Buddhism, Jainism, and Hinduism. But that does not mean that other religions cannot try it. Everyone can practice yoga, no matter the religion or even if you are an atheist.
In Sanskrit, yoga translates as a union. According to yoga traditions, yoga’s purpose is to unite you with your true nature, with the universe, or God. The union depends on how you want to conceptualize it. Since people have different perspectives, different interpretations were also made about how you can get into a union through yoga.
According to Patanjali, the author of Yoga Sutra, yoga is silencing the fluctuations of the mind. If you look at it from a yogic perspective, the active human mind is the source of suffering. Through doing yoga, you can calm your mind. If you become successful in doing that, you will then experience awareness of your essential nature, heightened creativity, and inner peace.
Is Yoga All About the Poses?
Most people who hear the word yoga instantly imagine a person who is doing strengthening and stretching poses. Those poses are called asana which is the main focus of most yoga courses or classes. However, it is not the only aspect of yoga and it is not all about poses as well. Practicing yoga can include the following:
- Pranayama or breathing exercises
- Yoga philosophy study
- Meditation techniques
- Visualization practices
- Moral precepts against self-harm, lying, stealing, etc.
- Volunteer work or selfless service (also known as karma yoga)
What are the Benefits From Practicing Yoga?
- It reduces stress
Yoga can help you get rid of stress. It has different activities that would allow you to lower your stress hormone levels, calm your mind, and balance the nervous system.
- It offers psychological benefits
Some of the psychological effects of yoga are an improved mood, better concentration, greater equanimity, and relaxation.
- It has physical benefits
Aside from psychological benefits, practicing yoga also has physical benefits. It could promote weight loss, improve cardiovascular condition, better lung function, improved reaction time, better coordination and balance, and increased flexibility and strength.
How to Find a Yoga Practitioner?
No accreditation or universal standard is available when it comes to yoga teachers. However, there is a non-profit organization called Yoga Alliance that can certify yoga teachers. For now, states do not require licenses or certificates from yoga therapists or practitioners.
Do you want to try some yoga poses right now? You can read this complete yoga guide that could lead you to the union.