Wondering about Yoga?
Have you been wonder about yoga? About what it is, exactly, what it entails, and whether or not it’s right for you? If you’ve never studied the ancient tradition of yoga, the word might hold a mystical connotation that intimidates you. Or, if you’ve never given much thought to it at all, the word might remind you of the word yogurt, one of those funny “y” words that are rare but enjoyable to pronounce.
Yoga is an ancient Indian tradition that focuses on physiological and psychological awareness and wellness through meditation, deep breathing, and posturing. There are over 40 different kinds of yoga! The most common type of yoga, hatha yoga, is practiced all over the world.
Yoga does not involve occultism, witchcraft, nor does it require you sit and say “om” for hours on end. (Though you can if you want to!) You do not have to follow a guru around in the Himalaya Mountains for a year, either. Yoga is as simple or as complex as you want it to be. Ultimately, yoga is about learning to reconcile your physical being with your emotional being through balance, exercise, meditation, and deep breathing.
You can take yoga as far as you want to. Many are uncomfortable with the spiritual aspects behind traditional yoga. They choose not to chant and instead focus on stretching their muscles and increasing flexibility. In the past few decades, yoga has become altered to meet the desires of mainstream western society. While some argue that this is not the true form of yoga, no one can deny that even this secularized version contributes to healthy lifestyles, stronger bodies, and happier people.
The best thing about yoga is that you can reap its benefits without having to understand every detail behind ancient yoga philosophies. In fact, most yoga instructors urge new students to try yoga before they delve into yogic ways of thinking. If you’re truly interested in learning more about yoga, try some basic yoga postures. Practice deep breathing techniques. Take a beginner yoga class at your yoga gym. You will be sure to notice the many benefits of this amazing, restorative exercise.