Yoga is a discipline or set of spiritual, emotional, and physical practices or disciplines that originated in ancient India. Yoga is also one of the twelve orthodox philosophies of Hinduism. It consists of an ethical code of conduct, the sutras, which outline the relationship between the individual and his or her surroundings. A student of yoga will learn about the physical, emotional, and psychological aspects of being human as well as how to develop these aspects in oneself. It includes a diversity of breathing techniques, meditation, and movement, as well as yoga positions and postures.
The term “yoga” literally means “union”; it is thought to bring together the body, mind, and spirit. Because yoga is associated with physical exercises, it is very popular in people of all ages. The origin of yoga is credited to the Sanskrit term “yuj”, which meant to unite or join. People have practiced yoga for centuries in various parts of Asia, most commonly the Indian subcontinent, although it has also become popular in North America and Europe. According to some accounts, yoga was created by the sage Brahma, the creator of yoga.
Yoga is believed to have many health benefits, including the promotion of healing, stress relief, improved sleep and energy levels, promotion of a balanced mood, increased vitality, and mental balance. The word “yoga” itself is derived from the Sanskrit meaning union. It was developed by yogis in India around 500 B.C., and its popularity spread throughout the Mediterranean and into Asia. Many of its principles are similar to those of meditation, but yoga focuses more on the spiritual aspect. Many people who practice yoga believe in maintaining an inner balance and practicing yoga helps to achieve this balance.
Yoga involves both breath control and meditation. Breathing techniques are known as pranayama, which means controlled breathing through the nose and mouth, and yoga mantras are sounds that can be repeated silently during yoga. Some common yoga poses include triangle poses (which are used to strengthen the muscles of your torso and face), hatha yoga poses (used to increase flexibility), back bending, plank pose, cobra pose, and gliding pose. Another form of yoga is called Hatha yoga, which consists of nine yoga poses, and you typically begin this type of yoga with basic relaxation exercises. You can then progress to more advanced yoga positions and modifications.
One of the most common poses in the Hatha system of yoga is the sun salutation, or sunbath pose. In the sun salutation, you bend over a chair and bring your feet close together, making a U-shape. You then raise your arms over your head and breathe deeply, slowly inhaling and exhaling deeply. This pose is usually performed in one of two forms: in gurukula or up-down facing the sun or in the air.
The goal of hatha yoga, which is the basic system of yoga for beginners, is to develop an awareness of the breath, the mind, the body, and the spirit, in order to awaken the power of the mind in order to live a happy, successful life. It is important to note that there are many types of yoga, each with its own emphasis and characteristics. Some of the different styles of yoga are more concerned with physical exercises, while others focus more on meditation and breathing techniques. Whatever your goals are, you can find a class to fit your needs by keeping these basic class descriptions in mind.