Is Yoga for me ?
“ – Yoga? Nah, it’s not for me; too slow, tedious and monotonous;”
“ – When working out, I need to sweat a lot and let off steam, you know? My problem with yoga is that it lacks excitement;”
“ – It’s the spiritual depth to yoga that puts me off. The atmosphere and the music during the classes make me feel a little uncomfortable.”
I’ve been practising yoga for a while now. I started when I was 15 and despite few breaks throughout the time, I’m always coming back and enjoy greatly the classes. I’d even dare to say that I couldn’t imagine my life without yoga. Yes, I’d had a dubious pleasure of attending classes that are boring, repetitive and had some suspiciously mystical qualities. Luckily, I didn’t give up and gave myself – and yoga – few more chances.
With a decade of experience in the field, having practised many different yoga forms with different teachers in different locations, the chances are I may have already gained some insight – and I’m genuinely delighted to share my impressions with you.
What has recently struck me when I was talking about yoga with my peers is that they hold somewhat negative image of the practice. Above is just a sample of stereotypes that usually reoccur when yoga comes up in a discussion. To be honest, these guys cannot be more wrong. Except for me, many, many celebrities have sworn by yoga. From Victoria’s Secret Angels (Alessandra Ambrosio), Hollywood stars (Julia Roberts, Gwyneth Paltrow, Nicole Kidman) to Madonna the Queen, they rock the yoga scene regularly.
What’s so special about yoga? For around 5,000 years, this Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline is widely worked out for health and relaxation purposes. Through deep breathing, meditation, strengthening and stretching poses, yogis and yoginis achieve inner peace and toned body. The yoga widely known in the Western culture is based on hatha yoga that combines breathing with a series of basic positions and simple movements. Yet, more than 100 forms of yoga are distinguished – from fast-paced and intense to calmer and more relaxing varieties.
Vinyasa includes a set of poses that flow smoothly into one another, whereas power yoga is a faster and more intense practice that is focused on building muscle. In Ashtanga, a series of poses are combined with a special breathing technique.
So-called ‘hot yoga,’ is performed in a room heated to a high temperature and includes 26 difficult positions – lots of sweat is guaranteed here.
Relatively recently developed variations are AcroYoga that combines yoga with some acrobatics and Strala Yoga created by Tara Stiles. A New York- based model, drawing on her background in ballet and long-time experience in yoga, proposed an approach that advances a freedom flow that gets people radiantly healthy, free and creative. Strala Yoga is the latest craze among the yogis and yoginis worldwide.
Regardless of which form appeals to you the most, yoga is a great choice if you look for a holistic approach to mind and body strength. In addition to losing weight and building muscle tone, regular practice improves well-being and gives you peace of mind. Also, it perfects your posture and protects the spine. Your immune system functionality will boost. Yoga helps you sleep better as well. If you’re suffering from back problems, chronic pain, depression, digestion problems, high blood pressure arthritis or migraines, you should try yoga asap. And above all, it’s been scientifically proven that yoga simply makes you happy!
You don’t have to go to India to discover the healing power of yoga – or to find your inner yogini. On the Internet, you can easily find quizzes that will determine your yoga personality or will help you with reaching the initial decision which form suits you best to start with. Nevertheless, I highly recommend trying as many different yoga forms as possible. If you’re lost where to start from check it using one of the available quiz.
Ps. Have I mentioned that yoga would also boost your sexual performance? Studies have found: 12 weeks of yoga improve sexual desire, arousal, confidence, orgasm and satisfaction for both men and women.