Here are answers to few questions that come up in your yoga practice and study!
1. What is yoga?
Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India. It includes breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, widely practiced for health and relaxation.
Yoga is not a religion. It is a science, science of well-being, science of youthfulness, science of integrating body, mind and soul.
2. How do I know which style of yoga to choose?
While there are numerous styles of yoga, each aims to achieve this state of well-being in its own unique way. Some emphasize deep breathing, others focus on meditation, and one in particular on an extremely hot room temperature, while others focus purely on pose.
Decide your style from different variations of yoga- hatha, ashtanga, power, etc considering your reasons for practicing.
Read my article: New to yoga? Here’s what you need to know .
3. Should I be worried if the poses hurt?
You should never do anything that hurts. Of course, you are going to exercise your body, so you will feel your muscles stretching. This can sometimes be a bit painful, but that generally feels like a good pain- the ache of exertion, not the warning pain of injury. So if you feel a sharp or pinching pain, ease off.
Yoga is not about touching your toes. It is what you learn on the way down.
When your body tells you to stop, listen to it!
4. Will I lose weight?
If you want to lose weight in yoga class, then you are going to have to be in a class that challenges you. You have to make sure that your heart is going to beat faster.
There’s all different levels of yoga. There is yoga that’s meant for the mind, and there’s power yoga that’s more of an exercise. You’ve got to be sure that you’re doing something more than just a mind experience with relaxing stretches, if you want to lose weight.
5. Why should I do yoga over strength training?
Yoga and strength training are both great exercise programs. Your choice will depend on your goals. If it is to get stronger, both can increase your strength. Yoga uses body weight and gravity as its resistance. This can be a limitation in strength gain because you are not able to add more weight to the yoga positions greater than your body weight. If improved flexibility is your goal, then yoga it is. If all you’re looking to do is build muscle, strength training is the more practical approach.
6. How long should I hold a yoga pose to gain all the benefits?
The pose actually begins when you want to get out of it.
On a general basis, you need to hold the yoga poses for about 10-12 breaths. With practice, you can also go up to 30 breaths. It will help you hold the pose for around 3 minutes.
7. I am not flexible. Can I do yoga?
All those mind-boggling Instagram photos of people in twisted poses is enough to leave anyone feeling like they’re not flexible enough for yoga.
If your flexibility is a concern that is holding you back from yoga, it’s important to note that with regular practice, yoga will dramatically improve your flexibility.
Yoga is not for the flexible. It’s for the willing.
With consistency and dedication, you will likely find that the yoga poses that once seemed impossible soon become well within your reach.
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