The word “Yoga” is translated from Sanskrit as union, union between body and soul.
Yoga is an ancient discipline born in India, through practices such as Hinduism and Buddhism in which physical and mental balance is worked through postures, breathing and meditation.
It is about finding the balance both in the body and in the mind through a practice that opens our life to the present.
Yoga does not teach us to be happy but to flow with the events of our lives as they come to us and that is a path to happiness.
The practice of Yoga gives us tools to listen to our body, to feel what is best for us and receive everything that happens with simplicity.
And no, you do not need to be flexible to start a practice. It simply takes a mind willing to learn and to listen. And that lies in our attitude, not in our ability to touch the floor with our hands as we flex our backs forwards. The change comes from us and little by little we see it reflected in our bodies. In this way, the desire to take care of ourselves, to be healthy, to eat well and to feel good in our skin is aroused.
The more you learn the more you realize there is a lot to you know. As in life itself is a path of constant learning that teaches you to unite your body, your mind and your spirit to feel at peace. This is achieved through postures of strength and flexibility (asanas) that flow with the breath (pranayama) and then come to meditate.
Currently there are many types of Yoga but the most used term in the West is that of Hatha Yoga. It not only encompasses other practices but constitutes a discipline that works the physical body to reach meditation. It is a great base to start a practice since the other styles are born of this Yoga.
Hatha Yoga is also a general term to describe the types of yoga that are most realized, among them we find some such as the following:
Vinyasa: Vinyasa is the Sanskrit name for the union of the body and the breath. The Vinyasa harmonizes each movement with an inhalation, exhalation or retention of the breathing creating in this way fluid movements.
Ashtanga: is a type of yoga with intense and fast movements that chains fluid postures linked to breathing (vinyasa). The postures are always performed in the same order as they follow certain sequences.
Iyengar: It is rooted in the ancient yogic tradition and was created by guru B.K.S Iyengar. It is a classic system of Hatha Yoga that focuses on the alignment of the body and its sequences are usually determined.
Kundalini: based on the awakening of “Kundalini energy”, in the development of this energy that is born at the base of our spine and resurge like a snake.
Acroyoga: This is a much more recent practice and as its name indicates it is a mixture between acrobatics and Yoga. It requires a great balance but above all confidence since it is a team discipline.
Restorative Yoga: Great for those people who work hard, with back pains and contractures and even for people with injuries. This Yoga focuses is to restore the balance and well-being of our body and mind. We could describe it as a Yoga of Rehabilitation.
It is not necessary to sit in the lotus posture while repeating “Ooommmmm” or waking up untimely to sit quietly meditating. We can introduce Yoga slowly into our lives with exercises as simple as these:
A morning stretching routine: set up a simple 10 to 20 minute stretching routine to start the day with energy, reactivate our muscles and circulation. The postures can be simple: the posture of the child, the dog face down, forward bending of the foot, the cat and the cow or sequences of greetings to the sun, among many others.
Cultivate tranquility: The next time a situation irritates you or makes you react, stop and breathe deeply. Think of inhalations and exhalations. Visualize that air that comes in and out. Do not rush to judge and react. Look for the good side of things even in the most frustrating moments. That is a challenge. Do not be carried away by emotions and anger, develop our ability to remain calm in the face of adversity. And above all always return to the breath, the present moment.
Guided meditations: there are applications, videos on the internet and a multitude of resources that help us sit quietly and take a break from the hectic pace of life and information we are subjected to. Although we can also use the traditional method and focus our mind to the present moment through our breathing or attention to every activity we do, whether cooking, playing sports, enjoying the company of a friend or driving.