Congratulations, you've made a decision to finally make an attempt at yoga but your mind is spinning after looking at all the classes, poses types and so much more? Should you try Ashtanga or Iyengar? And what's the difference between hot yoga exercises and Vinyasa? The Vast variety of different options can be enough to scare newcomers from the mat once and for all.

But here's why you shouldn’t be terrified at all. Yoga is just like mix training, incorporating a number of types of yoga exercise into the regular practice can help to keep you well balanced. You should try few different studios, educators and styles and then, stick to the one that resonates along with you, for an adequate amount of time. You should focus on the long term. If at the first day you do not like a course, it shouldn't be grounds to bolt and try something new.

Yoga isn't just a 'one-size-fits-all' practice, either. Various kinds of yoga exercise might be best for differing people. A 20-year-old and a 70-year-old have different requirements and different preferences but both need yoga. However, A person who is hyper-mobile and versatile doesn't need a similar thing as someone who's muscular and stiff.

So how does one start embracing this complex exercise? Would it come with the price tag of an expensive couple of yoga pants? Is it possible to reach to excel at it by modifying your diet? Would even be able to reach your toes? There are certainly a lot of questions in the minds of new people trying out yoga. However, you don’t have to worry. Here we provide you with the complete guide to Yoga, which will make this daily meditation must easier for you to understand.

What is Yoga?

The word yoga represents the connection. It means to unite with the many sources of energy around us. It is also the means of removing all the negative things that could be holding you down. Hence, the one goal in yoga is to actually be free. Of course, this path to freedom isn’t simple. There are a number of obstacles to overcome and paths to pursue in order to achieve true freedom. According to Patanjali there is an 8 step path to being truly free. These are known as the known as the 'Ashtanga Yoga exercise System' or '8 Limbs of Yoga'. In order to be free you need to cross each stage and truly embrace its art.

The 8 Limbs of Yoga include:

  1. YAMA – This refers to the moral restraints and bodily control
  2. NIYAMA – These are the duties of a person
  3. ASANA – The bodily posture of the person
  4. PRANAYAMA – Excelling the breathing exercises
  5. PRATYAHARA – The withdrawal of sense from all happenings
  6. DHARANA – Ability to focus on yourself
  7. DHYANA – Allow yourself to absorb all the meditative process
  8. SAMADHI – Achieve peace, Bliss, and enlightenment from the exercise

Yama

This first limb, Yama, identifies vows, disciplines or routines that are generally concerned with the people and things all around us, and our relationship with it. Because the main purpose of yoga is to complement our physical strength and to introduce some flexibility and calm in our daily routine, it is important that you take care of your moral vows.

Niyama

The next limb, Niyama, usually identifies things that concern us with relation to all the possible external influences. It can even include our actions which are originally directed towards the outside world. The prefix 'ni' is a Sanskrit verb this means 'inward' or 'within’. The quality helps you build your character and allows you to truly understand and improve who you really are.

Asana

Now comes the difficult part. We can all agree that maintaining posture is arguably the most difficult part of the exercise. The physical facet of yoga on the 3rd step on the road to freedom doesn’t actually refer to the capability to execute a handstand or a visually impressive backbend, it actually means ‘seat’. In particular, it means the seat that you will assume when practicing meditation. The only positioning instruction Patanjali provides for this posture is "sthira sukham asanam", the two important points to note are steady and comfortable.

Pranayama

The term Prana means 'energy' or 'life source'. It is used for the very that keeps us alive, as well as all the different sources of energy in the world all around us. Prana is also commonly referred to the process of breathing, and by dealing with just how we inhale, we affect your brain in an exceedingly real way.

Pratyahara

Pratya is a word used to mean 'withdraw' or 'pull back again', and the next part ahara relates to anything we 'take in' by ourselves, including the various sights, voices and smells our senses ingest continuously. When seated for a formal yoga practice, this may very well be the essential thing we do whenever we think we're meditating; we pay particular attention to drawing in all the information around s. The practice of pulling inward can include focusing along the way we're breathing, which means this limb would connect right to the practice of pranayama too.

Dharana

Dharana actually means to give special attention. Dha means maintaining, and Ana means 'other' or 'something else'. Dharana is strongly linked to the past two limbs. In fact, Dharana and pratyahara are two different views of the same aspect. To be able to give attention to something, the senses must withdraw so that attention is placed on that time of attentiveness, and to be able to pull our senses in, we require huge amounts of focus. Tratak (candlestick gazing), visualization, and concentrating on the breath are routines of dharana, and it's really this stage that saves most of us whenever we are about to be distracted while we're 'meditating'.

