The history of yoga has more than one thousand years. For centuries it was known in ancient India, but today people all over the world consider it one of the most beneficial practices for body and soul. However, quite a large number of people have a misconception about yoga.
What is yoga
Yoga helps a person to strengthen the body and cope with stress more easily. The word itself, translated from Sanskrit, means “union, unity”, implying a complex of techniques for the harmony of spirit and body. The ancient Indian sages believed that the systems of the human body are interconnected, and if the soul experiences any problems, then they lead to diseases of the body. Therefore, the goal of yoga is to help a person find a harmony of three principles – physical, mental, and spiritual.
What you need to know about the basic principles of yoga
Yoga helps people to release the accumulated tension and learn to better manage their thoughts and emotions. In addition, regular practitioners gradually lose weight, strengthen muscles, gain more energy, and improve performance. Those who practice a few hours a week also report an increase in self-confidence and self-esteem. Yoga lessons attract not only women, as is commonly believed, but also men.
Despite the widespread dissemination of information, the practice of yoga is shrouded in myth and misconception. Most often, their reason is a lack of desire to learn more. The deeper a person immerses himself in real practice, the more information he receives.
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Myths and misconceptions about yoga practice
Although the benefits of yoga lessons for the body are not questioned, some people still have the wrong idea about them. Misconceptions are based on the following statements:
- Yoga practice is passive and relaxed contemplation. In fact, there are many techniques and schools that do not imply passive contemplation, but, on the contrary, perform fairly intense exercises. In the classroom, people not only relax but also move a lot;
- Men are not interested in yoga practice. There is a perception that calm music, incense, asanas, and meditation are not the most suitable practices for men. But there are many strength exercises, and they require a lot of energy to do.
- Practices can be successful only in a calm environment – on the seashore or in the forest, but not in a noisy metropolis. In fact, a person’s ability to focus on his feelings and the inner world does not depend on his environment, although in conditions of absolute silence it is much easier to concentrate.
- The asanas are too difficult to do. This statement does not correspond to reality, since no one expects difficult poses from a beginner – the practice starts with a simple one and gradually becomes more difficult. The skills that many could see on TV performed by experienced yoga practitioners are achieved over many years of practice.
- The practices of ancient India contradict other religions. This statement is wrong because practitioners are friendly to people of all faiths and nationalities.
- The regular practice of asanas promotes weight loss. Rather, physical practice strengthens the muscles while helping to combat stress more effectively and avoiding the need to eat up sugary foods that are high in carbohydrates and fats.
- Only vegetarians can practice. Modern practitioners and trainers are quite loyal to students who eat meat. The restrictions associated with its use relate to religious movements, but not to physical and spiritual practices.
- Practices can be dangerous and difficult. If a student at the first lesson tries to perform shirshasana (headstand) or another difficult asana, this can lead to injuries. The key principle of performing asanas is to do what does not cause pain or discomfort.
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Thus, if a person is interested in the physical and spiritual practices of ancient India, then after some time he will understand that widespread misconceptions have nothing to do with reality.
Health Benefits of Yoga Classes
Yoga lessons can be held in a special room under the guidance of a trainer or at home. There are pros and cons to both types of practice. The positive side of training in a group with a trainer is the presence of an appropriate environment, which may not be at home. In addition, the instructor can show the correct performance of asanas and breathing exercises.
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At home, a person can choose a convenient time for classes on their own, without thinking about time and financial costs. Even when performing several asanas for 15 minutes, a positive result will be felt every day – relieving fatigue, stronger muscles, and a more relaxed state in general.
To maximize your health benefits, the following guidelines should be followed:
- understand the benefits of classes. If a person wants to find a flexible and beautiful body, then he should choose one direction of practice, if he delves into self-knowledge, then another;
- choose the right time for classes in accordance with your schedule;
- choose the right clothes – it should be comfortable and as loose as possible;
- Do not perform asanas that cause pain or discomfort. If unpleasant sensations appear, then it is better to postpone their implementation until the moment when the body gains sufficient flexibility;
- in the presence of chronic diseases, it is necessary to consult a specialist. Classes are contraindicated after some operations;
- do not engage in other types of physical activity immediately after performing asanas. When combining practice with fitness or other types of training, you must take a break of at least 2 hours;
- for a regular and successful practice, you should stop smoking.
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If a person moves from theory to practice and begins to practice, then this, even more, helps to dispel all the delusions associated with spiritual and physical practices. Regular exercise will benefit your mental and physical health.