Pop icon Madonna is probably one of the most popular bi-products of commercialized yoga. Since she started to come out with that toned and buffed figure, women all over the world wanted to know what kind of diet she has been doing. When she revealed that she has been on her journey of self-discovery and has found a new source of spirituality, she also revealed her secret in maintaining her almost eternal youth look—practicing yoga that is.
But, aside from staying fit through practicing of yoga there is so much more about the discipline that people should know.
THE TRUTH ABOUT YOGA
Before becoming gaga over yoga, you should familiarize yourself first about what yoga really is, its origin, the many underlying premises behind the discipline and how can you benefit from it. Let’s start first by defining the foreign word that is yoga. Basically, the word “yoga” is rooted from a language of ancient India where it is originated—the Sanskrit. “Yoga,” in Sanskrit, means “union or joining.” It can either be a union that occurs between the mind and the spirit, between the body and the spirit or a joining of the mind, body and spirit as a whole.
But, the term “yoga” can be accurately defined by another Sanskrit word “asana” – the practice of physical poses or postures. Although “asana” is only one of the eight known types of yoga, both terms are now being taken as one because since both of them are concerned with mental and spiritual well being than in purely physical activity.
Since yoga has been packaged for the Western culture, it is now best described as a general term that includes various disciplines. And now, yoga is more popularly known to people as a form of discipline that varies from one concept to another. The term yoga is now also viewed as a discipline that deals with purely physical abstraction to purely spiritual conquest and to just about everything in between. If you are thinking of practicing yoga to improve your life, you must know hoe to convert its underlying possibilities to your own satisfaction.
THE ULTIMATE YOGA BASICS
If you are really interested with yoga, you should be willing to learn almost everything about it. First of all, you should define why you need it.
Some of the many different styles of yoga that being taught and practiced today include “hatha ,” the slow-paced and gentle style; “vinyasa,” the breath-synchronized movement style; “ashtanga,” the fast-paced and intense style of yoga practice; “iyengar,” bodily alignment style, “kundalini,” the breath in conjunction with physical movement style; and “bikram” or “hot yoga” which is practiced in a 95-100 degree room allowing the loosening of tight muscles and profuse sweating.
Aside from being an effective stress and anxiety reducer, practicing of yoga is also proven to increase strength, create energy, build and tone muscles, improve focus, concentration, and posture, reduce blood pressure, improve memory, and relieve pain.
Another basic thing you should know about yoga is that it requires an exertion or force through different poses. Done through the performance of poses, most people might think that yoga is just about stretching, utmost concentration and weird poses. True, you see people practicing yoga doing some sort of “acrobatic” stunts, but those stretching are not just simple flexing of muscles: these are creative processes that balance the body to develop agility, flexibility and strength. Since each pose has a specific physical benefit, the poses in yoga can be done in succession to create heat in the body through movement that will build-up an increase in stamina.