Yoga is known to be a physical, mental, and spiritual discipline. This involves different kinds of practices wherein an individual is performing a linking exercise through body and breath synergism, with different lineups of movements, positions, breathing, and meditation.
Some people may have known yoga as those Asanas which may include different physical poses and postures that are being practiced during the performance of yoga. On the other hand, some perceive it as Sun Salutations which involves yoga positions with specific sequences.
However, yoga is not only limited to those common terms. There are a lot of varieties of yoga, where, at first, people might find it similar with each other but actually not.
Yoga is a form of exercise that can have positive spiritual health benefits
Aside from yoga’s fitness importance, its origin delves into a more profound metaphysical attributes. Its ancient practice sought to discover what was there in the mind and beyond it.
It desires to discover utopia through the union of the self with the spiritual world. Hence, deep meditation became one of the main characteristics of yoga.
Being in a positive spiritual state likewise helps your body systems function properly. They can be in the rejuvenating condition, when your body and mind subconsciously rest. Calmness and tranquility result to spiritual positive health.
Knowing the basic knowledge is important to grasp yoga’s benefits
It is important to know the basic knowledge about yoga to be able to learn its benefits and proper application of such. We all know some of the benefits of yoga, and doing such thing can make the person more mentally alert, happier, and healthier.
Also, according to Oxford University, engaging in yoga at least once a week can lessen stress, lowers blood pressure, and can help one to have a better sleep at night. Yoga can simply be used as meditating tool.
Moreover, according to National Institute of Health, yoga is proven as effective resistance for muscular issues especially to those people who are experiencing lower back pain. It can also help relieve asthma.
Common yoga terms
Yoga is one size fits all prepositions, wherein there are tons of different types of yoga. Some of the terminologies are as follows, among others:
- Tantra Yoga
- Power Yoga
- Hatha Yoga
- Bhakti Yoga
- Karma Yoga
- Raja Yoga
- Vinyasa Yoga
- Mantha Yoga
- Laya Yoga
All will be discussed one by one on the next succeeding paragraphs.
Aside from the above-mentioned terminologies, some of the most known yoga in our country are first, the Pranayama, which simply means as “focus on deep breathing and gentle stretching”.
Anyone can try Pranayama. Next, the Sun Salutation which is also known as the “beginners yoga sequence”.
Now, let us discuss each one of the above-mentioned yoga types.
TANTRA YOGA | Tantric Yoga Poses
Tantra simply means “to use energies to make things possible to happen.”
Some people says that this yoga relates to relationship between the shishya (spiritual guide who is enlightening disciplines through oral teachings) and Guru (a spiritual teacher) that may be intimate and sacred.
Others surprisingly considered it as manifestation of sexual union.
However, it is not as assumed by many. In tantra, the aspect to grow is the most fundamental one, hence, to have a spiritual sanction and authority for their sexuality. The main benefits of this mainly focuses on mental and physical levels of the person.
It may provide mental clarity that can help the person to stay focus and clear his or her state of mind. One of the most effective technique is the cobra breath. It helps to accurately reflect a person’s action to their mental capacity.
Similarly, it awakens the spiritual side of an individual, and it increases the flexibility which is effective in relieving stress. For other people, they find this yoga exercise helpful in enhancing their sex life.
It offers an energy building capacity which makes a stronger, intense, and longer lasting orgasms. Sexual yoga was seen as one way of producing a blissful expansion of consciousness that could lead to liberation.
POWER YOGA | Power Yoga Workout
Power yoga is also known as the vinsaya-style yoga, which originated in America in the 90s. Some of the postures are the following:
- Front Tilt Forward [Uttanasana]
- Energy Pose [Utkatasana]
- Dog Face Down [Adha Mukha Schwanasana]
- Pose War [Virabhadrasana]
- Low Lunge Forward Position [Adjaneyasana]
These can benefit primarily the cardiovascular system of an individual. Among its positive consequences are:
- It strengthens the heart and lungs
- It helps lower the blood pressure
- It improves cholesterol levels
- It controls blood sugar level
- It builds stronger bones as well as muscles
- It boosts energy levels
- It helps weight loss
- It can even help you sleep better at night
HATHA YOGA | Hatha Yoga Sequencing
Hatha yoga is known as the type of yoga where force is being applied to physical techniques. It helps relieve pain either physical, environmental, or spiritual. It is known as “the yoga of discipline and self-control”.
Some of the most common techniques in Hatha Yoga are downward-facing dog and standing forward bend. Some of its benefits are, among others:
- It reduces stress
- It reduces depression symptoms
- It increases muscles and joints flexibilities
Hatha yoga’s general framework sequence, irrespective of duration level, begins with the physical aspect, otherwise termed as the postures. These body motion and movements succinctly yet positively prepare us for the more sublime breathing strategies and flow of energy.
The peacefulness that we experience from proper air inhalation and exhalation, coupled with energy flow, in the process, leads us to deeper meditative state.
