Though It is known by many in the west as a physical practice that involves various types of shape poses known as asanas.
Yoga is a primarily energetic and spiritual practice that can include physical poses, breath, meditation, and mindfulness techniques. If you’ve ever been curious about starting a yoga practice this article is for you!
Read on for a brief introduction to yoga and how it might help you.
In this article, we will cover:
- What is yoga?
- Different types of yoga
- Benefits of yoga
- Is yoga right for you?
- Tips for starting a yoga practice
- Tips for creating your yoga space
- Choosing the best type of yoga mat
Let’s dive right in!
What is yoga?
Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word Yuj which means “to yoke” or “to unite”.
Yoga can be interpreted as the union between the mind, body, and soul.
Yoga can involve one or all of the following: breathwork, meditation, relaxation techniques, and body poses.
Yoga class can feel like a philosophy class with poses sprinkled in. That’s because yoga is about the mind-body connection. Yoga can help calm your nervous system during stressful times.
Yoga dates back to 5000 years ago in the mountain tops of India. Nowadays it has shifted to the modern-day accessible and physical yoga practices we know today.
Different types of yoga
Though there are various types of yoga, here are some of the most popular types you might have seen or heard of.
- Hatha yoga: Yoga with physical poses that tends to be gentle and beginner friendly as it doesn’t involve control of the breath.
- Iyengar Yoga: Alignment-based yoga based on Mr. BKS Iyengar’s teachings who popularized yoga in the west.
- Kundalini yoga: Spiritual tantra yoga based on kriya poses, chanting, meditation, pranayama, and kriyas.
- Vinyasa Yoga: The most popular form of yoga that emphasizes synchronized movements with breath that include, “vinyasas” and sun salutations.
- Restorative Yoga: A beginner-friendly style of yoga that is generally floor-based, utilizing long holds and stillness to help the body and mind relax.
Benefits of Yoga
- Induces feelings of relaxation of calms the nervous system
- Reduces levels of depression, anxiety, and stress
- Increased flexibility and protection from injury
- Increased muscle strength and tone.
- Improved respiration, energy, and vitality.
- Weight reduction.
- Improved blood flow and circulation
Is Yoga Right For You?
When you’re new to yoga, it can feel intimidating to know exactly where and how to get started but it doesn’t have to be.
Contrary to popular belief, yoga is completely beginner friendly and does not require being flexible or even in shape.
Yoga is for anyone trying to find better ways to cope with the stressors of life. If you are wanting to improve your quality of life and looking to cultivate a better relationship with yourself- yoga is for you.
Tips For Starting Your Yoga Practice
- Start with ahome yoga practice.
- Show up in whatever way feels most accessible whether that’s gentle neck rolls or a mindful moment while washing your hands.
- Use a clean nonslip yoga mat
- Begin where you are and go slow.
Tips For Creating Your Yoga Space
- Finding the right yoga space can require some trial and error so play around with different areas in your home.
- The most important thing is that it is clean.
- It should be a minimum yoga mat length of space especially for extending the arms/ legs.
Choosing The Best Type Of Yoga Mat
Yoga is typically performed barefoot on a sticky yoga mat. Yoga poses require space so you can stretch and move freely with your body.
A standard yoga mat is great for starting out but if you are looking to start your yoga practice with a friend or significant other, an extra large yoga mat is a great option for optimized room to stretch out, sweat, and sink deeper in their poses.
Whether you are meditating or taking a virtual yoga class, we believe an oversized mat is the best type for your at-home yoga and workout routine.
We highly recommend the GXMMAT large yoga mat which is barefoot and pet friendly.
It provides amazing cushion support and is long/wide enough so you can move freely without touching the floor. It's a durable mat that we are proud can last the test of time.
Regardless of the mat and space you choose, a yoga practice can be cultivated simply by taking 1 deep conscious breath. Remember to stay open and take it one step at a time.