Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self - The Bhagvad Gita
An ancient practice. A modern workout method. A way of life. Yoga is all of this and more. The first yoga classes date back to ancient India when there was a lot of focus on finding ways to inner peace mostly done by yoga gurus or yogis as they are called. The word yoga literally translates to "union with the divine" in Sanskrit. But people may choose to attend a yoga class without necessarily having to aspire for spirituality. It can just be with the motive of achieving physical or mental fitness or both.
Yoga is, after all, a great way to get your body in perfect shape and meditation or mindful breathing, which is the cornerstone of yoga, is extremely effective in dealing with lifestyle problems of stress, anxiety and depression. Each yoga pose is designed for a specific purpose and the more time you invest in a yoga session or class, the better it works on the body and mind.
What Do Yoga Classes Teach?
Yoga is very ancient that goes way back in time. It is both an art as well science. Yoga practice has been nurtured in India and have truly become legendary all over the world. Yoga gurus have taken their teachings to different parts of the world and have started yoga classes to inspire millions on the path unifying their mind and body. In fact, many saints in Christianity have also espoused truths about spirituality that are derived from yoga teachings.
Yoga is a science because each pose is carefully designed to work on different parts of the body. So are the breathing techniques used in meditation during yoga practice. Some of them actually teach you to control the body and mind through deep meditation. And like an art, yoga has to be practiced intuitively to get into the right flow or it will only yield superficial results. Yoga is not a religion or a system of beliefs or faith. It is more a process that unites the mental, physical, and spiritual states of the human body. For example, when you are tensed, your body also feels certain physical sensations, like a headache or knot in the stomach. This prevents the flow of positive energy to the brain, resulting in anxiety and lack of clarity. That's where yoga can play a role. Regular yoga practice will help you control the energy flow in the body through the science of pranayama. It is nothing but mindful breathing that helps you attain focus and a higher state of self-awareness.
Advanced yoga classes focus on higher levels of yoga that help enhance your control over your energy that's locked in the body. Doing this unlocks the potential to unite the three aspects of nature - the heart, the mind, and the soul. The purpose of yoga is to extract the physical energy from the body and guide it upward through deep meditation in order to achieve true communion.
Advanced Yoga Classes for Gradual Progression
A yoga session should be such that it should make you feel rejuvenated and empowered at the end of it. So, it's important to identify the level of fitness you want to achieve, find the right teacher, choose the right class - online or in a yoga studio and find the right resources to practice - recorded videos, audiobooks, etc.
Types of Yoga Taught in Yoga Classes
In Sanskrit, vinyasa means "to place in a unique way". In yoga it refers to yoga poses and postures. Vinyasa yoga is the most agile and athletic of all yoga types. In the 1980s, the ashtanga yoga paved way for vinyasa yoga and there are multiple forms of vinyasa flow - ashtanga, prana, and power yoga.
Hatha is a Sanskrit connotation used to refer to all types of physical poses in yoga. In that sense, all types of yoga that are founded on physical practice constitute hatha yoga. Other types like kriya, karma, and raja yoga are different forms of yoga practice than hatha. The latter is the most popular form of yoga in the world.
This distinct form of yoga practice involves both the mind and the spiritual. It is said that kundalini is a form of negative energy, which is trapped in your lower spine. The objective of kundalini yoga is to release this energy upward to unlock the positive potential.
Who are Yogis or Yoga Gurus?
If you are looking for yoga course under the guidance of a yogi or yoga gurus, it is good to build an understanding of who they are. Yoga gurus or yogis are nothing but those who practice yoga to facilitate the energy flow in their bodies through meditation, breathing, workout, and other forms. The feminine form of a yogi is a yogini.
Since the 12 Century, the term yogi has also come to denote the members of a particular sect of Hinduism - the Nath Siddha. In Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, they are said to practitioners of tantra - an advanced form of meditation. According to Hindu mythology, Shiva and Parvati are hailed as the symbols of the highest embodiment of yogi and yogini.
A yogi is expected to love by certain fundamental principles of life that include,
- Non-violence or Ahimsa
- Truth or Satya
- Non-hypocrisy or Arjava
- Generosity or Dana
- Acceptance of others or Santosa
- Austerity or Tapasa
- Fortitude or Dhriti
- Compassion or Daya
- Diet moderation or Mitahara
- Forgiveness or Kshama
- Not stealing or Asteva
- Cleanliness or Sauca
The Top Benefits of A Yoga Course
Yoga is not about touching your toes. It is what you learn on the way down - Jigar Gor
Yoga classes are often thought of as a sequence of workout exercises or holding your breath for a few minutes. But those are only a fraction of the whole gamut of things that yoga can help you achieve.
Advantages of Regular Yoga Classes
As most yoga gurus would tell you, yoga is not just about finishing a course. It is about putting into practice everyday to get into a flow and to make it a way of life. Regular yoga practice can help you in the following ways:
- Develop all-round fitness of the body and mind.
- Help in weight loss.
- Build mental strength.
- Build physical stamina.
- Help in detoxification by regulating internal systems.
- Prevent injuries.
- Help to fight depression, anxiety, stress, and other negative emotions.
- Get you closer to achieving inner peace and calm.
- Build a strong immunity.
- Create greater self-awareness.
- Increase energy flow translating into more agility and stamina.
- Improve relationships.
Basic Guidelines to Follow for An Effective Yoga Session
Your yoga classes can be most effective if you follow some basic DO's and DON'Ts. Following this guideline, you can extract the most from your yoga course.
Things You Should Do During A Yoga Session
During a yoga class, you can keep the following points in mind:
- Practice yoga early in the morning.
- Practice yoga before eating a heavy meal.
- Take a bath before beginning practice.
- You may take a bath after your yoga class but after a certain time interval.
- Ensure there is ample air and light coming through during the yoga session.
- Use a mat during yoga classes.
- Try to focus only the pose or breathing exercise that you are performing at the moment.
Things to Avoid During A Yoga Session
Unsupervised yoga classes can prove costly if not done right. Here's what you should keep in mind:
- Avoid complex poses if you are menstruating or pregnant.
- Avoid a yoga session if you are suffering from an injury.
- Avoid places with too much distractions to the senses like in the middle of a crowded street or next to a bakery.
- Do not force anyone into yoga practice, especially children below 8 years of age.
- If you are recovering from an illness or any severe injury, practice yoga only after consulting your physician.
- During the yoga session, don't try to hold back a sneeze or nature's call.
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