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Yoga: It's History and Elements

I was recently approached by a woman who had written an in-depth article on How to Integrate Yoga Into Your Daily Routine At Home. Paula Hernandez has put some serious time and energy into creating this article and it SHOWS! I will highlight some of my favourite parts of her article, but I HIGHLY recommend reading the full article (linked above).

"Yoga is an ancient practice that has internationally spread throughout the years. It’s not just random postures and stretches. The purpose of yoga is to harmonize the body, mind, and soul. It is done by cultivating self-discipline and self-awareness through physical development and guiding it to find a spiritual purpose. It is transforming a lifestyle with practice and knowledge. In this guide, you will understand the basic elements to integrate them into your practice; it doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or an expert. Yoga is for everyone who is intrigued to explore wellness and the connection with the inner self.

Why Yoga?

As said before, yoga is the connection of the body, emotions, and spirit, so the benefits could be for your physical body and your spirit.

  • Physical body benefits: According to the American Osteopathic Association, some of the benefits yoga can bring to your life is flexibility, muscle strength, tone, cardio and circulatory health, a balanced metabolism, as well as reducing stress, sleeping problems, and the ability to concentrate.

  • Meditation: The main point is to calm your thoughts and be in the present moment to connect with yourself. Tough right? Not at all! This could allow you to start a meditation which according to Deepak Chopra, offers the most direct path to awakening to your own infinite potential. Integrating meditation in your practice of yoga, could decrease your stress levels and connect with your body and spirit.

Types of Yoga

Yoga is very friendly to everybody. For beginners to experts, for kids to elderly people. They are always variations in the practice of yoga so everyone can join a practice. Even though the vast diversity, the majority includes breathing exercises, meditation, and postures that are called asanas. Some of the types of yoga more popular nowadays are:

  • Hatha Yoga: Is normally slower, it focuses on breath and exercise, if you are new to yoga, you could start with this type of practice.

  • Vinyasa Yoga: Every practice will be different in Vinyasa as the posture varies with every practice. The sequence will depend on the teacher and the intention they want to transmit. These practices usually have an active rhythm and flow.

  • Kundalini Yoga: This practice is more focused on the spiritual, the physical moves are used to move the energy of the body, they are normally intense and involve meditation, mantras, and movement.

  • Ashtanga Yoga: Is always the same sequence, the postures could be more difficult than other kinds of yoga, so if you already practice yoga, Ashtanga could help you to keep growing your physical limit, but always remember to be careful to prevent injuries.

  • Bikram Yoga: the sequence has 26 postures, they are always the same. The practice is in a hot space, so be ready to sweat!

  • Yin Yoga: Postures that you have to maintain for a longer period of time, can also be very meditative practices.

Keep in mind there are more than 100 types of yoga, the ones mentioned above are the more common or most know, no mean that they are better than others.

Preparing the space for yoga at home

Choosing a space in your home could help you give yourself time to be in the present moment, make sure you choose a space that could isolate the noise from outside as much as you can. Some elements to add to your space could be the next ones listed:

  • Music: As yoga emerges in the inner silence, not every practitioner adds music in their practice, but if you do like music and help you be in the present moment, music could help you concentrate and feel joy. Make a playlist, just make sure you choose the right one to help you concentrate and feel relaxed.

  • Get a mat: Every yogi needs one. There are a lot of options if you choose a mat with a textured surface that will help you to maintain stability in difficult asanas or if you sweat too much.

  • Aromatherapy: Add a candle, essential oils, or incense. There are a vast variety of aromas that could help to be more present in your practice. Mint could help you concentrate, flowers to liberate emotions, woods to stop all those thoughts in your head, lavender to relax, lemongrass for confidence.

  • Comfortable clothes will help you stretch better and move freely. Choose any workout clothes that you have, as you practice yoga you could identify which type of workout clothes suits you best.

  • Other accessories to help you with difficult poses could be blocks and straps if you are a beginner they could help to enter easier into your posture.

  • Nature: You could benefit from the oxygen of a plant as they release oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide. Plants could help to freshen up the air and eliminate harmful toxins. They could also boost your mood and they will look lovely in the decoration of your space.

Choosing to live consciously is an everyday decision, yoga is one of many tools that exist to start to know your body, how strong you are, how flexible you could be, but more importantly that you experiment the meditation with your mind and start feeling the integration we all have which is to live in the present moment being full consciousness with yourself and your surrounding. As reading this guide you know tips that you could integrate into your life. The invitation is to keep discovering the world of yoga as a philosophy of life."

To learn even MORE about Yoga, click here: How to Integrate Yoga Into Your Daily Routine At Home. Namaste my Yogis.

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