Yoga - stress management and relaxationYoga what is that?
Yoga is an Indian practice that combines certain types of behavior, physical and breathing exercises and meditation. For about 7,000 years, people in India have tried to influence body, breath, mind and soul through this sport in such a way that they work together harmoniously.
While the Indian origins are spiritual in nature and people there are looking for enlightenment, today an increasing number of people all over the world practice yoga to strengthen the body and consciously relax. The practice focuses on muscle (asanas) and breathing exercises (pranayamas). In the asanas, the muscles are tensed and relaxed in harmony with the rhythm of the breath. In this way they strengthen the tissue and have a balancing effect on the practitioner. The breathing exercises in turn stimulate the self-purifying energies and the metabolism. Common to all exercises is the close interaction of body, mind and soul. Thus, the exercises strengthen the consciousness as well as the perception of inner processes and directly influence posture, flexibility and strength.
Especially popular to practice and live yoga are the so-called yoga retreats. These can be experienced very traditionally and originally in various establishments in India. This experience is definitely worth a trip! However, the yoga retreat has also become part of our western culture and is often offered through yoga in wellness hotels. A yoga retreat lasts several days or even weeks. During the whole time the guest is looked after by a qualified trainer. In several daily yoga sessions, the guest can recharge their batteries, learn a lot of new things about yoga as well as about themselves and can of course significantly improve in reaching personal goals and optimizing the body awareness.
If you want to start out smaller, you also can practice yoga almost everywhere in everyday life. In addition to the offer in gyms, more and more own yoga studios are being opened, which bring this philosophy of relaxation closer to you through suitable facilities and seminars. Here you have the choice from the many different approaches: The relaxing Hatha Yoga, the physically demanding Ashtanga or Vinyasa Yoga, Kundalini Yoga with the focus on chakras and Bikram Yoga, which is performed in particularly warm temperatures, or Aerial Yoga, which is actually practiced above the floor in floating cloths - all of these are available in many different styles - just to name a few possible ways.
Yoga – what do I need?
There are many yoga accessories. The yoga mat should always be with you. Since many of the exercises are performed on the floor, you need a comfortable mat that also helps to protect joints like the knee. In terms of clothing, real yogis prefer to wear comfortable yoga leggings and tight sport tops. The tighter the clothing, the better the coach can see possible misalignments when performing the exercises and correct them. Classically, yoga is also practiced barefoot. There are also a variety of aids that can make some asanas easier or help with stretching. Examples are the yoga blocks for relief, yoga belts for more intensive stretching and yoga rolls for fascia work and stretching. Yoga is usually performed accompanied by music. Therefore, the right choice of music with relaxing sounds is essential for the right Yoga atmosphere. To really reach all senses, many trainers also use special scented oils at the end of the workout. The oils are opened for the relaxation phase so that they fill the room. Some trainers even apply a few drops to the temples of the participants. Depending on the scent, these create a very special atmosphere in the room and help to clear the mind and relax the soul. Most yoga sessions are concluded with the so-called "Shavasana" and the obligatory "Om", which is spoken by all participants together. Shavasana" is a relaxation exercise in which every muscle and every part of the body is consciously released and relaxed.
Types of Yoga
From the long tradition of yoga as well as from the yoga boom of the last few years, a multitude of different types and schools of yoga have emerged. These schools all place different emphasis on the individual components of yoga. Probably the most frequently practiced form in the West - and at the same time the basis of most modern types of yoga - is Hatha Yoga, which combines all the physical forms of yoga into one.
Other styles of yoga:
- Anti-Gravity Yoga / Aerial Yoga
- Ashtanga yoga
- Bikram Yoga
- Iyengar yoga
- Jivamukti Yoga
- Jnana yoga
- luna yoga
- Sivananda Yoga
- yin yoga
- Yoga of Silence
Why Yoga is Good for You
With a focus on health, yoga is used for many different purposes: To strengthen the body in case of complaints such as back and posture problems, to strengthen muscles, ligaments and joints, to improve mobility, blood circulation and to stimulate the cardiovascular system. Yoga is also widely used as a relaxation technique. Frequently you will also find individual yoga styles that are specifically designed for certain complaints or requirements, for example "Yoga for the back" or "Yoga for pregnant women". So as you can see, yoga is incredibly healthy and something for everyone. No matter if young or old, man or woman, beginner or advanced - with yoga everyone gets the chance to find themselves and to work actively on their own body and mind. Try it and you will be amazed!