When you are a beginner in yoga, it might be somewhat intimidating at first. However, through attending classes and studying yoga you can become knowledgeable in no time.
As with any type of discipline, it is important to know as much about it as you can. It will give you a leg-up in not only your classes, but your understanding of yoga as a whole.
New to Yoga? Want to get more knowledge about Yoga? then my friend, this article is for you.
We are divided this article on Ultimate Guide On Yoga For Beginners into 5 parts. Let’s read one by one.
Part 1: Yoga As Holistic Method Of Transforming Body
Yoga has become one of the front-runners in exercise today. It doesn’t just offer physical wellness, but mental as well.
While it is normally associated with Hinduism, yoga is actually much older than it was first speculated. It is known to be one of the oldest physical disciplines in all of existence.
However, the exact origins of the yoga practice are unknown. However yoga is thought to be at least five thousand years old.
Which, as you might have already begun to understand; is ancient in the world of disciplines. It’s no wonder that it has become extremely popular during this stressful day and age.
While yoga is defined by modern scholar as a classical Indian science, that is concerned with the search of the soul. Along with the union between the singular person and the divine.
However, today it is being labeled as a holistic method of transforming ones body. The essence of yoga is to bring the person who practices it, into the proverbial drivers seat of their life. Controlling their body, breath, and mind through yoga.
Yoga isn’t just something you do once in a while, it’s a way of life. The secret of practicing yoga lies in a simple word; balance.
As with many other holistic methods of regaining control of your body, yoga focuses on balanced moderation. Which means that your yoga class doesn’t just stop at the door.
Instead, yoga is a way of life that you adopt into your regiment; giving you a leg-up in a stressful world.
In this series of articles, you will learn some of the key-points in understanding the yoga way of life. While it is meant to enlighten yoga beginners, it is also a great means of refreshing an experienced yoga practitioners view on yoga.
You will learn the different types of yoga to choose from, the importance of meditation in your life, along with several other key-points of yoga. Much like a yoga class, you should enter with an open mind and a heart that believes. Giving you the ability to learn about the wonderful world of yoga.
Now let’s move to out 2nd part of Ultimate Guide On Yoga For Beginners.
Part 2: Different Styles Of Yoga
Now that you have learned a little about the background of yoga, we can now focus on the different types of yoga that you might run into.
Depending on your demographic area and the popularity of each kind of yoga where you live. Will determine what is available for you to attend.
If a certain style of yoga that you are interested in isn’t available in a various class, there are always dvds that can be combined with traditional yoga lessons. Of which will help you to achieve the perfect yoga regiment for you and your life.
The first and most common style of yoga is Hatha yoga. It is a system that is most common in the western world, and is fairly easy to find in a classes structure.
The word Hatha has derived from a composite of HA (which means sun) and That (which means moon). The union of the two words into one, suggests a healthy union of opposites.
In other words, the joining of the body and mind. Which ultimately leads to strength, peace of mind, as well as some added vitality.
Hatha yoga is by far one of the most physical of the yoga practices. They emphasize the importance of asanas (postures), dhyana (meditation), as well as pranayama (breathing techniques).
It is the goal of Hatha yoga to balance the different energy flows within the human body. However, is also considered to be an affective form of exercise.
Through asanas (postures), that are composed of controlled movement, flexibility, concentration, and being conscious of ones breathing; it can be a challenging regiment for anyone. However it has many rewards that will soon follow.
Whether you are beginner, intermediate, or an expert in Hatha yoga there is a posture that can be completed with ease.
The asanas however do tend to range from the basic to the complex, but can be accomplished easily with practice.
While many people question it’s role in the world of exercise, the Hatha yoga regiment can and will provide an invigorating workout for body mind and soul.
As with any style of yoga, Hatha yoga is designed to ease the tension in muscles, tone internal organs, and improve your flexibility and movement of joints and ligaments.
One of the major reasons slow and controlled movements are used in all yoga can be hard to understand. However, the basic explanation is that jerky or violent movements can cause a buildup of lactic acid. Ultimately causing fatigue.
Since yoga’s intentions are to relax and stimulate, they avoid the onset of fatigue by the use of controlled movements.
Part 3: Choose Right Type Of Yoga For You
Unlike a few yoga practices, Hatha yoga can be practiced by anyone. Age or ability isn’t a limitation for Hatha yoga.
Instead, it can help to achieve a limber body, and an increased physical being along with a higher self worth. Hatha yoga is a gentle yoga, that doesn’t raise the heart-rate; making it accessible to anyone who wishes to practice yoga.
The secondary and less popular form of yoga in the western world, is power yoga. Also known as Ashtanga.
It is meant to work out specific muscle groups, and can be higher impact than Hatha yoga. While the regiment can be more difficult to preform, it is still just as beneficial as Hatha yoga.
You also have a few other yoga paths to choose from that are less popular than Hatha or Ashtanga yoga. Such as Raja yoga, Karma yoga, Bhakti yoga, Jnana yoga, and Tantra yoga.
Regardless of the style of yoga that you decide on. The benefits are all similar in one way or another.
All forms of yoga will help to achieve a higher sense of self, a better physical strength, and a heightened ability of controlling ones body. As with any new workout or holistic regiment, if you have any known medical problems you should first advise your doctor.
If you are approved for yoga, he or she will be able to suggest an appropriate yoga teacher that will understand your condition.
Once you have chosen the right type of yoga for you, you might find friends and family coming out of the woodwork. Some have the common misconception that you must follow a certain religion to practice yoga.
However, this simply isn’t true. While some speculate that yoga is a religion on it’s own, it doesn’t truly meet the traditional definition of a religion. Rather than philosophy or doctrine, Hatha yoga is a physical and psychological discipline rather than religion.
