Yoga was originated from India which is a physical, mental and spiritual practices or disciplines that aim to transform body and mind. The word comes from Sanskrit, an ancient Indian language “Yuj” which means “yoking”, in common term means “union”. Yoga is supposed to be uniting the mind, body and spirit. This is achieved by stretching and building strength while preparing our body for meditation.
Gurus from India later introduced yoga to the West in late 19th and early 20th century. In 1980s, yoga became popular as a physical exercise across the western countries. Nowadays yoga is very popular in almost all around the world including Asia and Indonesia.
Many people think that yoga is just stretching, but really yoga is about creating balance in the body through developing both strength and flexibility. This is done through the performance of poses and postures, each of which has specific physical benefits. The poses can be done quickly or slowly, creating heat in the body through movement, increasing stamina to perform the perfect alignment of the pose.
In practicing the poses, yoga classes provides instructions on breathing, performing correct alignment, build strength and meditation. The variety and amount of this depends on the individual teacher and class types.
There’s no doubt that Yoga is aimed to unite the mind, the body, and the spirit. It is also considered therapeutic. It helps you become more aware of your body’s posture, alignment and patterns of movement. It makes the body more flexible and helps you relax even in the midst of a stress stricken environment
There are a few types of yoga classes which are common for our practice:
Hatha Yoga includes most styles of yoga. It is a classic and old style that teaches practice of asanas (yoga postures) and pranayama (yoga breathing exercises). This practice will help bringing peace to the mind and body, preparing our body for deeper spiritual practices such as meditation.
It is like Hatha, it uses many different styles of yoga and bundled in a flow. The yoga movement is synchronised with breath and energetic style based on a rapid flow through sun salutations. Vinyasa class can also be called a flow class as it refers to the continuous flow from one posture to the next.
A style of yoga transmitted and popularized by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and is often promoted as a modern form of classical Indian yoga. It has a series of poses and always done in the same order, while being encouraged to breathe as you move from pose to pose. It is typically fast-paced, vigorous and physically challenging.
There are six series in total, increasing in difficulty as you move from the primary series on. Even though a typical class moves quite quickly, most Ashtanga studios allow students to work at their own pace and to be assessed by senior instructors.
These movements are very useful to beginners, who want to start doing yoga but don’t have any experience of yoga or any other exercise. There are several joints in our body, which needs lubrication and movements. The food we consume supplies the lubrication and Yoga and other activities provide the movements. In our regular life some of these joints are overused and some are rarely used which may create problems at later stage in your life. To help these joints maintain their healthy condition Basic Movements are necessary also they are useful to prepare your body to take up Yoga.
It is a gentle and relaxing style, a passive form of yoga that allows you to relax and release the body from tension and tiredness by applying gentle stretches and hold it for minutes. This style mostly use a wide variety of props including bolsters, blocks, straps and blankets. These props help providing support for our body to perform a relax and loose pose.
A yoga exercise that is performed under hot and humid conditions, replicating the heat and humidity of India, where yoga was originated. The style (asanas) varies but mostly are well contractions of muscle with the heat that is designed to raise your heart rate and tire your muscles.
Hot yoga makes you wet and sweaty, easily burn your calories and is a good exercise for people whom looking for weight lose. However, because of the heat and increasing heart rate, hot yoga is not suitable for people with heart disease, problems with dehydration or heat intolerance, or have had heat-related illness (such as heatstroke). Pregnant should also avoid this type of yoga.
A new style of yoga that is using a Bosu Ball, a half circled ball that can be ridden and stepped on. The style focuses on body balance and concentration while building a strong core within. The asanas mostly are basic ones but using your core to balance yourself.
Balance training uses right brain (which is the feeling brain). This is why after balance training you feel so good afterward, because the overactive left brain (thinking brain) was not used and left to rest.
Swing Yoga is also a new style of yoga which uses a hammock as a prop. It is an extremely versatile, adjustable and comfortable exercise system, with three handles at varying heights to enable you to achieve any conceivable posture, angle, movement or stretch. Enabling you to explore postures vertically, horizontally and in full inversion.
Swing yoga focuses on stretch, strength and balance, which leads you to cardio, balance and core exercises. People with back pain should try this style of yoga, as it has therapeutic effect when practicing Inversion Therapy. It is ideal for gentle, passive stretching and traction of the spine. Hanging upside down can alleviate muscular tension and pain as well as promoting increased joint mobility and flexibility, increased relaxation and circulation of the blood, lymph and energy. All of these in turn promote good health and well being.