You might be wondering why everyone around is talking about Yoga and what is so special about it?
I was having the same thoughts and finally decided to give it a go and wrote this article to share my experience with you.
Over the last few years living my day to day life had become very tough because I was stressed with my job and had little time to do all the things I wanted to do.
I struggled with lower back pain, anxiety and lack of energy due to the nature of my desk job.
One day my friend send me video link to a few simple yoga workouts.
I tried it for a few days and I must say that my life was totally transformed for the better!
Now, I am able to live a healthy life and my mind and body are in tune and I have done away with the stress that was endangering my happiness and well-being.
What is Yoga and how can it help you transform your life?
Yoga is an ancient practice that also involves deep breathing, meditation and it is being followed in different parts of the world by a good number of people.
Yoga provides some much-needed relief from the chaos and hectic lifestyles we are forced to lead.
Great thing about yoga is that it is beginner friendly and you don't have to be super fit and flexible to reap the benefits from doing basic yoga poses at a comfort of your own home.
And what is a best thing about Yoga?
You can practice it anywhere and at any time:
You can try doing it at home, in the park, in your gym or simply with a group of other people at a yoga class.
It provides a number of benefits for both the mind and body.
I compiled a quick list with 7 biggest benefits of yoga that I found most helped me on my personal journey to well being and better health.
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1. Yoga is good for strength and flexibility
With yoga, you will have to move and stretch your body in new ways. This helps to make your body more flexible and over a period of time.
Your hamstrings and back as well as shoulders and hips will all become more flexible.
In addition, there are a number of yoga poses that allow you to carry your body weight in new ways. You could be balancing on one leg or you could support your body with your arms. All this helps to build up strength in your muscles and body.
2. Power Yoga will help you to build the core strength
With power yoga, you will not only become stronger but you can also see an improvement in your muscle tone. Thanks to yoga, your muscles will become leaner and longer and all this happens in your arms, legs and back as well as abdomen.
3. Yoga is fantastic for your heart and blood flow
Many studies show that yoga helps to build up your heart and improve blood flow in your body. It also helps to reduce blood pressure.
People who practice yoga will notice an improvement in their lipid profiles and they will be less likely to suffer from cardiovascular diseases.
4. Yoga will allow you to reduce anxiety, relax and achieve a peace of mind
The practice of yoga often involves intense physical exertions. You need to concentrate intensely on the things your body is doing and this helps to calm your mind.
It also involves meditation techniques that help to relax your mind and give you more peace of mind.
5. Yoga has many mental benefits
When practicing yoga, you will need to focus your attention on all that you happen to be experiencing in the present without making any judgements.
Yoga involves concentration and meditation and both these in turn allow you to become more focused and it also helps you know yourself. The end result is you will learn to be calm and more patient and your day will pass off without feeling frustrated or irritated. Your view of the world changes for the better.
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6. Yoga will help you to boost weight loss
Yoga exercises help to burn fat and, in this way, it helps you lose weight. There are a number of yoga exercises that help you to burn fat and build better muscle tone. These exercises also make your body more flexible.
7. Yoga will help you to sleep better
Many of us do not get enough sleep and the reasons for this is hypertension and obesity as well as low academic performance. By doing yoga exercises, you can improve your sleep as there are many yoga exercises that make it possible for you to sleep longer and feel more rested.
Yoga helps to increase the rate at which melatonin is discharged. This hormone helps you to manage your sleep and makes you feel more alert.
If you are beginner just like me and want to get the most of these health benefits you might need to spend few minutes reading about different types of Yoga which are available to practice nowadays and pick the one which suits you the most.
This is a system of yoga that has been practiced since the time of the sage called Vamana Rishi. The name of this yoga means Eight-limbed yoga and to perform it, you need to use vinyasa and tisthana. The former means breathing and movement system while the latter is for inhaling with your arms raised over the head.
Corepower Yoga is the name of a large chain of yoga studios in the US. This chain deals with a form of yoga that is different from ashtanga yoga in that it requires much more intensive exercises that are designed to change your body and also your life.
This is yet another form of yoga in which a number of traditions have been combined including hatha yoga and kriya yoga. It is a combination of Bhakti yoga which involves devotion as well as chanting. It also includes Raja yoga which is the practice of meditation and mental as well as physical control.
This is a type of yoga that was made very popular by Bikram Choudhary in the seventies. It involves the repetition of twenty-six poses in set cycles over a ninety-minute class. This form of yoga is different from other forms of yoga in that it is practiced in sweltering heat and thus it is also referred to as hot yoga.
This is a type of yoga that includes a number of yoga styles. It is a very old system of yoga that includes the practice of asanas as well as breathing exercises (pranayama). After performing Hatha yoga, you will be more at peace with yourself and the world, and your body will be better prepared for deeper spiritual practices of which meditation is a good example.
What is the best yoga for beginners?
Yoga is suited for each and every person. However, there are a few types of yoga that are best suited for beginners. Depending on what you want to get out of your yoga, you can pick the one type of yoga that best suits your purpose.
Kundalini yoga can be a good entry level yoga for beginners because it focuses mainly on spiritual side of yoga.
However, If you want to get into shape, then the best yoga for you could be the Bikram Yoga, Vinyasa or Ashtanga Yoga. They each provide a good workout and are awesome for getting into shape.
Are there any tools required for yoga practice?
If you are beginner you probably will only need a good yoga mat to get started.
You might also need a simple yoga block or yoga wheel to help you with some more demanding poses especially when you will be working on increasing your flexibility.
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Some of my favourite beginner friendly Yoga poses to help you get started with your yoga practice:
1. Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukah Svanasana)
2. Cat-Cow Stretch (Chakravakasana)
3. Child's Pose (Balasana)
4. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
5. Tree Pose (Vrksasana)
6. Extended Side Angle (Utthita Parvakonasana)
7. Head to Knee Pose (Janu Sirsasana)