It is axiomatic in the practice of hatha yoga to suggestively start with the standing poses, then warrior poses, afterwards gate and tree poses. Thereafter, positioning below to the kneel poses i.e. ‘cow and cat’ and downward-facing dog.
Concomitantly following is the seated poses. Among them, the ‘bound angle’ and ‘cow face’ poses – and, lest we fail to mention, the ‘crane’ and ‘peacock’ postures! Thereupon, we no go to the lying down poses. These will now be the ‘cobra’ and ‘sphinx’, although they are somewhat the same.
At last! The savasana! Enjoy your ‘corpse’ [resting] pose; you have made it!
Bhakti yoga is also known in its literal meaning as “to adore or worship God”. From the meaning itself, this method primarily focuses on attaining God through love and loving recollection to God. To practice this yoga, these steps must be followed:
- Listen to inspiring divine stories.
- Sing God’s glories.
- Remembrance of His name and presence in prayers.
- Service with humility.
- Cultivate the feeling of being a servant of God.
- Cultivate feelings of friendship for God.
- Complete self-surrender.
- This is a yoga of devotion, and it involves personal relationship with God.
Karma yoga or also knows as karma marga literally means “yoga of action”. The main characteristics and benefits of this is: it can help someone to have unwavering faith in himself.
The person’s patience and perseverance are being prolonged. It helps to have a simple lifestyle, to have a balanced and cool mid with all the senses under command. The most essential is the person being discharged from greed, anger, egoism, and lust.
According to Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita, Karma yoga is the spiritual practice of “selfless action performed for the benefit of others”. James G. Lochtefeld (2002). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism: A-M. The Rosen Publishing Group. p. 352. ISBN 978-0-8239-3179-8. Jeffrey Brodd (2009). World Religions: A Voyage of … Continue reading Karma yoga is also one of those yoga that mainly focuses on spiritual development.
In karma yoga, selfless action is the practice, wherein, it forms a prayer and connection with the Divine. It is important in practicing karma yoga to fully accept one’s duty in life to be able to absolutely surrender selfish desires.
RAJA YOGA | Raja Yoga Practice
Raja yoga literally means royal path. Raja means king or royal. This is known as yoga of mind and body control. It mainly focuses on meditation. There are eight limbs of raja yoga, they are the following:
Yamas – this is classified to five social observances, the ashimsa (non-violence), satya (truthfulness), asteya (non-stealing), brahmacharya (celibacy or fidelity), and aparigraha (non-possessiveness).
Niyamas– this is classified to five moral observances, the saucha (purity), santosha (contentment), tapas (self-discipline), svadhyaya (self-study), and ishvarapranidhana (devotion or surrender).
Asana– yoga postures.
Pranayama– breathing techniques as a means of controlling prana (vital life force energy).
Pratyahara– Withdrawal of the senses.
Samadhi– Enlightenment or bliss.
The main purpose of these eight limbs is to offer a systematic approach in terms of calming the mind of an individual and finding liberation from suffering.
Raja yoga primarily focuses in transcending identification with the body-mind-intellect complex to be able to understand the nature of the true being, either physically, emotionally, or spiritually.
Raja yoga is considered as one of the easiest forms of yoga to perform, as it does not require any rituals or mantras and can be practiced anywhere at any time.
It is a yoga practice that is versatile, simple, and easy to execute. The primary benefit of this is to maintain self’s momentum, where one’s attention is taken away from the present moment and true nature of reality.
Vinyasa yoga are stringing postures wherein a person is moving from one to another, seamlessly, using breath. It is also known as flow yoga in such as way that it helps develop a much more balanced body.
It usually refers to classical yoga, where specific parameters such as steadiness (Sthira), comfort (Sukha), and smooth and long breathing (prayatna sithila) are involved.
Vinyasa literally means “to place” (nyasa) and “in special way” (vi), with this, it simply means the body is not just being thrown away, but it brings consciousness to each movement in each moment.
The characteristics of vinyasa flow are the following:
- It connects one posture to the next one using the breath it is also known as the linking or flowing and this is where the flow yoga was originated.
- The transitions are the connection of one posture to another and they are the in-between part.
- It is synonymous with movement. Even the person is composed, Vinyasa is still present through the beat of the heart and through the inhale and exhale of the breath.
- It is also a breath synchronized practice as breath is the initiator of the movement.
- The breathing technique involved in Vinyasa is called “Ujjayi Breath”.
Yoga can be fun. It is challenging and everyone it encouraged to explore new poses. Yoga can also be used as bonding activity with friends.
- to stimulates creativity
- to have a perfect posture
- to prevent cartilage and joint breakdowns
- to lower blood pressure and blood sugar
- to sleep better at night
- to boost immune system
The above-discussed are some of the yoga activities that are usually practiced in our country. They are different as to its performance and concepts but all are helpful to our body.