It’s wonderful to work out, lose weight and tone up, but yoga is so much more than a great workout.
Yoga means union. It is a state of being in the present, focusing on the here and now. It’s a path to self-discovery, fine-tuned awareness, and unification of the mind, body, and soul. Yes, it is a series of postures that make you sweat and burn calories, but more than that, it is a way to escape the restrictions of the mind and the limitations we put on ourselves.
Many people think yoga is part of a religion– particularly Hinduism. It is not a part of any religion. It is more science through which we can restore the balance of our emotional well being and of course, our fitness. Through regular practice, you’ll begin to notice subtle transformations in how you feel. Yoga is not competitive or goal-oriented. Even when you’re in a class full of people, it remains a personal practice. It is a time for you to go inward, staying with your breath, and move through the flow of postures, going only as far as feels good for you.
Practicing yoga dates back many many years ago. Back in time, it was not just a method of teaching, it was a way of life. It was a certain lifestyle that surpassed meditation techniques and included good eating habits, bathing habits, social interaction, and work. Since then yoga has been practiced all across the world and many people have reaped the benefits of it.
Find some time, light a candle, grab a mat and try these exercises :
Stand tall with feet together, shoulders relaxed, weight evenly distributed through your soles, arms at sides. Take a deep breath and raise your hands overhead, palms facing each other with arms straight. Reach up toward the sky with your fingertips.
Start on all fours with hands directly under shoulders, knees under hips. Walk hands a few inches forward and spread fingers wide, pressing palms into mat. Curl toes under and slowly press hips toward ceiling, bringing your body into an inverted V, pressing shoulders away from ears. Feet should be hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold for 3 full breaths.
Lie on the floor with knees bent and directly over heels. Place arms at sides, palms down. Exhale, then press feet into the floor as you lift hips. Clasp hands under lower back and press arms down, lifting hips until thighs are parallel to the floor, bringing chest toward chin. Hold for 1 minute.
Sit up comfortably on your heels. Roll your torso forward, bringing your forehead to rest on the bed in front of you. Lower your chest as close to your knees as you comfortably can, extending your arms in front of you. Hold the pose and breathe.