Yoga is an ancient Indian practice that has been around for thousands of years. It is a way to get in touch with your body and mind while also living a healthier lifestyle.
Yoga has been around for over 5,000 years. It combines physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation. Millions of people around the world practice Yoga for many different reasons.
While it originated in the east, it has gained massive popularity in the western world, with celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Robert Downey Jr., Sting, Miley Cyrus, Beyonce, and many more, vouching for it. It’s not a recent phenomenon. Many of the celebrities mentioned above have been practicing Yoga for many years.
It has benefits that can be seen both internally and externally. Some of the benefits include increased flexibility, better posture, improved sleep quality, better digestion, reduced cortisol levels, reduced inflammation, increased energy, and other benefits.
You will find that you are happier when you start practicing Yoga because it helps release serotonin, making you feel good about yourself. Yoga can be practiced at any age, and it is not just for people who are in good shape.
The word Yoga means union or yoke, which means to unite or connect with oneself on all levels–body, mind, and spirit–to become one with the universe.
Is Yoga A Better Alternative To Gym?
Honestly, the choice between Yoga and Gym depends on your fitness goals. If you’re like me, who values flexibility and relaxation over pure muscle building (not to say that Yoga doesn’t build muscles – it does), then Yoga probably is the ideal choice.
It’s not to say that working out in the Gym is bad. In fact, you may also combine both if you like. The Gym has its own benefits, but as compared to Yoga, it’s not a complete workout system. Yoga connects the breath to the mind and body and provides physical and psychological relaxation.
Yoga is a practice that is not only good for your physical health but also your mental and emotional well-being. You can practice Yoga in various ways, from mindfulness to power yoga. Yoga has many benefits that go beyond the physical benefits.
Yoga has the added benefit of improving your mood, sleep quality, sense of well-being and helps overall in reducing stress and anxiety. It is also an excellent way to increase flexibility and balance.
Gym memberships are costly and time-consuming, while you can practice Yoga at home with just one mat. Yoga is also much more accessible than gym memberships because anyone can do it anywhere, even when traveling or on vacation.
Some advantages of practicing Yoga over Gym are as follows:
- Yoga induces deep relaxation by stretching various body parts. You release stress by stretching different body parts. The release is not purely physical but also has an emotional component associated with it.
- It brings about mental clarity in addition to what the Gym does.
- It is much less expensive than going to the Gym.
- Yoga doesn’t require any special equipment or clothing to do it. You can do it anywhere, anytime, with nothing but your own body. You can also do it naked in the privacy of your bedroom. While there’s a trend nowadays to wear sweatpants or other Yoga-related accessories, that’s not a must, in my opinion. Any piece of comfortable clothing that allows you to stretch will do. The only precaution is to avoid tight-fitting clothes like jeans or tight tops.
- You can practice it at your own pace, so you don’t have to worry about being left behind by the rest of the class if you’re not as fit as they are or if you’re recovering from an injury or illness. Yoga is not about showing off to others. It’s about fixing your energetic alignment to become one with the universal energy.
- Yoga is a low-impact workout that is unlikely to cause severe muscle soreness that is often experienced after a Gym workout.
- While the Gym is mostly about intensity, Yoga offers a good balance between power and flexibility.
If you’re looking for a good cost-effective Yoga program to get started that is beginner-friendly, you can try the Yoga International 30-day online course.
Simple Yoga Poses for Beginners
There are many different types of Yoga poses that you can do, but here are the five most popular ones, especially for beginners.
The tree pose is one of the best Yoga poses for beginners because it helps open up your chest and stretch out your spine. It also strengthens the ankles and the lower back muscles while improving balance and posture.
The tree pose is a yoga pose that involves standing on one leg with the other leg up on the opposite hand or against a wall.
The name of this pose comes from the position of your legs. Stand with your feet close together, knees slightly bent, and arms by your side. Then bend down, put your hands on the floor and bring one leg up behind you. The other leg should be in front of you.
You can do tree pose in two ways – with your hands on the floor or with them resting on a yoga block (or something else).
Mountain pose helps strengthen and stretch the spine and can be performed at any level of physical fitness.
In mountain pose, place your hands on the thighs with palms facing down. The back should be straight and tall, with the shoulders relaxed and pulled back. The head should be held high, looking forward or up towards the sky.
