What is a Yoga Experience?
This Guide offers you a friendly introduction to the amazing world of yoga styles and experiences. It's designed to help discover a yoga practice that's perfect for you. Don't limit yourself though... be amazing and try more than one.
What is Yoga?
Yoga translated from Sanskrit, the language of ancient India means ‘Union’ – The union of body, mind and spirit. Sound pretty out there? It doesn’t need to be. Today yoga offers a fascinating and accessible way of getting to know the deeper dimensions of you.
What does yoga do for me?
Through all the sweat, letting go, balance, bending and flexibility comes a wonderful feeling of contentment and well-being. Yoga can improve your health on so many levels including physical, mental and social.
You'll walk down the street with improved posture, a new awareness of your breath and how it can affect every part of your present state. You will learn how to relax and deal with unnecessary stress.
Or you might just enjoy the bend and stretch of it all.
Finding Your Yoga Practice
Like anything it takes time, but with time comes refinement and improvement. Finding your practice and working with your body is key. One might think doing a downward facing dog (one of the foundation asanas) could become somewhat repetitive, but the ever evolving subtleties of how the body moves and responds keeps this discovery process dynamic and interesting.
What are Yoga Asanas (Poses)?
Yoga Asanas on an elementary level are about opening and releasing the body. They focus on bringing the body into alignment, building on strength and balance and getting closer to touching your toes… although the more you practice the less you will realise it is about the toe touch!
Poses can flow from one to the next. They can build body heat and blood flow in a Vinyasa-style Yoga practice, or they can be held for longer periods offering deeper release in Yin Yoga or Iyengar Yoga.
Going to a Yoga Class
There’s more to a yoga class than just asanas. There may be music playing, a heated room, perhaps a teacher up the front of the class giving instructions on breath and alignment, or you may close your eyes and meditate. This all depends on your preferred style of yoga practice. If you're a newbie, have a read through our guides on some of the different styles available.
Remember most importantly that yoga is not a competition… it is for you, something for you to connect with your body, your mind and perhaps your spiritual self as you progress in your yoga experience.
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Amazing Photography. Magdalene Kourti