What is Yoga?

What is Yoga?

Today the system of yoga has been recognised worldwide as a way of life to maintain optimum health and fitness of body and mind. The United Nations has declared 21st June as the International Yoga Day. In spite of the wide spread recognition of yoga, there may arise confusions in the mind of practitioners about what is true yoga – what is yoga and what it is not. Yoga is not about twisting the body and doing gymnastic feats. Neither has it to do with psychic powers and its display. Many uninformed people get deluded when they see tricks, magic and various siddhis (or supernatural powers) and associate it with yoga. This is wrong understanding of yoga. Yoga has nothing to do with these tricks, magic, psychic powers or gymnastics. Instead, Yoga is a systematic method to achieve harmony of body, breath, mind and soul.

Types of Yoga

Iyengar – A softer on the body classical style of yoga, Iyengar is perfect for beginners and those who haven’t exercised in a while. It uses props such as chairs, straps, blocks and pillows, and even sandbags, to compensate for a lack of flexibility, which is helpful for anyone with back or joint problems.

Ashtanga (Power Yoga) the preferred choice for athletes, Ashtanga yoga is light on meditation but heavy on developing strength and stamina. The poses are more difficult than those performed in other styles, students move quickly from one pose to another in an effort to build strength and flexibility.

Bikram done in a hot room that is 38C or higher (to replicate the temperature of yoga’s birthplace in India); this style of yoga focuses on 26 postures that are performed in a certain order. The exercises are very physical and the intensity is high.