An Introductory Overview Of Yoga
Where Did Yoga Originate?Many scholars say that evidence of the practice of yoga can be traced back to 1,000 B.C. However, seals uncovered at Indus Valley Civilization (in Pakistan and India) have revealed figures in yoga positions. These seals depict a civilization that dates back to 3,300 B.C. Despite these findings the precise birthdate of yoga is unknown. Many experts and Hindu scholars say that a sage named Patanjali officially created a system for yoga in his Yoga Sutras in A.D. 150. Today, Patanjali is widely-regarded as the founder of yoga and its belief system.
Why Do People Practice Yoga?There are a few reasons why people practice yoga. First, as mentioned, we live much busier lives today. For many yoga enthusiasts, it's a way to find a center of peace in an otherwise turbulent day. Other people enjoy yoga for its connection to meditation. Still others perform yoga in pursuit of spirituality. Some have referred to this spirituality as seeking to build a relationship with the "Divine," a broad euphemism that is often taken to mean nature.
Many yoga enthusiasts take the spirituality one step further. For them, yoga is a means to allow your soul to commune with God through nature. Ultimately, there are many reasons why people practice yoga. Each person has a different perspective on yoga's philosophy.
Physical Benefits Of YogaYoga asanas (or poses) provide several physical benefits for your body. Those who practice yoga regularly claim that it can help clear the body of blockages that impact your health over time. The variety of asanas also helps to alleviate stiffness throughout your body. While most yoga aficionados discourage people from practicing merely for the physical benefits, yoga can also help a person lose weight, become more flexible and help develop a stronger back with better posture.
Different Types Of YogaMany different styles of yoga are taught today. Most of them have very similar asanas but emphasize different elements of the underlying philosophy. For example, while the Hatha style is gentle and slow, the Vinyasa style is more forceful and energetic. Other yoga styles include Ashtanga, Iyengar, Kundalini, Bikram (or Hot Yoga), Anusara, Jivamukti, Forrest, Integral and Sivananda. The type of yoga you choose to practice should be based upon which emphasis of the styles is most important to you personally.
Enjoying The Spirituality Of Yoga
Most people who begin practicing yoga become devoted to it. Not only are they able to enjoy the physical benefits of yoga, but their devotion to it often yields a spiritual connectedness that was lacking in their lives. If you've been considering yoga, it's easy to get started. All you need is a yoga mat, some instruction (from a teacher, video, or book) and some time to yourself. You may find yoga is the perfect solution to an otherwise hard-to-manage life.