Is Yoga Right For You?
- Julie Adams
When you hear the word yoga, what do you think of? A religion? A cult? Exercise?
Well, one of those is true. But yoga is so much more. Many people think yoga is a religion and choose not to practice, but it is a way of life. Yoga means 'to yoke', or 'union of mind, body and spirit'. It has been around for about 5,000 years and has evolved into a multi million dollar business. Yoga has ancient texts that tell us its deep history, mystery, philosophy, physical movement, control of breath and meditation.
Yoga has been practiced by many people over the years and is connected to many ancient religions like Jainism and Hinduism...as to say, the monks and others that were devoted to those religions also practiced yoga. You can practice yoga strictly as an exercise (with breath preferably for the most benefit) or bring in your personal beliefs to practice the mind/spirit part of yoga.
Yoga started out as mostly sitting in meditation and controlling the breathing with adding movement later. Along with disciplined meditation, they also practiced body purity, and other disciplined “ways of life” such as controlling the breath, nonviolence, non stealing, truthfulness, and more. Later, in the 20th century, European ideas of wrestling and gymnastics merged with the practitioners of yoga sent there to spread the word, so to speak. A BRIEF HISTORY
There are many different styles of yoga. As mentioned, meditation and breath were foremost, then movement (the poses or asanas) came into play. We, as people, have many different personalities and thus yoga turned into many different “personalities” as well.
When movement started to become prevalent, yoga was called HATHA YOGA. All the basic movements along with the control of the breath. Then B.K.S. Iyengar developed IYENGAR YOGA where form was important along with using props to help you achieve the best form. There was also K. Pattabhi Jois and ASHTANGA YOGA, a physically demanding style that has specific poses for every class. VINYASA and POWER YOGA which are also very physical, contain the same poses but the specificity changes with each class along with including the breath with movement.
There is also YIN YOGA, a more restorative (there is also restorative yoga) style where you hold the poses longer and really work on loosening up the fascia in your body. A really popular style of yoga today is HOT YOGA. Many millennials, Gen X, Gen Z, are dedicated to this particular style as a good way to get a whole body workout. The hotter than the normal temperature and movement is usually a varied flow. Its benefits include better flexibility, increases bone density, burns more calories, reduces stress just to name a few.
But, yoga today is also accessible to all people. There are a lot of classes out there that are for all levels, and classes that are available to people with varying abilities. There is even CHAIR YOGA. There are 18 million baby boomers and older Americans embracing yoga, and well they should. It has so many benefits as we age. Strength, flexibility, stress relief, and overall well-being. It is also mostly low impact with high return.
Here is a LIST of other styles which you can explore. You will surely find one to your liking. The only one they don’t have on the list is goat yoga LOL.
Hometown Pharmacy has many products for your yoga practice. We carry mats, blocks, straps, and apparel. We also have essential oils, incense, and other products to help with relaxation, and meditation. Come on in today to see what you can find to help get you started on your own journey.
Personally, yoga has changed my life and I have just completed my yoga teacher training. I feel I can help others benefit the way I have. I am more calm, I am more kind, I am more compassionate, and this includes to others as well as to myself. I embarked on a 6 month journey deep into the history, philosophy, physical poses, breath, and meditation (and more) of yoga. Not only did I learn a lot, my body changed into a strong, flexible, less stressful one. I also formed many friendships with like-minded folks.
I am a little biased, but I feel everyone can benefit from yoga. You make your practice your own. If you want something slower paced, take a Yin class. If you want something faster paced, more challenging, take a Power Flow class. So many benefits. But you need to stick with it for a bit to truly feel its benefits although you will feel the benefits of stress relief and relaxation right away. Take a chance. Your body, mind, and spirit will thank you! Attached is a 30 minute beginner’s class for you to take if you’d like. BEGINNING YOGA CLASS
The views expressed in this article/blog post reflect those of the author and are intended for educational purposes only. This information should not take the place of medical advice. Hometown Pharmacy Partnerships (HPP) and any organization with a business relationship with HPP are not responsible for the outcome of any decision made based on the information presented in this article/blog post. Please check with your health care provider(s) prior to starting any new dietary, movement and/or wellness strategies.
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Julie Adams is a gift buyer and merchandiser for Hometown Pharmacy and enjoys helping customers find unique items and gourmet items to make gift giving extra special. Stop by one of our stores and learn more about our many locally sourced products!