People everywhere are practicing yoga. Ashtanga, sivananda, vinyasa — the age-old practice has grown to the point where a dictionary is often helpful when reading a class schedule. There are so many different methods of yoga today that you’re bound to find one that works for you!
International Yoga Day is June 21, 2016, a day founded by the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, who said, “Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient 5,000-year-old tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well-being. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day.”
Yogic breathing can have a positive impact on overall health. In fact, take a deep breath right now. Slowly breathe in and out. Quiet your mind and feel the energy flow through your body, relaxing your muscles. Practice this a few times each day, or whenever you need a break. Yoga practice is great at increasing your mental flexibility and creativity, especially when you’re under stressful situations.
If you’ve never tried yoga, or haven’t attended a class in a while, we think you’ll be surprised by the number of programs that are available. Below are some of the trendier yoga methods you’ll see a lot more of this year.
- Hot Yoga – Asana in the sauna? This type of yoga is performed in a humid environment allowing for detoxification. If you can’t take the heat, this might not be for you.
- Weights with Yoga – sculpt your muscles while reciting your mantras. Blending yoga poses with strength training is growing in popularity.
- Doga – Hold your dog while you downward dog! Bring your pet to class to add a natural calming effect to your yoga practice. No bones about it.
- Aerial Yoga – this method utilizes a long piece of fabric in a hammock-like shape. You use the fabric to stretch while suspended in the air, all while focusing on your breathing and relaxation.
- Yogalates – Nope, there’s no coffee involved in this one. This method combines yoga and pilates, enhancing strength, flexibility, and balance beyond what you would get from traditional yoga.
- Couples Yoga – Together is better. You and your partner assist each other in poses, breathing exercises and meditations.
- Yoga dance – dancers incorporate a lot of yoga moves during their practice and in their postures. This method incorporates ballet, Indian classic dance and contemporary dance.
- SUP yoga – This method requires some serious balance, so be careful. It involves doing Asana or Yoga poses on a 10-12 foot stand-up paddle board (i.e. a SUP) on water.
Did you find a favorite? Personally, I want to try the Doga method, and I think my dog would enjoy it, too! Do a Google search to locate a class in your area.
As you reflect on the practice of yoga, remind yourself about the importance of relaxation to support your body, mind and soul. It’s just one of the keys to achieving a life of Whole Health.