The Popularity of Yoga
Where ever you go, there are yoga studios, websites, magazine, mats, clothing, movies, books, and more. It is extremely popular today in the Western World, although it’s been around for five thousand years in India. Here are some of the reasons for yoga’s popularity:
- There is no competition; therefore, you go at a pace that is perfect for you.
- No matter what your age, sex, or physical fitness are, you can discover a style to practice.
- You can do it anywhere: at home, in a yoga studio, the beach, or while waiting for the bus.
- It improves or maintains your health by: increasing your flexibility, improves your balance, aids digestion, enhances your posture, boost your immune system, reduces stress, and quiets the mind.
- The end results after spending time on your mat is peace of mind, or as one of my teachers referred to it – yoga high.
Many people watch a yogi practice certain poses assuming it’s easy to do; however, even the simplest poses can prove difficult once they attempt it. Some people buy tapes, yet risk becoming injured when they are practicing the poses incorrectly.
The right style for you
This is the reason why it is important for beginners to pay for either a class or private session. It is well worth spending money, instead of the cost of doing damage to your body. During a pose only go slightly to the edge, anytime you feel discomfort back off, remember – pain is a no-no in yoga.
There are a vast amount of styles, which I’ve lumped together some of the practices in the following three categories:
- Mellow styles: senior citizen yoga, gentle yoga, Hatha yoga, and restorative yoga.
- Fast styles: power yoga, hot yoga, Vinyasa flow, and Ashtanga.
- Spiritual styles: Kundalini, Kripalu, Sivanda, and Jivamuki.
Make sure you are comfortable
Use a mat for your practice to avoid slipping on the floor while doing a pose, it’s easier to perform balance poses (tree, half moon, or warrior three) that use just one leg on a mat than carpet or an uneven ground, and mats are used to establish your personal space in a class.
Straps (a long, thin piece of strong material) help increase flexibility, while blocks are used in certain poses to establish correct posture for those who are less limber.
Comfortable, stretchable, and non-baggy clothes won’t interfere with your practice. All these products can range from inexpensive to outrageously expensive; I highly recommend that as a beginner, you either buy inexpensive or use the school’s mats/tools. Once you know this is for you, then spend the money on better quality products.
Please be patient when it comes to your abilities for this is not an overnight process. You will find a pose that you did yesterday with great difficulty becomes easier the next day or vice a versa.
Yoga teaches you to accept where you are in the moment, which will flow to all areas of your life. All the physicality of it is in reality preparation for the ultimate reason for yoga, Savasana where you rest and go deeper within for meditation. For many Savansana can be the most difficult pose of all. Namaste.
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Pamela Cummins is a relationship expert who teaches you how to empower yourself to empower your relationships. She is the author of four books, including Psychic Wisdom on Love and Relationships.