Yoga has Indian origin and is a practice that involves the body and the mind. Its history dates back to over 5,000 years ago. The word originates from the word Sanskrit meaning union or joining. Whether you are young or old yoga plays a key role in calming the body and the mind. It can be done by anyone of all ages.
Normally, yoga has various poses and practices such as meditation, breathing, praying, rituals, reciting, and other actions.
The health benefits of yoga are countless and they include managing stress, managing emotions, improving sleep, and creating activities that add to the overall health of a person.
Mostly, a yoga mat is used when practicing. According to Yoga Pedia, a yoga mat makes it comfortable and safe for you to undertake this exercise. The ideal measurement is 72 by 24 inches, however, there are numerous types and variations that you can consider depending on your need and space area.
Types of Yoga Poses
There are many types of yoga poses for both beginners and gurus. Normally, for beginners, the poses are not as intense. However, mastering a few or all poses is a great advantage when practicing yoga because of the numerous benefits that come with this exercise. Below are some of the poses according to Very Well Fit
This is the first type of yoga pose. It is also known as balasana and it is common for yoga beginners. Practically, it involves stretching your back, hips, thighs, legs, and ankles. This pose aims at relaxing your back borne and neck. It helps the body achieve rest.
Simple instruction on how to do a child’s yoga pose
- Prepare the yoga mat
- Have your hands and knees come close to the yoga mat
- Ensure your toes touch the floor as you spread your knees on the mat
- Sandwich your belly in your thighs and rest your forehead on the floor
- Ensure you are comfortable and rest to regain energy.
- You can keep stretching your arms as necessary
Some of the mistakes to avoid during a child’s yoga pose is bending your neck. Always ensure the neck rests well in the most comfortable position.
Back pain is a common health problem and a downward-facing dog yoga pose helps relieve back pain. This pose helps in strengthening the hands and the back. Over time it helps back challenges and increases blood flow within the body.
Steps during the downward facing dog yoga pose
- Patronize your hands and knees
- Stretch your palms
- Breath out and have your knees up from the floor
- Flatten your knees with care not to lock them
- Take 10 or more breaths in that position.
This is a strength yoga pose, it helps the body regain power by exercising the shoulders, hands, and legs. When beginning to do this pose avoid hiking the hips or sagging them. Try as much as you can to have them straight for a period of time.
Plank pose has huge benefits such as improving coordination, and body balance, building strength, increasing flexibility, and building up mental health.
Four-Limbed Staff Pose
This is an advanced yoga pose. This is good for boosting energy, relieving fatigue, and empowering your entire body. It is also known as chaturanga pose.
The muscles that stretch during the four-limbed staff pose are the arms, shoulders, back, core, pelvis, and arm string. This goes a long way in improving the body’s stability
The flexibility of the spine is very important. Cobra pose helps the spine gain strength and it relieves pain in the back. Further, the muscles of your body gain more strength as a result.
The key benefits of a cobra yoga pose are reducing depression, lowering pain in the back, improving self-esteem, and helping you get good sleep.
Tree yoga pose
This is more or less a balance pose and resembles a tree. One places a leg on top of the other and puts the hand in a prayer position. This exercise tests the stability of the body and gives the body a therapeutic feeling.
Steps of the yoga pose
- Stand straight and have your two big toes touching each other
- Curve your right knee and place is sole on the left thigh
- Straighten your hands for better balancing
- Avoid rotating your pelvis
- Hold your breath 5 – 10 times
Triangle yoga pose
The triangle yoga pose reduces the rigidity of the spine making it more flexible. This pose is also known as trikonasana. This exercise bends your body on the right and left.
The greatest benefit is relieving gastritis, indigestion, and acid. Overall it reduces stress and helps you focus better.
Corpse yoga pose
This particular pose is also known as savasana. This pose adopts a relaxing mode for the body. Generally, it calms the nervous system, improves digestion, lowers blood pressure, and increases your consciousness. Further, it boosts your meditation levels as you relax and reflect.