While it has been tied in it’s roots to Eastern religion and mythology, it has been associated with the Hindu religion. However, yoga is in-fact an independent tradition. Thus making it less of a religion, and more of a way of life.
You don’t have to participate in any one religion to reap the benefits of yoga. Simply allowing yourself body, mind, and soul to the discipline of yoga.
Despite yoga not being considered a yoga, there are however a set of ethics that have become associated with it. These are considered to be the five yamas; non-violence, truthfulness, not stealing, chastity, and the absence of greed.
Along with the five niyamas which are: purity, self discipline, contentment, centering upon the divine, and self study. Of which we can all live with. These are all ethics that we begin to adopt in our own lives, before and after yoga easily.
Giving yoga an upper-hand in cleansing both body and mind through it’s ethics, asanas, and breathing techniques. Of which will be looked at in a greater light within this series of articles.
Now let’s move to out 4th part of Ultimate Guide On Yoga For Beginners.
Part 4: Embracing Yoga As A Way Of Life
Firstly, you should understand a little bit more about yoga itself before you can truly understand it’s methods and ability to heal.
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (a two thousand year old collection of oral teachings), is a kind of philosophical guidebook for dealing with the challenges that humans may face in their lives.
The Yoga Sutras are known to provide an eight-fold path that is called ashtanga. Of which translates into “eight limbs”. The eight steps are a basic guideline on how you can live a meaningful life.
They are considered to be a prescription for moral and ethical conduct, even in the realm of yoga. Rather than a religious standpoint, it focuses on ones attention to their own health, and acknowledging nature in its many spiritual aspects.
In the next section of this series of articles for yoga beginners, we will focus on the eight limbs. Giving you an understanding of the only requirements yoga has for it’s practitioners. While important to the commitment to yoga, it isn’t always mandatory from all instructors.
The Yama is one of the first steps you will learn in yoga. While it isn’t related to the exercise of yoga, it is a way of bringing yoga into your every-day life.
It is a step that will help you to deal with our own personal ethical standards and sense of integrity. Allowing one’s self to focus on how we conduct ourselves in every-day life. During the process of learning about yoga, your instructor will most likely begin by explaining the importance of the five yamas. Of which are:
Practice of non-violence:
Meaning that you should refrain from harming or demeaning any living being. Whether it is human or animal. This yama also includes harming yourself by any action, word, or thought that you might have.
It is what it sounds like. It is the ability to control anything that isn’t completely truthful. Including being truthful to yourself and others.
This is the yama of curbing your tendency to take anything that doesn’t belong to you. Not only material possessions but praise or position. IE: to take someone’s position at work, through being untruthful or through means of your own doing.
By far the most controversial yama. It is the ability to learn the art of self-control. To control any energy that is expanded in seeking or thinking about sensual pleasure.
It teaches the ability to abstain from any inappropriate sexual behavior. Unlike “sins” it isn’t said to go against sexual behavior, instead it teaches against any self-harming sexual behavior.
The practice of abstaining from the feeling of greed. Allowing the person to differentiate the difference between a need and a want. It also teaches how to detatch yourself from desires of things or objects.
Along with the yamas, you also will be taught about Niyama. Of which are practices that have come to life, all to help you with self-discipline and development. These are the “do’s” of the yoga path, rather than the don’ts such as the yamas.
Striving for purity and the cleanliness of the body, mind, soul, and one’s environment.
To seek contentment and acceptance. Whether you are going through good or hard times, it is important to be content in life. However, all while seeking ways to improve your future.
Controlling your actions, and having the strength to determine what and how you should handle a situation. The ability to replace any negative habits you might have with a more positive one.
The ability to study our own actions. Making it possible for us to determine if we are behaving in a harmonious manner in our lives.
Devotion in turning toward the divine, as opposed to the material objects of the world.
As you can see, these are all fairly simple do’s and don’ts for life. Simply giving us guidelines to live by, while embracing yoga as a way of life.
Part 5: Begin To Develop The Habit Of Discipline
The next intricate part of yoga that your instructor will begin to talk about, is the asna. The asna is the term used to describe the postures, which are practiced in the discipline of yoga.
Throughout the practice of the asana, you will begin to develop the habit of discipline. Giving you the ability to concentrate on both your body and mind. It is the teaching of becoming comfortable in one position for a prolonged period of time.
Giving you control over your whole being, and helping to strengthen both your body and to regain flexibility and state-of-mind.
In tune with the asana, you have pranayama. Of which is translated into the ability of controlling ones breathing. It consists of techniques that have been designed to gain control over the respiratory process.
All while recognizing the connection between breath and the mind (as well as the emotions). The complete translation of paranayama is “life force”, as it is believed to not only rejuvenate the body but extending your life as well. It is an intricate part of yoga and can be practiced both during your lesson and out.
There are many other different aspects of yoga that your instructor will go over. From Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi, and many more. All of which play a vital role in different aspects of the practice of yoga. Allowing you to gain more knowledge about the intricate disciplines of yoga.
Unlike simply working out, yoga is a lifestyle that you need to commit yourself to. Allowing you to obtain a healthier body mind and soul, through the control based-workout regiment of yoga.
Depending on your instructor, you may spend hours or weeks discussing each of these parts of yoga. The style of yoga that you have chosen as the right one for you, will also play another vital role in which aspects of yoga that you focus more greatly on.
After they have covered all of these base-points in yoga. You will begin to learn the different asana positions. Whether they are standing, seated, reclining, back bends, side bends, forward bends, inverted, twists, or balancing.
They all play a vital role in creating a healthier you. Once you have learned the different asana positions, you will be taught how to meditate to bring your body back to being grounded. Also known as the relaxation period, where you will begin to slowly let yourself relax into yourself after your yoga session.
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