Before you begin to learn yoga you must first decide what you are hoping to learn from yoga.
The simple fact is yoga can provide many benefits on the body and mind.
If fitness is the sole aim of why you wish to practice yoga then you will leave your mind closed of to the benefits that it can have on you mentally. If you decide to perform yoga for the sole reason of gaining spiritual enlightenment and the positive effects it can have on you mentally then the fitness aspect may not be exploited to its full potential.
What I would recommend and believe everyone who is interested in taking up this practice is to enter it with an open mind. Learn the basics to yoga first and then as you become more adapt to the postures, poses and mental side that it teaches then and only then will you begin to expand and reap the full benefits of yoga.
Many practitioners of yoga often talk about it uniting the mind, body and spirit through the practice of yoga exercises. I am not saying this is a false statement as I do believe that it can reap those benefits, but many people who enter into yoga for the first time have a perception that they will gain this enlightenment and benefits instantly.
The truth is that it takes many years of practice and dedication to reach these levels. When you start performing yoga for the first time you will begin to notice a difference, but it is essential that you take it a small step at a time. There is a reason that yoga is the oldest existing (what I like to call) mind and body system around, this is due to the fact that it helps to aid in providing a great level fitness, has known health benefits and can help in improving a person,s mental state.
One of the main reasons why yoga has such a huge benefit on the body is because it stretches the muscles therefore when you perform a yoga workout it would have a similar effect of a massage which will ensure that the ideal blood supply can be reached by every organ.
The beauty of yoga is that there are many different forms which gives everyone the chance to find what one suits them best. Don't just set your mind on one type of yoga, try out a few different routines, see which one suits you best.
Different forms of yoga can effect different people in many different ways. So make sure to find out which type will provide the maximum benefit on your mind and body. Yoga can be a very strenuous exercise so make sure that you do not push yourself to much when you start of. This can result in an injury. So take your time to build yourself up and when you feel extremely comfortable then begin to push yourself more.
Below are a list of the most common yoga practices
Ashtanga (Also known as power yoga) - Perfect for the person who wants a very hard workout session. It concentrate less on meditation and more on tough physical exercise.
Iyengar - This is a classical form of yoga almost similar to Hatha Yoga, and is seen as a good starting block for beginners.
Bikram - Must be carried out in a room that is over 38C or higher. There are 26 postures that are carried out in a specific order.
Hatha - Very chilled out form of yoga which focuses on poses that flow from to another at a very easy pace, on meditation ( Japa and Laya ) and contemplation, pranayama . This form helps to develop strength balance and healing. This is probably the most ideal form of yoga for children, elders, beginners and people with muscle injuries.
Kundalini - Includes mantras, visualizations, guided relaxation and meditations.
Kriya - This type of yoga consists of a series of bnadhas, mudras, and advanced forms of pranayama.
Raja - This is aimed at people who are capable of intense concentration.
Bhakti - Helps a person to gain focus on self surrender in the face of the divine.
The top five are the most commons forms of yoga. Remember if you do decide to try yoga out, take your time, do not push yourself to hard at first, enter into it with an open mind and find out what of yoga suits you best.
Before starting any physical exercise routine, contact your doctor. He may also recommend the right exercise for you, or just indicate what you shouldnt do, if you have any chronic disease. Ex: you shouldnt perform Bikram Yoga or Ashtanga yoga, if you have cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure…etc
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