Yoga What is it?
Yoga is the practice of a set of postures and breathing exercises that aims to bring physical and mental well-being. This ancient art of living as explained in the texts is revealed as an initiatory path that transcends physical discipline.
The first references on yoga can be found in Patanjali's yoga sutra written about 200 years before our era. In this book we understand the foundation of the philosophy of yoga and its possible application in all spheres of our lives.
The different types of yoga
- There are dynamic yogas in which the sequence of postures is done at the rhythm of breathing such as ashtanga and vinyasa, in these rather physical classes while softening and strengthening the body, the cardiovascular system is improved.
- Iyengar, which is a more static yoga, emphasizes the alignment of the body, here we take the time to dissect each of the asanas, we develop the understanding of our body.
- Hatha yoga is a gentle yoga that is easily practiced by older people.
- It is important to find the style of yoga that suits us best, it depends a lot on our potential.
- It is preferable, to benefit from the benefits of dynamic yogas, to be in good general health and have a certain physical condition, otherwise it becomes difficult to keep pace, which generates a risk of injury.
- For those with back problems and who are not athletic, you should turn to a less dynamic yoga where you take the time to explain the postures like Iyengar and hatha.
The benefits of yoga
Today when we talk about yoga we are mainly talking about the practice of asanas and pranayama, i.e. postures that aim to soften and strengthen the body and breathing exercises that regulate the flow of vital energy.
Yoga brings a large number of physical benefits, including muscle relaxation (yoga postures are varied to stretch all major muscle groups). Some postures help to gently strengthen muscles, others work on balance.
With regular practice we can correct posture errors developed throughout our lives, which greatly reduces chronic back problems. A study conducted by the Temple University in 2008 showed that the practice of Iyengar yoga improves balance in women over 65 years of age.
Yoga helps to reduce stress. During the session the attention is entirely focused on the body and breathing, we are in the "here and now", which is a form of meditation. a study by Boston University published in 2010 showed that yoga was effective in relieving anxiety.
On the mat you are invited to take the time to listen to the body, attention is constantly brought back to the breath, you develop your ability to concentrate. For example, in balance exercises all our attention is required to maintain the posture
Yoga postures to do at home
When practicing at home, it is best to do simple postures to avoid injury such as:
The triangle (trikonasana): stand with your feet together, step forward with your right foot, place your right hand on your right ankle and lift your left arm up into the sky, try to keep your chest aligned with your right leg.
Do the same on the other side.
The child's posture (balasana) which is excellent for relieving tension in the lumbar region: kneel, feet and knees together, then put your forehead on the floor in front and bring your arms back along your body, listen to your breathing.