The legs should be straight but not stiff, with feet hip-distance apart. This position can also be done sitting in a chair or standing against a wall for balance if needed.
Downward-Facing Dog Pose
The downward-facing dog is a yoga pose in which the body is in a straight line from head to heels. The knees are bent, and the tops of the feet are flat on the ground.
This pose stretches your spine, opens up your chest, and strengthens your arms, legs, and back muscles. It also helps with circulation in your body.
To do this pose, start on your hands and knees with your hands directly below your shoulders and your knees below your hips. Now tuck your toes under to touch the ground behind you.
Bring your toes together, so they are touching. Now push off of your hands and straighten out your arms, balancing on the balls of your feet.
Lift onto the balls of your feet so that you are balancing on toes with heels pushing into the ground. Bring chest towards thighs and look down at the floor between legs. Hold for at least 30 seconds before coming out of this pose. Hold for at least 30 seconds before coming out.
A warrior pose is a powerful and energetic posture in Yoga. It is also known as the Virabhadrasana I or the Warrior I Pose.
The warrior pose is done by standing on your feet, bringing your hands to your hips with your thumbs touching each other. Next, you should turn your right foot outwards and bend it at the knee while turning inwards and bending the left knee.
Your left foot should be turned inwards and bent at the knee. You will then extend both arms out to the sides, palms facing down, fingers spread wide apart from each other.
Rotate your torso to face forward with both arms raised towards the sky. Finally, take a deep breath in before exhaling while lowering your hands down to touch your knees.
Cobra pose is one of the most popular poses in Yoga which helps make the spine flexible. It provides a lot of relief in case of lower back stiffness.
The cobra pose is named because it resembles a snake poised to strike. It helps stretch the spine and open the chest. It can be done on its own or as part of a larger sequence of poses.
To do cobra pose, you need to lie down on your stomach with your arms stretched out in front of you. Then push yourself up into a seated position while keeping your back straight. Breathe gently and hold yourself in this position for five to ten seconds as per your comfort level.
Then slowly bring yourself down and do three to five repetitions. The key is to keep your pelvis anchored on the floor while you do this pose. If you cannot do it right away, don’t worry. You’ll get it with practice.
Practicing yoga is highly effective in opening and healing the energy body, ensuring overall wellness. Yoga International is offering online courses with a 7-day-free-trail. It has over 500 expert teachers in yoga therapy, anatomy, meditation, and more. Learn at your own pace and from the comfort of your home.
Affiliate Disclosure: If you click the link above and decide to purchase the course, I get paid a small fee that helps me create valuable content for you, and it doesn’t cost you any extra amount.
Why Do We Need Yoga More Than Ever
The prevalent lifestyle has become sedentary and full of stress. We’ve reached a stage where society normalizes psychological ailments like anxiety and depression.
We spend hours sitting on a chair within closed enclosures, breathing circulated air. As a result, we don’t get vital energy from the sun, making most of the population deficient in vitamin D3—one of the most essential vitamins provided by sunlight.
Long hours of sitting makes the neck and lower back muscles weak, resulting in injury. Back pain is the number one health problem most people face in the United States alone.
A sedentary lifestyle eventually leads to chronic health problems like diabetes, arthritis, a weak immune system, and more. I don’t need to show you stats. Just Google and see the numbers for yourself. You’ll be shocked.
My question to you is – what kind of role models are we for the coming generation? Are we teaching them how to make lots of money, and finally, in old age, spend it all on healthcare? Physical and mental health should be our primary concerns.
It doesn’t take much time to practice Yoga. Even half an hour a day of consistent practice can do wonders for your overall health. With good health, you maintain good relationships.
And it’s never too late. You’re never too old to look fit. I’m not suggesting unrealistic fitness goals like building six-pack abs or being ultra-flexible performing complex body contortions.
It’s not about showing your skills on Instagram or FaceBook. I’m talking about feeling good about your mind and body. It’s about building a healthy habit that you can benefit from for life.
Deep down, what all of us desire is peace of mind in daily living. A healthy body with a healthy mind provides for that. Excitement is transient. Peace is lasting.
Yoga is a great way to help find inner peace and happiness through self-care. It also provides a sense of community that you don’t get from other activities like working out at the Gym or going on vacation with friends.
Yoga has been gaining popularity in recent years. It’s not just the physical aspect, but the mental and spiritual benefits it offers. Yoga is not merely an exercise; it is a philosophy.