In Eastern culture yoga is not just a set of physical exercises, but a way of life and a special perception of the world around us. After all, yoga practice is aimed at improving the physical body and soul. Let’s talk about this ancient science and let’s discuss the main issues: the benefits of the practice, differences from the usual athletic training, whether harm to health is possible.
Basic Concepts in Yoga
To plunge into the world of Eastern practice, start with history. The exact date of the appearance of the ancient teachings has not been found. It is known that meditation and the main postulates were described back in sacred Indian texts created in the 1500s BC. The texts also depict the lotus pose as the main one in spiritual teachings.
Modern yoga for those in fitness centers is static physical exercises and certain spiritual practices.
The exercises in yoga are called asanas. They allow us to perfect the body, improve the emotional state, strengthen the body and make it resistant to disease, rejuvenate and even prolong life.
Like live betting online, yoga has several directions: hatha, bikram, kundalini and ashtanga. This includes Pilates, which is a physical exercise for restoring the body after illness and surgery. Pilates is suitable for regular exercise for people of any age and without any special training.
To learn a yoga practice, you will need to go through eight steps:
- Yama – the “commandments” of the teachings. A person must observe certain ethical rules on a daily basis: abstaining from bad habits, following universal moral values, not harming living beings, etc. The student of Eastern wisdom must understand how a yoga master lives.
- Niyama – spiritual practices, reverence for the gods.
- Asanas – physical exercise.
- Pranayama – breathing practices, releasing fears, feelings of anxiety, relaxation and getting out of a stressful state.
- Pratyahara – the ability to concentrate, to perceive oneself, one’s actions and the world around, a look into one’s soul.
- Dharana – the ability to abstract from everything outside, the maximum concentration and attention to one detail.
- Dhyana – total abstraction from the outer world through meditative practices, a step towards enlightenment.
- Samadhi – the state of absolute enlightenment.
Why People Come to Yoga
People of all ages come to learn the practice. Among the followers, there are elderly people who study complex postures and learn mantras. The explanation for this phenomenon is:
- Asanas help the body become strong, enduring, flexible.
- Regular exercise strengthens the spine, lower back, shoulders, and neck.
- Many exercises aim to normalize blood pressure and stabilize the heart. The legs and back are also relieved and the nervous system is strengthened.
- You don’t have to attend a gym to exercise. There are many ready-made programs that allow you to train comfortably at home.
- For many, yoga is an effective way to lose excess weight.
What Are the Health Benefits
To achieve results in any workout, you need to practice regularly, follow technique and established rules. Yoga also adds a spiritual component. The health benefits of yoga practice:
- Develops flexibility and muscle elasticity. If you have set a goal to sit on the splits in a few months, with yoga it is possible.
- Promotes weight loss. Comprehensive training includes several types of asanas: static, dynamic and power. Daily exercise improves the metabolism, burns calories, and starts the process of weight loss. The effect is long-lasting.
- Corrects posture. Exercises strengthen the muscles of the back and serve as a good prevention of curvature of the spine.
- Strengthens bones, prevents their fragility. Asanas help in the initial stages of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. These diseases are typical not only for the elderly, but also for young people who are actively engaged in sports.
- Reduces the risk of chronic diseases. Yoga normalizes the gastrointestinal tract, immune system, and cardiovascular system. It is an excellent prevention of diabetes and circulatory system diseases.
- It helps to fight stress. With the help of asanas, you can control the production of cortisol, the stress hormone. People who do yoga are less prone to negativity, depression and apathy.
- It teaches you to listen to your body. Asanas are good for developing a sense of balance and confidence in movement.
- Charges you up and energizes you. The spiritual side of the practice helps to look at the world positively regardless of the surroundings.
- Teaches you how to eat right. Ayurveda as a part of yoga teachings helps to understand the subtleties of proper nutrition, to do without junk food and habits, which the body demands as dope.
- It serves as a pain reliever. Meditation practices are often used to combat ailments caused by back, lumbar, and cervical pain, as well as during menstruation.
- Relieves depression and helps with bad habits.
- Makes a person sociable and open to others.
- It opens up new possibilities for the body.
Can Yoga Be Harmful?
Yoga practice is a physical activity, which has contraindications: chronic diseases, injuries, which exclude sports training. It is mandatory to consult with your doctor and instructor before starting the practice.
Yoga classes often lead to injuries. Dangerous situations often occur among inexperienced athletes who neglect the rules and try to stand on their head without support already in the first class.
Yoga workshops can take place in a cramped and stuffy room among large crowds of people. In such conditions you can hurt someone, hurt yourself, and get sick from the stuffiness.
Classes should take place only in a well-ventilated, spacious room. It’s recommended to choose groups with small occupancy. Then the instructor can give everyone the necessary attention.
Particular attention should be paid to the selection of classes and the program. A beginner will not be able to master several styles at once and will never have time for a trainer who quickly shows exercises. From such classes, you are unlikely to get pleasure and won’t come to them again. A negative impression of yoga will remain for a long time.
Who Is Suitable for Yoga Practice
Yoga is suitable for any age and gender. There are no limitations. So the myth of being “chosen” is still a myth.
Even if your nature didn’t endow you with flexibility, the oriental practice will help you develop this quality. With regular exercise in a few months you’ll see great results and if you want to sit on the splits.
The main conditions are discipline, technique, and regular exercise. Training should not be interrupted for long periods of time. Start with three sessions a week.