What is Yoga?
Yoga has been around for perhaps 2000 years, it consists of a series of poses which are known as asanas, the poses are designed to stretch and strengthen the body, but yoga practitioners will tell you it is far more than that. Practitioners of yoga in North Jersey say the most compelling reason they do it is the holistic outlook it takes; working the body, the mind and the spirit. There are many different forms of yoga being practiced, they all have differing poses and breathing as well as philosophy. Here are a few of the most common types although yoga has over the years evolved in many different variations, some of which are based strictly on the teachers habits and thinking.
Hatha: This is one of the most popular forms of yoga and has been taught for many years. Hatha focuses on perfecting the body by way of perfecting the mind. Many poses, meditations and breathing techniques are used.
Ashtanga: Another very popular type of yoga, this style is performed at a much faster pace than other schools and can almost be considered as a form of aerobics where quick, very smooth transitions between moves are studied.
Kundalini: This type of yoga is represented by a coiled snake; it focuses on awaking what practitioners call the kundalini energy which is comparable to a life energy that is dormant in the body until awakened.
Mantra: Mantra yoga in North Jersey focuses on calming the body and mind through the effective use of sounds and words. The “om” chant is well known and is commonly used in this type of yoga.
Tantra: This type of yoga focuses on sexual spirituality and is another way of awakening kundalini energy.
Hot yoga: Any yoga that is practiced in a room with a temperature in excess of 105 degrees F is considered “hot yoga”. In most cases hot yoga favors a flowing style where the student goes through a series of well defined, linked poses.
Other than Bikram yoga; a form of hot yoga which was pioneered in the early 1970s, no one really knows the origin of yoga but it is thought that the practice started in India. Regardless of the school of yoga you practice both young and old can benefit and the poses can be easily adjusted by the instructor to compliment the physical abilities of the practitioner. Yoga is ideal for those who wish both physical and spiritual well being.