If you are looking for a way to get fit but to also engage with body and mind to relieve stress and anxiety, then Yoga could be the one for you.
Yoga is a traditional range of physical exercise and meditation that originated in Hinduism. It is still considered to be a popular form of exercise and relaxation, its health benefits have also been widely published. One of these benefits is Positive Psychology which is thought to encourage healing, improve concentration and focus the body. Other types of Yoga have developed to include more fitness based disciplines.
Types of Yoga Exercises
There are many types of Yoga Exercises, many have been diversified from the basic form. Nearly all types of Yoga include Asanas, Pranayama and Savasanas. Lyengar Yoga and Power Yoga are designed as a more energetic fitness type. These last disciplines have caused some debate as to whether they can cause physical injuries. However, as with most of the studies there is no conclusive data either way. With any type of Yoga though, the fundamental principles of relaxation and meditation are always practiced.
What are the Benefits?
Some of the medically studied aspects of Yoga have had mixed results. An example is anxiety and depression it was found to have some positive affect. An increased sense of calm and patience was found to be the main benefits. In other more physical problems such as hernia and cancer it was found to have some benefit to the mental attitude of the patients and some alleviation of some of the symptoms. While the benefits are still debated there is no doubt that for those who practice it yoga offers a variety of help.
It isn’t just for those looking to get fit, many sports people and athletes also use it to tone the body and prevent injuries. It also increases the suppleness of the body which is of particular benefit to Gymnastics.
There are a number of poses that are synonymous with the practice. There are many that are great for beginners and those who are less supple. As you progress you can attempt more challenging poses or adapt difficult poses to suit your ability. Many Yoga classes teach alternative ways to pose for each one to make it simpler.
- Mountain Pose: Standing tall with feet together and arms straight out above your head with your hands together.
- Downward Dog: The position where your body is in an inverted V shape with hands and feet on the mat and your bottom up inthe air.
- Warrior: Standing with legs apart and arms straight out to the sides. One knee is kept at a 90 degree angle, the other is held diagonal to the body.
- Tree Pose: Standing with feet together and arms straight up above your head. Raise one leg and place the foot inside the upper thigh of the other leg.
- Bridge Pose: Laying on your back with arms by your side, raise legs so that feet are flat on the floor. Raise your bottom off the floor and hold.
- Cobra: Laying flat on your stomach lift your face off the floor by pushing up so that your hands are flat on the floor and arms are straight.
- Pigeon Pose: While laying on your stomach, you pull one leg under you while keeping the other fully extended.
- Child Pose: Kneel down with your toes pointed out beneath you. Lay forward so that your chest is on the floor and your arms out stretched in front of you.
- Plank: Recently a craze broke out with this pose, as people tried to see how long they could hold it for. It is basically a press up pose but your arms are locked straight and you need to keep your stomach and back straight.
Yoga Exercises are still proving popular among people from all walks of life and any age, it will remain a key part of the fitness culture for years to come. With so many variations now available, there is really a type for everyone and regardless of their ultimate goal, it will bring peace and tranquility to their body and mind.
I hope you have found this article of some benefit and you now have a better understanding of some of the yoga exercises that you can do and practice.