The practice of yoga dates back over 6000 years and is rooted in ancient Indian philosophies that connect the mind and body to improve overall health and wellness. Yoga comprises many poses known as asanas and incorporates structured breathing and meditation techniques which cater to people of all levels and abilities. Depending on your fitness goals, yoga offers an excellent form of exercise due to the wide range of styles available.
There are numerous types of yoga to choose from, each with some differences in the way that they are taught.
This the most well known approach with postures and exercises called yogasanas. Along with specific positions and postures, Hatha yoga also recommends the use of breathing techniques called Pranayama and Meditation.
Cultivation of affection and love towards the creator by practicing it spiritually is called as Bhakti yoga.
It refers towards devoted yoga technique which helps in achieving the highest stage of yoga called as Samadhi. It is synonymous with Royal Yoga and classic yoga.
Disciplinary actions performed according to the instructors mentioned in Bhagavad Gita are called as a vital form of yoga.
The spiritual practice of yoga getting rid of worldly materialistic desire to achieve the supreme goal of Love and Devotion for God is considered as Jnana Yoga. It is also derived from Bhagavad Gita.
Yoga can have many positive physical and psychological benefits, with some of the most common being improved balance, strength and flexibility as well as reduced levels of stress. Yoga's focus on the aspects of mind/body connection and emphasis on breathing techniques help to promote relaxation, which over time can decrease stress levels. Most asanas are isometric, meaning they rely on holding muscle tension for a period of time. With regular yoga practice, these isometric exercises can help to increase blood circulation and may lower blood pressure. Weight bearing isometric poses can help to increase bone density and bone health. Even though there are many different types of yoga, each session will generally be a mixture of lying, sitting, standing and inverted, or upside down asanas along with a focus on breathing and meditation. The combination of poses provides a whole body workout. The increase strength, especially in the abdominal area, and flexibility that can be gained from regular yoga practice also help to improve posture. Good posture can help to increase energy levels, decrease abnormal wearing of joints caused by slouching and improve appearance.
The style of yoga you choose to try is likely to be largely dependent on your current fitness level and future goals. If you are thinking of doing yoga for fitness and as a way to tone your muscles, a more dynamic type of yoga, such as Bikram or Asthtanga might be for you. For a more mindful yoga practice, consider trying Vini yoga which focuses on longer stretches and a strong mind/body connection. Consult doctor if you have any herb or physical limitations that may impact your ability to achieve the poses. The various styles of yoga all incorporate pranayama (Breathing Exercises) and should include the Shavasana pose at the end of the session to help release any muscle or joint tension.
YOGA FOR KIDS
Many people think yoga is only for adults but the benefits of yoga can be shared with children as well, enabling them to enjoy life to the fullest by promoting a healthy and active lifestyle from an early age. At Life Line Ayurvedic Herbal Clinic, we believe that physical fitness is a vital component to a quality early childhood program. To promote this, we provide yoga instruction for all age groups.
Some people are surprised to find out that yoga can be beneficial even to infants. Babies to children up to two years old can experience better sleep, a stronger immune system and even find relief from gas pain and colic when introduced to yoga. Other benefits they may experience are better food digestion, a better understanding of how to relax and neuromuscular stimulation. For children over the age of two, you can begin to introduce simple poses that will help promote flexibility and coordination and incorporate healthy activity into their daily routines.
There are many reasons why it can be beneficial to teach your kids yoga. These include:
Struggling with a hyperactive child is a challenge thousands of parents have to confront on a daily basis. Because kids yoga encourages slowing down, patience and mindfulness, it can help children to calm down and focus.
Like anything, yoga is a skill that gets easier with practice. The exciting thing about yoga is that it is easy to notice improvements – for instance, a particular pose might make you wobble the first time you do it, but as your strength improves over time, the wobbling will eventually stop.
If your kids participate in regular yoga classes, they will start to notice their improvements and feel a sense of achievement and pride. This can lead to improved confidence and self-esteem.
Artists, musicians and writers often comment that their best ideas come ‘out of the blue’ – in a flash of sudden inspiration. Meditation makes it possible to ‘silence’ your left brain (i.e. the side that is responsible for language and logic), so that your right brain (i.e. the side associated with creativity and imagination) can become more active.
Mindfulness is an intrinsic part of yoga, and the flow-on effect is that people who practice yoga are better in tune with their creative sides. And the value of creative thinking cannot be underestimated in a fast-paced society that is continually evolving and diversifying.
The habits you learn in childhood will follow you through the rest of your life. One of the best things we can do for our children is to empower them to make healthy lifestyle choices. If you get your kids into the habit of attending regular exercise classes, it will become a habit that will perpetually continue to benefit them.
When we’re stressed, we don’t tend to make terrific choices. Yoga provides a method of dealing with stress that can become second nature once you’ve been practicing for long enough. Rather than turning to a (probably unhealthy) ‘quick fix’, yoga practitioners are able to steady themselves, breathe deeply, and maintain perspective. This is a wonderful skill to possess, and one that is well worth teaching our children. Yoga is not a destination; rather it is a journey, ideally a fun and exciting one. We think you’ll agree that our Yoga programs are a fun and exciting way to get children moving and having fun!
YOGA AS SISTER SCIENCE TO AYURVEDA
Have you ever wondered why some yoga poses leave you calm, centred and balanced while others make you agitated, sore and off centre?
The ancient Indian healing system of Ayurveda, known as the sister science to Yoga, may hold the answers to which Yoga practices suit you best.
