The term Yoga originates from India; it is a 5000-year-old practice that deals in the healing of the mind and body. Yoga has become widely popular in today’s world with a few modifications to it of course.
What was once an ancient Indian philosophy is now practiced around the world as a sort of physical fitness exercise that uses yoga poses and techniques to enhance the well-being of the body and mind. There are so many types of yoga and several regulations involved in each of them.
The background of Yoga
Yoga has been passed down from teacher to student for over 5000 years. The male instructors are called yogis and the female instructors are called yoginis.
Nobody knows who invented the practice and there is no evidence of how it came about. However, the “yoga sutra” which is a 2000-year-old yoga practice guideline was created by an Indian sage called Patanjali.
The monograph which gives full details on how to control your mind, passions, and spirituality is the first recorded data ever collected on yoga and is one of the oldest written scripts to ever exist. The yoga sutra paved the way and is the foundation for the types of yoga practiced today.
Yoga wasn’t always about poses and fitness positions, they were part of it but weren’t the main objective of practicing yoga. The main aim of yoga was to use meditation, physical poses, and breathing systems to develop and control spiritual energy and vitality.
The spiritual routine became greatly wide-spread by the 19th century and was practiced all over the world as a physical wellness scheme.
The Ideology And Beliefs of Yoga
Yoga is believed to be a practice that uses “chakras” to enhance your spiritual powers and help you reach the peak of your spirituality to unlock the best of your abilities and yourself altogether.
Its symbol is the blossoming tree of life and it is divided into 6 sections which makes it more convenient to focus on a particular area of interest for a faster and clearer outcome about yoga benefits, about yoga exercises and about yoga meditation.
The 6 arms of yoga include:
Hatha Yoga: this part focuses on the well-being and control of the body and mind, it amplifies the body and mind to the most supreme state possible.
Karma yoga: this one involves a practice that clears negativity and bad luck away from the future
Jhana yoga: this is the yoga practiced for wisdom, builds the brain, and enhances its functions. Sages practice this form of yoga for protraction.
Raja yoga: also known as the 8 limbs of yoga, it entails heavy meditation and extreme self-control
Tantra yoga: this is practiced by people who want to complete some sort of ritual ceremony like marriage for instance
Bhakti yoga: this yoga is a medium for positivity in the behavioral traits and creates stability in emotions and response to life in general.
Chakras and How They Work
According to the philosophy of yoga, chakras are core energy points that control the encounters of life by the people’s passions, fears, and physical states.
A jammed-up chakra can result in an unhealthy emotional, physical, and mental state. A person whose chakra is congested will begin to experience discomforts like depression, anxiety, and physical ailments. This is why people who practice yoga use Asanas.
Asanas are the physical poses that revive chakras and release power, they are practiced in Hatha yoga. There are 7 major chakras and each of them has a unique point of focus and are related to colors, they include:
Ajna: this is also known as “the third eye chakra” and is associated with the pituitary gland. It is said to generate growth and development. Conventional yoga relates it as white while other related colors are indigo, deep blue, and violet.
Manipura: known as the “jewel city” or the “navel chakra”. it is associated with solitary personalities and the power within, it is also associated with the digestive system and its representative color is yellow.
Anahata: the “heart chakra” relates to issues concerning true love, stability, complicated emotions, rejection, and empathy. Its colors are green and pink.
Sahasrara: the “crown chakra” or “thousand-petaled chakra” is associated with the crown of the head. It denotes a state of complete consciousness and deep wisdom. It is represented by the colors white and violet.
Muladhara: this is the “root chakra” located at the bottom of the spine. It involves natural needs that are related to sex, sleep, food, fear, and many others. It is represented by the color red.
Vishuddha: the “especially pure” or “throat chakra” controls hearing, speech, and metabolism. Its representative colors are blue and red.
Svadhishthana: also known as “one’s own base” or “pelvic chakra” is associated with the reproductive organs, the adrenal gland, genital and urinary organs. It is represented by the color orange.
The Different Types of Yoga
There are so many types of yoga, over 100 of them. Some are fast-paced and others are relaxing, each of them has special features about yoga and its benefits, you just have to choose which one is the best fit for your physical strengths. There is no doubt that yoga enhances both physical and mental well-being. Some of the types of yoga include:
Ashtanga yoga: it follows the ancient yoga ways and uses 6 different positions that immediately connect every movement to the breath.
Iyengar yoga: in this type of yoga, objects of support such as bocks and chairs are used. It focuses on finding the perfect balance in every pose.
Bikram yoga: this is practiced in heated rooms at about 100 degrees which is why it is also known as “hot yoga”. It is made up of 26 poses and 2 breathing exercises.
Kripalu yoga: it teaches you how to find your own strength of practice by a proper inward assessment of your body. The process involves breathing exercises, mild stretches, personal poses, and relaxation.
Hatha yoga: this is the basis of yoga, what you may call “yoga for beginners”, it deals generally in any type of yoga that involves physical positions and poses.
Power yoga: this is the athletic and vigorous type of yoga. It is derived from Ashtanga yoga.
Vini yoga: this can be practiced by any and everyone whether you’re physically fit or not. Its instructors are thoroughly trained and are professionals in the human body and its analysis.
Restorative yoga: this is practiced for total relaxation using 5 simple steps and objects for support. Its positions don’t require any effort at all.
Yin Yoga: also known as “Taoist yoga” is the type of yoga practiced with meditation. Its focus is to remove pressure from the joint and loosen them up.
Jivamukti yoga: this one focuses on the transitioning and movement that occurs while switching poses. It means “living in liberation”
Kundalini yoga: this type of yoga frees up energy using meditation and singing.
More About Yoga
Yoga isn’t a competitive practice, it is done according to your preferences and what type suits you best. The exercise targets every area and core muscle of the body and the choice of intensity is made based on individual selections.
No matter what type of yoga you go for, it is safe. However, a few injuries may be sustained but critical injuries have a very rare chance of occurring. Yoga is very beneficial for mental and physical well-being and is definitely one practice to add to your daily routine.
If you have any health conditions or if you’re pregnant, be sure to consult your doctor before you begin practicing yoga.