Have you ever thought about starting a yoga practice but felt intimidated after seeing some of the more complicated postures of the practice? While those who have been practicing yoga for a while may build up to doing more challenging postures over time, yoga can be as “simple” and as relaxing as an individual needs it to be. In this blog post, we’ll be briefly touching upon what yoga is, its countless benefits, and how you can begin your own yoga practice.
Yoga is known as a mind-body practice that originated in India as long as 5,000 years ago. Although it was originally practiced for spiritual reasons, it is now largely used to promote relaxation and improve fitness. There are many different forms of yoga, each varying in intensity, purpose, and procedure. While some forms of yoga are more physically grueling and focus more heavily on spirituality, others such as hatha yoga incorporate gentler, slower movements, breathing exercises, and meditative or relaxation procedures, making them prefect for easing stress and anxiety. In particular, yoga can be extremely effective as a grounding exercise, one that allows the individual to focus entirely on the movement of their body and breadth, thereby guiding their attention away from problematic feelings, emotions, and thoughts. The different types of postures, which involve deep stretching and balancing, can improve fitness, strength, and flexibility while getting your heart pumping, making yoga a great supplement or alternative to other conventional forms of exercise.
Given its relatively easier movements and its benefits to physical and mental health, hatha yoga is quite popular amongst aspiring yogis across the world, especially in the West, and thus the more preferred choice to start with. If you are looking to begin your own yoga practice but don’t know where to start, look into joining a beginner’s class in your community. Yoga classes don’t only teach you the correct technique for the postures (thus preventing injury) but they can also help you connect with other like-minded individuals with similar interests and goals. In addition, there are a number of books available on the subject as well as videos online to refer to for those who prefer practicing at home.
Beginning a yoga practice doesn’t need to be an overwhelming or daunting task. The key is to find a practice that feels the right level of comfortable, relaxing, and challenging to you, and then enjoy all the benefits that come with it.
“Yoga: Fight stress and find serenity” (2018). Retrieved from www.mayoclinic.org.