Yoga Demystified. Part 2
Keeping It Simple
It can be very confusing when you look on a class timetable and see the many interesting names used to describe the yoga practice. Generally, each practice is designed with a particular focus in mind to strengthen and integrate the mind and body.
They are often named after the person who created them or using a Sanskrit (ancient Hindu language) word to describe the intention.
Here are four of the most popular yoga practices de-mystified to assist you on your yoga journey.
In the Hindu tradition, Shiva (The Destroyer) is believed to be the founder of Hatha yoga. In the 15th century, Yogi Swatmarama penned a practice that prepared the body for deep meditation in the book Hatha Yoga Padipika. It consisted of breathing exercises, physical practice and meditation. This is Hatha yoga today and many future yoga styles place their roots here.
Founded by B.K.S. Iyengar, this practice is about correct alignment and using props to fit the body to the pose. Great for people with health conditions or injuries. Iyengar derives from Hatha yoga.
Founded by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, Ashtanga means eight limbs and is named after the eight limbs of yoga in the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali. It is a dynamic form of Hatha yoga with a particular focus on physical strength and flexibility for optimum health benefits.
Bikram yoga focuses on 26 poses and two breathing exercises, in a hot room, above body temperature and at 40.6 degrees Celcius/105 degrees Fahrenheit. Its objective is to create a deeper stretch without injury and to cleanse the body of toxins whilst sweating.
As you can see, there really is only one yoga even if there are many different styles.
So the next time you want to try a new yoga class but are confused by the name or how you’ll benefit from it, remember that true yoga always incorporates breath, movement and meditation within its practice.
Living in an automated world where we rush to plug ourselves into the sofa and wait to be fed and entertained makes it a real challenge to deliver the staple 90 minute class every time. Instead we are herded onto a conveyor belt of watered down classes from 45 to 60 minutes with financial gain as the focus rather than well-being.
Even so, a fraction of yoga is better than no yoga at all and whether you’re participating in it to build physical strength whilst holding the pose, staying in the present moment whilst focusing on breath or being still to assist with quietening the mind it’s very personal to you.
Now that you have a deeper understanding of how it can serve you, it’s time to embrace yoga and make it your own. Wear it with grace and ease like a comfy suit and hat and start to experience the many rewards it can bring into your world.
About the Writer
Nicolette Wilson-Clarke is an Award Winning Master Coach to Creative Entrepreneurs / Senior Yoga Teacher
www.embodiedentrepreneur.co.uk / +44 7957 319117