Dhyana

The 7th limb known for its role as a meditative absorber. We are only truly meditating when we are so absorbed in the process that we have no idea of what’s happening in the surroundings. Everything we might learn in a school, online or from an educator are simply just techniques which are given to each person to be able to help them negotiate, focus and understand the world around them. However, the genuine practice of meditation is not something we can produce. Instead, it’s something which is created due to the combined effects of different factors occurring at the same time.

Samadhi

Most of us know that the term samadhi actually represents 'bliss' or 'enlightenment', which is the ultimate step of the quest for Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. Of course, we all want the highest degree. It’s usually a state when we finally reach a balance between the external and the internal world so that your life is peaceful and calm.

Types of Yoga

Once you set on your search to excel at yoga you will find that there are different types. Not just one or two, instead, yoga is of 14 types, each with its own properties and benefits. Understanding all of them can be a task itself. So, which one do you try? In order to make a choice, you need to what the types are. Here are the 14 types of yoga, briefly described to help you on your journey.

Anusara

This type of yoga is often called the purest form of yoga. It was created by a person called John Friend. In Anusara people are not made to adapt to specific poses or difficult postures. Instead, students are allowed to embrace whatever position helps them express themselves through the poses with their fullest ability.

Ashtanga

This type includes 6 Hard and rigorous pose sequences that can try your body. It basically comprises of the primary series, secondary series, third series, etc. Each is introduced as the improvement is made, embracing higher degrees of difficulty with each advancing step. Ashtangis move quickly, flowing from one pose to another with each breath. Each group of poses which are connected together by a breath in the manner mentioned is called a vinyasa.

Bikram

That is probably the best kind of yoga and my favorite. People who like hot yoga will love Bikram as it has yoga exercise poses in a sauna-like room. Heat is raised up to practically 105 degrees and 40 percent humidity in typical Bikram classes. The Yoga can comprise of a series of 26 basic yoga postures, each performed two times.

Hatha

By description, hatha is a physical yoga exercise practice, which is just about all yoga you will discover in this part of the world. Among the six original branches of yoga exercises, "hatha" encompasses practically all sorts of modern types of yoga. Quite simply, hatha is the actual ice cream if styles like ashtanga and Bikram are the small chocolate chips or vanilla flavor on top. Today, classes referred to as "hatha" in studio rooms are usually a simple and classical method of yogic breathing and posture exercises.

Iyengar

That is the purist form of yoga and is named after creator B.K.S. Iyengar. Props like blocks, straps, harnesses, and incline planks are often employed to truly get you into the perfect positions and also is also where the style has acquired its nickname, "furniture yoga exercise." Befitting people of all ages and capabilities, Iyengar yoga is focused on precise positioning and deliberate sequencing. Don't think that is easy.

Jivamukti

This kind of yoga is a physical, limit-pushing practice that reintegrates yoga's traditional religious elements in an easy to learn way for Western experts. There is a special theme for every class, Sanskrit chanting, and referrals to early scripture. It was originally created by Sharon Gannon and David Life in 1984 in NEW YORK, jivamukti means "liberation while living."

Kripalu

Kripalu is a three-part practice that explains to access know, acknowledge, and study from the body. It begins with determining how your system works in several poses, then steps toward postures organized for a protracted time and deep breathing. After that it taps deep into the being to find spontaneous movement in asanas, permitting the body to be the instructor.

Kundalini

The practice of kundalini yoga exercise features a series of constantly moving, invigorating poses. The fluidity of the practice is supposed to release a special kind of kundalini (serpent) energy within you. Weren't aware you had any? Well, for an example you can consider a power supply, coiled just like a sleeping snake at the bottom, waiting to be tapped to awaken. The practice is similar and designed to awaken the energy inside you and push all of it through you.

Prenatal

This is a specialized yoga designed for pregnant women. It consists of Yoga postures carefully customized to help ladies in all periods of being pregnant, even those getting back condition post-birth. When you retain the strength in your muscle tissue throughout your term, they'll still have the energy and strength to recover after delivery.

Restorative

This yoga is for healing those people who are excessively tired or lack energy. It consists of less work, more leisure. You'll spend as much as 20 minutes each in only 4 or 5 simple poses (often they're alterations of standard asanas) using strategically located props like blankets, bolsters, and comforting lavender eye cushions to help you sink into profound relaxation. Additionally, there are psychic cleaning sessions as well: your brain is revamped, energized and refreshed so that you end up feeling completely new. It's something similar to group nap time for grownups. However, it's not just sleeping time either!

Sivananda

This kind of yoga follows leisurely yoga exercises that typically targets the same 12 basic asanas or versions thereof each time, constituting of sun salutations and savasana. The entire practice is a five-point regime that believes proper deep breathing, relaxation, good diet, exercise, and positive thinking interact to form a wholesome yogic lifestyle

Viniyoga

This kind of yoga is an extremely individualized practice where yogis figure out how to change poses and goals with their own needs and ability. Vini actually means differentiation, adapting to these differences and its application. Instead of concentrating on stretches to get flexible, viniyoga uses the rules of proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF). PNF simply means starting to warm up and contracting a muscle before stretching it. This reduces your potential for injury. The concept is often used in conventional types of exercises as well.

