is a traditional physical and mental practice that originated in India more than 3,000 years ago. It is also associated with the meditative practices of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. In Hinduism, the practice of Yoga helps control the mind and senses so the ego can be transcended and the true self experienced, leading to moksha or liberation. Yoga practice includes ethical discipline (Yamas), physical postures (Asanas), breath control (Pranayama), withdrawal from the senses (Pratyahara), mindfulness, (Dharana), meditation (Dhyana), and eventually Samadhi, which is often described as the union of the Self (Atman) with the omnipresent , and is the ultimate goal of all Hindu Yogis.
The word yoga is Sanskrit (one of the ancient languages of the East). It means to "yoke," or unite, the mind, body, and spirit. Yoga includes physical exercise, but is also a lifestyle practice for which exercise is just one component. Training your mind, body, and breath, as well as connecting with your spirituality, are the main goals of the yoga lifestyle. The physical part of the yoga lifestyle is called hatha yoga, which focuses on poses. Some types of yoga also involve meditation and chanting.
Some of the different types of yoga include:
Ashtanga yoga, which is a vigorous, fast-paced form of yoga that helps to build flexibility, strength, concentration, and stamina. When doing Ashtanga yoga, a person moves quickly through a set of predetermined poses while remaining focused on deep breathing.
Bikram yoga, also known as "hot yoga." It is practiced in rooms that may be heated to more than 100° Fahrenheit (37.8° Celsius) and focuses on stamina and purification.
Kundalini yoga uses different poses, breathing techniques, chanting, and meditation to awaken life energy.
Iyengar yoga focuses on precise alignment of the poses. Participants use "props" like blankets, straps, mats, blocks, and chairs.
Restorative yoga allows the body to fully relax by holding simple postures passively for extended periods of time.
Vinyasa/power yoga is similar to Ashtanga yoga. This type is popular in the United States and is a very active form of yoga that improve strength, flexibility, and stamina.
Yoga offers a lot of benefits, such as increased flexibility, strength, balance, and stamina. In addition, many people who practice yoga say that it reduces anxiety and stress, improves mental clarity, and helps them sleep better. Consistency is key in doing yoga. One should aim to practice it three or four times a week for the best benefits. However, the great thing about yoga is that you can be as gentle or as vigorous as you wish. The choice is up to you.