We Know: All About Yoga

What is yoga?

The word, "yoga" means "union" in Indian. It is a Hindu practice that helps to balance the mind and body through a series of poses and breathing exercises. The meditative quality of yoga has been shown to reduce stress in practitioners. Now, people from all over the world practice yoga to achieve a greater mind/body connection, regardless of their spiritual beliefs.

What are some of the benefits of doing yoga?

Yoga has numerous benefits, including:

  • Increasing ability to control autonomic functions like breathing, heart rate and temperature.
  • Acting as an effective asthma treatment.
  • Lowering blood pressure.
  • Relieving pain caused by arthritis.
  • Improving mental performance.
  • Increasing sense of wellbeing.
  • Reducing stress levels.

What does yoga involve?

  • Asanas: These are the actual physical positions and postures taken to help balance the body and increase energy flow.
  • Pranayama: These are different breathing techniques that help bring a sense of inner peace to the practitioner.
  • Dyana: This is yogic meditation, which is a practice for improving mental faculties. The goal of the practice is to clear the mind of multiple thoughts and mastering the ability to hold a single thought.

Who should not do yoga?

Just about anyone can do yoga. There are modifications available for those with injuries and limited mobility and it can even help your body heal itself quicker. For those just starting out in the world of yoga, consult your doctor. With firm medical advice in hand you'll be better able to pick and choose the right yoga class for you.

How can I learn yoga?

Yoga can be learned through both in-person instruction and video instruction. Each method has its benefits. Going to a class will ensure you are doing each pose properly and learning the breathing techniques correctly, whereas learning from a video leaves room for interpretation. However, using video classes can be convenient and allow you to relax more in your home, while learning this ancient art.

Here are some great videos to help you test the waters.

  • A.M. and P.M. Yoga for Beginners
  • Basic Yoga Workout for Dummies
  • Yoga Zone-Conditioning and Stress Release (Beginners)

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