Other yoga poses include:
- Seated half-spinal twist pose – the name connotes the posture which is usually a half-twist of the spine to relax it.
- Bridge pose – in this pose the abdomen gets some stretching to ease back pain
- Mountain poses – this yoga pose focuses on improving the body posture and general balance.
- Chair pose – this is where the knees bend forward representing a seat
- Seated forward fold pose – this is an intensive yoga pose that stretches the entire body from the heel to the head
- Half-moon pose – this pose is a representation of the moon and its energy. It helps the body expand its coordination.
Benefits of Yoga
Yoga has many health benefits both physical and mental. Depending on the type of yoga you are doing, you stand to gain some benefits as a person.
Generally, yoga has benefits such as managing pain, losing weight, helping quit smoking, and helping during pregnancy and when suffering from chronic illnesses. Whereas yoga has some risks such as dehydration, hip injuries, etc. the benefits outweigh the risk that comes with this practice
i) Increasing flexibility
A survey in 2016, by Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance, found that yoga improves the flexibility of the body because of the various yoga styles available. Normally, yoga involves stretching muscles and increasing the range of your body motions.
Over time the body becomes flexible due to the numerous exercises that one does. The hip movement is also essential and this receives more strength due to yoga.
ii) Promoting good postures
Good body posture presents the advantage of having legs equally distributed, body parts coordinating well, reducing fatigue, and general body balance. Yoga focuses on more than sitting well in the office and the dining table but also on ensuring the body has good coordination and synchronization.
You can further improve your body posture through running regularly and swimming and other physical exercises.
iii) Improving mental health
Data by Recovery Village reports that a whopping 33% of the total World Population is battling chronic stress while the remaining have acute stress that they are managing. With the increasing number of mental health disorders, yoga comes in handy in relieving stress through therapy and breathing exercises.
In addition, meditating under yoga has the advantage of reducing tension and anxiety levels in an individual.
iv) Reducing inflammation
Some prolonged illnesses such as heart diseases, arthritis, and diabetes have the effect of causing inflammation in some body parts. Yoga exercises help reduce the chemical components that create inflammations. This goes a long way in easing the pain in the patients.
v) Improving general wellness
The overall health of the body has direct influence by good mental health, sleeping, weight, and body balance. Yoga helps reduce weight, get good sleep, reduce anxiety, and relieve menopause symptoms.
This goes a long way in ensuring that the general health of the body is in check and you have a quality life as a person. Studies also show that yoga boosts a positive body image which adds up to building positive self-esteem for teens and young adults.
Other benefits of yoga are:
- Boosting your daily moods
- Reducing arthritis symptoms
- Relieving back pain
- Increasing your strength as a person.
Risks of Yoga
Although yoga has a number of benefits, this practice comes with some risks and disadvantages. The best to do as a person practicing yoga is to be aware of the risks and find ways of mitigation.
This will ensure you stand to benefit a person or a group. Below are some of the risks that come with yoga:
Most yoga poses have the advantage of strengthening the back and making it firmer and with good balance. However, very aggressive and enthusiastic poses can injure your spine or discs.
It can also lead to dislocation which can be dangerous to the body.
ii) Blood pressure
Some yoga poses such as inversion can cause danger to patients battling blood pressure. Whereas yoga in itself reduces the dangers of heart attacks and blood pressure. At times if someone has an existing blood pressure condition, it is prudent to avoid some poses.
Some yoga such as hot yoga causes dehydration and overheating because of the high temperatures. This means that you have to take lots of water in between exercises to keep your body well hydrated to avoid a case where you faint during the classes.
Yoga exercises are exciting and useful to the body. You can enroll in yoga classes near you and get the benefits that come with them. Whether as a beginner or guru, learning never ends, therefore you can consistently learn in various poses and gain the benefits that come with it.