Vinyasa

A dynamic and athletic design of yoga designed from the original ashtanga system in the later 1980s for the pleasure of the aerobic-crazed Westerners. After having analyzed with Pattabhi Jois, Beryl Bender Birch and Bryan Kest concurrently pioneered this westernized ashtanga on the East and Western world coasts, respectively. This Power yoga doesn't adhere to the same collection of poses every time like ashtanga will, therefore the style varies depending on instructor. Classes that go by the name of "vinyasa" or "flow" in your fitness center or studio room can be significantly different but generally speaking stem out of this special movement and from ashtanga as well.

Yin

This is one of the quitter types of yoga. It is a meditative yoga practice which is also known as Taoist yoga exercises. Yin targets flexibility and helps the lengthening connective tissue and is intended to augment yang yoga--your muscle-forming Anusara, ashtanga, Iyengar. Yin poses are unaggressive, meaning you're likely to relax muscles and let gravity do the task. And they are long -- you'll practice perseverance here too.
All these different styles and modes of yoga are meant for different people and different conditions. Where they are all beneficial in one way or the other, it is important to consult experts to choose the best style that will yield the most benefit.

Health benefits of yoga

We all know that yoga helps provide a number of health benefits. Not only is it beneficial for the body, but it is also incredibly beneficial for your soul too. On a physical basis, yoga helps improve overall flexibility, durability, balance, and strength. For mood, yoga explains how to deal better with stress by cultivating a feeling of easiness in series of alternating energetic and calm poses. On the psychological level, yoga exercise really helps to cultivate mindfulness by allowing you to focus on the feelings, thoughts and connecting the dots to make better perspective out of the situation. Here are benefits of yoga explained in detail.

Emotional betterment

All yoga exercises are proven to help people with depression feel better. Many studies have found that yoga exercise can help people coping with depressive disorder, schizophrenia or other psychiatric conditions, as well as sleep issues. Training your brain through yoga exercise also results in higher serotonin levels, which is the happy hormone of our body and long-term studies have shown a higher concentration of this hormone in the area of the brain associated with happiness and content.

Treats Back Pain

Multiple studies have found yoga exercises to be always a far better treatment for back pain than conventional care. Studies suggest people coping with lower back pain had a much more improved function when taking regular yoga practice sessions than when taking conventional medicines for the pain. In another review of 80 people with back pain, the group that participated in only seven days of yoga demonstrated less impairment and greater overall flexibility than patients who completed other physical exercises. This proves that yoga is immensely beneficial for alleviating lower back pain.

Hangover Relief

After a nights drinking, yoga might be the last thing in your thoughts, however, experts suggest that it might be of immense benefit. Yoga supports metabolism and helps remove the buildup of toxins from the body. The different yoga poses focus on the thyroid gland and improve metabolism, thus eliminating a hangover faster. Reversing blood circulation and providing more blood to the mind helps remove the toxins from the brain and promote better nutrient delivery to help recover from the hangover. There are a number of good things about increased metabolism. Among many others, it can help get rid of fat and cellulite, helping you lose weight.

Cardioprotective effects

Yoga helps improve breathing and promotes a better circulation in the body. This helps to deliver a better oxygen supply to all the tissues especially the heart. Studies suggest that this results in better cardiac function and decreased risk of cardiac disease later on. This means that regular yoga can not only improve the current health status of your body, but it also has long-term effects that can improve cardiac performance and wellbeing,

Aids fertility

Fertility is a huge problem, especially for people who are overweight. Yoga can be the solution to this problem. Lately, couples have progressively turned to yoga exercises as a way of lessening stress and increasing their likelihood of conceiving. Studies suggest that yoga exercise benefits include boosting fertility. On one hand, it's been proven to reduce stress, on the other hand, it helps to induce a regular cycle. Both of these factors serve to ensure a regularity in the menstrual cycle which is more likely to lead to a successful pregnancy. Yoga allows the young mothers-to-be to relax, de-stress, and channel their inner energy in a way to enhance the likelihood of conception.

Yoga exercises also improve the blood circulation to reproductive body organs, enhancing body organ function and bettering hormone function. Plus, by minimizing stress, the chances of conception are raised by several folds.

Treats asthma

Asthma is a breathing disorder and as yoga consists of breathing exercises as a major part, it can help improve the condition. Breathing practice, known as pranayama, can be included in the yoga exercise, and such exercises have been proven to help reduce the symptoms of asthma. Incorporating the right breathing exercises in a calm environment can also help teach patients how to relax and actually prevent an asthma attack.