AYURVEDIC APPROACH TO ASANAS: -
Ayurveda means “science of life” or “the knowledge of life.” This system has been used for 6000 years to maintain health. It includes following a healthy, individualized diet, meditation, massage and Yoga. It places strong emphasis on good digestion, eating foods according to the six tastes rather than a food pyramid, and balancing the “doshas,” a concept akin to a genetic predisposition. It is believed that imbalances in the doshas can predict predispositions to diseases and allow for making mitigating lifestyle changes.
The three doshas are Vata, Pitta and Kapha, and their blend make up a person’s constitution. One tends to dominate and indicates physiological and psychological tendencies and disease susceptibility. A dosha can then be thought of as a genotype with particular metabolic pathways, inherited protein enzymes, immunological make up, etc; it is a snapshot of the chemical makeup of an individual. According to Ayurveda, for optimal health the dosha/genotype should be determined at birth and maintained in the same state throughout the lifetime.
Vata individuals are tall, lean, alert, creative, and active. They like to move and travel, and are aggravated by worry, cold, dry, and windy weather. Imbalances lead to inconsistent sleep and eating, weight loss, mood swings, dry skin and anxiety. Vatta is balanced by eating regularly and specifically warm, heavy, oily, sweet, sour and salty foods. Bitter, pungent or astringent tastes aggravate Vata. Vata is predominant below the navel and responsible for input/output processes which involve movement such as cell division, excretion of waste, etc. Vatas lean towards nerve disorders of movement or speech, dementia and neurological disorders.
Vata predominant individuals should remember to focus on calming, grounding, stillness, strengthening, and balancing while doing their practice. Those with lower back problems may find that bending the knees in standing forward bends can prevent discomfort. Back bends should be done slowly, carefully and within one's own limits. Vinyasa or flow styles of yoga tend to move too quickly from one pose to the next and can aggravate the hyper-mobile quality of vata over time. Flow sequences can be made to be more vata pacifying if they are not excessively long, the length of time poses are held is extended, and transitions are done slowly and consciously.
Pitta individuals have a medium built, reddish or thin hair, and light eyes. They need to eat regularly, don’t like hot weather, are intelligent, assertive, well organized and demanding. Pitta is balanced by cool, sweet, bitter and astringent foods and aggravated by hot, sour, salty or pungent foods. Imbalances manifest as skin rashes, sweating. Pittas age the fastest due to emotional explosions, excessive high metabolic rates and faster tissue destruction. This dosha is related to turnover and transformation; it is fast. It is predominant between the neck and the navel and responsible for processes related to heat such as digestion, metabolism and homeostasis. Pittas tend to suffer from bleeding disorders, ulcers and skin conditions.
Pitta individuals should maintain a calm, cool, and relaxed intention while doing asanas. Pitta types may benefit from trying to cultivate an attitude of forgiveness, and of surrendering or offering the fruits of their practice to the divine of to those in need of positive healing energy. Because asana practice tends to generate heat in the body, it is best to do yoga at cooling times of the day, such as dawn or dusk. Also, it is useful to place some emphasis on poses that help to release excess heat from the body, such as poses that compress the solar plexus and poses that open the chest.
Kapha individuals are big boned with thick hair and big eyes. They are slow, calm, sleep well, are intelligent, and dependable; they age the slowest. Kapha is related to storage and stabilizing. It is predominant above the neck and responsible for growth, storage, and stability such as adipose deposits and bone structures; it is slow. Kapha is balanced by pungent, bitter and astringent foods and aggravated by sweet, sour or salty foods. When imbalanced, Kaphas gain weight easily, get sinus congestion, head colds, and depression. during winter or when eating too Imbalances happen more frequently towards conditions such as heart dis- many cold foods. Kaphas lean ease, hypertension and diabetes.
Kapha types tend to be sedentary and often dislike vigorous exercise. For this reason, their practice should be energetic, warming, lightening, and stimulating, providing they are physically capable. Vinyasa or flow style yoga is good for kapha because it is dynamic and moves quickly from one pose to the next, it induces sweating and gets the heart pumping.
Ayurveda can be used to determine the constitution of a person, which diseases the body may lean towards, and propose changes to lessen risks
Anyone who practices yoga would agree to how challenging it can be to do yoga postures if the body is not well or in good physical health. Similarly, one who practices pranayama or meditation would find it extremely difficult to practice if they were ill and fatigued.
This is where Ayurveda can support practice of Yoga. In Ayurveda, usage of purification and cleansing techniques detox the body and nurture it through dietary guidelines of Ayurveda to enhance the level of yoga practice.
Both Yoga and Ayurveda complement each other and strengthen our Indian ancient Vedic system. Both the sciences together offer a complete system of wellbeing for body, mind and consciousness. It can be well understood that Yoga and Ayurveda are not separate, but inter-related disciplines to attain the ultimate goal of self-realization.
Nowadays we see that yoga is prevalent and being learned by many people from all over the world. What is often lacking is a deep foundational knowledge of ayurveda. Keeping this in mind, modern yoga practitioners would most certainly benefit from having a well-educated ayurvedic practitioner, doctor or therapist teach traditional ayurveda to help them establish a healthy dinacharya (daily routine) and adjust their practice according to their constitution, dosha imbalance, stages of life, season, and so on. This is ultimately needed to prevent disease and promote longevity.
FINDING YOGA TEACHER NEAR YOU https://www.yogaaustralia.org.au/search-registered-teachers/
FINDING AYURVEDIC DOCTOR NEAR YOU http://www.ayurved.org.au/directory/