How is Yoga Beneficial and Types of Yoga to Practise
Yoga has its roots in Indian culture. 5,000 years old, this ancestral practice combines philosophy, sacred texts, postures called asanas, meditation, and spirituality. Yoga is a more global practice than a simple physical activity; it combines body, mind, and soul to create a holistic balance. Our general practitioners explain the benefits of yoga on physical well-being and mental health, how this practice can improve your quality of life, and present the forms of yoga mainly practiced in the West.
What is yoga?
Yoga is an ancient practice encompassing techniques aimed at harmonizing body, mind, and soul. It is a holistic discipline that seeks to balance physical and mental health.
Who is yoga for?
Yoga is beneficial for everyone, regardless of age, fitness level, or health history.
- For beginners: You can benefit even if you have never practiced yoga. Beginner classes are designed to familiarize you with basic postures and breathing techniques.
- For people who are stressed or prone to anxiety: Yoga incorporates relaxation and meditation techniques to help reduce stress, calm the mind, promote relaxation, improve sleep, and combat insomnia.
- For sedentary people: If you have a sedentary lifestyle, yoga can help you improve your flexibility, strengthen your muscles, and relieve body tension.
- For athletes, they can practice yoga to improve their flexibility, balance, and concentration and to prevent injuries.
- For the older people: yoga is adapted to meet the needs of the older people, thereby improving their mobility, strengthening their muscles, and promoting balance;
- For pregnant women, prenatal yoga offers postures and breathing techniques adapted to pregnant women to promote physical and mental well-being during pregnancy.
- For young mothers practicing after childbirth, postnatal yoga promises many physical and mental benefits. This practice gently tones and strengthens the body by protecting the perineum, stimulating the digestive organs, activating blood circulation, and relieving postpartum ailments.
Yoga is, therefore, a versatile practice that can be adapted to everyone’s individual needs and goals. Whatever your needs, yoga offers many benefits to improve your physical, mental, and emotional health.
The physical benefits of yoga
Flexibility and mobility
Yoga is known to improve the flexibility and mobility of the body. Postures and stretches promote flexibility in muscles and joints, which can help prevent injuries and maintain an optimal range of motion.
Many yoga poses involve holding body weight in specific positions, which helps build muscle. The body’s deep muscles are thus used, allowing you to gain tone.
Regular yoga practice strengthens the muscles in your back, abdomen, and neck, which can improve posture. Better posture not only prevents pain but it can also boost confidence and self-esteem.
The mental benefits of yoga
Yoga incorporates relaxation and deep breathing techniques that help reduce stress. By focusing on the present moment during practice, the feeling of mental relaxation gradually sets in. It can be beneficial for daily stress management.
Meditation is an essential component of yoga that promotes mental clarity. You can improve your concentration, creativity, and decision-making ability by freeing yourself from incessant and intrusive thoughts.
Reduction of anxiety
Repeatedly, yoga has been shown to help reduce anxiety symptoms. Relaxation and mindfulness meditation techniques help calm the nervous system, which can reduce anxiety and agitation.
What type of yoga should I practice?
There are around a hundred different yogas, with the practice evolving according to the desires of the followers. However, five main types of yoga are mainly practiced in the West:
Hatha: Ancestral yoga; this is a gentle practice ideal for beginners, centered on the realization of postures and breathing, followed by a meditation at the end of the practice.
Vinyasa: A dynamic, high-intensity yoga focused on performing a rapid and free sequence of postures inspired by sun salutations;
Ashtanga: A yoga centered on the realization of intense and rapid postures that are similar to each session;
Yin: Also called “gentle” yoga, this practice is restorative and allows for a gentle rebalancing of energies;
Kundalini is a mindful practice combining physicality and spirituality aimed at circulating energy.
Some forms of yoga, therefore, emphasize relaxation and meditation, while others focus on physical strength and flexibility. Whatever method you choose, yoga aims to create harmony and inner peace while improving general health.