Fights joint disease

With regards to the benefits associated with different kinds of yoga, a report suggested that Iyengar yoga exercise, known because of its use of props like belts, blocks, and other setting aids, will help people with different kinds of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis.

This pilot research of eight people who had rheumatoid arthritis demonstrated a six-week yoga exercise plan produced significant improvement in pain impairment, mental health, mood, joint mobility and pain. Other styles of yoga will help joint disease symptoms, too. Arthritis is best treated with gentle activity and heating, so styles like Bikram or soft yoga can be very beneficial for treating the condition efficiently.

Better sleep cycles

According to an assessment article that viewed several complementary and alternative medicine approaches for treating insomnia, yoga exercises was one of the best approaches to get a good night's rest. When experiencing sleeping disorder, practice comforting asanas or postures, such as ahead fold (uttanasana) or laying on your backside with your toes up the wall can be great ways to aid the sleep cycle. The different positions can help with blood flow as well as soothing the body and, most of all, your brain.

Helps fight Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is a devastating disease of the nerves and can lead to crippling. The increased loss of muscle function, coordination, and other conditions that include multiple sclerosis can be infuriating and very troublesome. However, research suggests that yoga will help with MS by bettering both physical function and mental state. A study of men and women with multiple sclerosis discovered that half a year of weekly yoga classes decreased exhaustion to the same level as daily traditional exercise classes for half a year.

Improves memory

The benefits associated with yoga also extend to the human brain. Yoga helps remove unnecessary thoughts, and all the unnecessary clutter from the brain, clearing your mind and soothing your emotions. By minimizing mental stress and physical anxiety, you are able to recall easier and also have your thoughts better sorted out which improves recall. The increased cognitive function will always occur when you clear your heads and refresh and refresh it, which is what yoga does for you. When your brain is in a state of calm, you are able to perform your mental functions much better than when under stress or when exhausted.

Benefits in stress disorders

Stress disorders can be debilitating and any means of help should be availed to treat them. A study printed in the Journal of Traumatic Stress found yoga exercise is actually a beneficial adjunctive treatment for PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). The study found that patients who underwent regular yoga practice found significant improvement in their PTSD symptoms than patients who didn’t. This clearly indicates a valuable health benefit of your exercise, signifying the degree to which it can help the body, brain, and soul.

When to do Yoga exercises?

Now that you know the different types as well as the benefits of yoga, when should you do it? Well, many people think that there is no actual time for meditation and you can adjust it in your schedule as it suits you. However, there are special times, when yoga benefits your body to the maximum. It is at these times that your body is most receptive to the effects of this beneficial exercise.

The most effective time to do yoga is first thing each day before breakfast time. Upon waking, visit the loo to ensure that your bowels are empty, bath if you want, then commence your day with your chose series of yoga exercise and poses. Another time that you can do yoga is in the early night, around sunset.

However, this does not mean that these times are the only times in which you can practice yoga. Of course, convenience matters a lot. An hour of yoga at the time of your convenience is much better than no yoga at all.
Remember that yoga includes a number of factors, exercises, and beliefs. You need to apply all of them in your session in order to truly experience the benefits of yoga exercise. The timing is important, but the content of your yoga session is equally as important if not more.

Yoga exercise Positions (Asanas) may be attempted at any time of day except within 2-3 hours of ingesting a meal. You can do your regular when your body feels stiff, anxious, exhausted or hyped-up. In fact, doing yoga in these times will help ease the mental and physical pain and make you feel better.
Take note never to do way too many over-stimulating postures right before bedtime. Asanas are best used first in your yoga exercise routine, accompanied by inhaling and exhaling (Pranayama) and then yoga.

Pranayama may be employed any time of day except within 2-3 time after eating food. It might be done when anxious or worn out or when you don’t have enough space in the room to do proper postures. Pranayama is most beneficial practiced directly after asanas without breaking the circulation of consciousness. Pranayama is a required pre-requisite for successful breathing exercises.

Meditation may be achieved any time of day when you are feeling both awake and comfortable. For best results don't do yoga within 2-3 hours of ingesting food, when sleepy, nor when psychologically "hyped-up". The best results are availed when you are relaxed.

Yoga Nidra can be carried out any time of day, even immediately after meals if you do not drift off in the practice. Don't do Yoga Nidra when you are feeling worn out or sleepy. More will be gained if you are both awake and tranquil.

All of these different steps are sure to help you perform you perfectly. You may think that yoga is complicated. However, once you understand the exercise, it is very relaxing and can become an essential part of your daily life.

The many health benefits of yoga mentioned above are sure to help you realize the immense advantage of including it in your routine. Yoga can certainly be a solution to a number of problems and it can also prevent others before they even start.

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