For me Yoga is a life style that combines physical and psychological in a day by day practice.
Some people think that Yoga is just a practice to improve their bodies, flexibility and distress, and sometimes they end up in wrong places giving up the practice that don’t match their expectations, just because they started wrong, without the basic understanding.
Yoga is far more than this. It’s a practice that helps you balance your body and mind, focus your goals, overcome anger, anxiety, depression, hurt feelings, negativity, and brings you into a state of wholeness, well being, and enlightenment.
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is one of the ancient texts that is the basis for the philosophy with a set of 195 aphorisms (sutras), which are just as relevant for yoga philosophy and practice today as it was when it was written.
According to these texts, there are eight “limbs” (Ashtanga in Sanskrit) or eight aspects, steps of a Yogic Lifestyle. They are:
Yama (universal morality), Niyama (personal observances), Asana (body postures), Pranayama (breathing exercises), Pratyahara (control of the senses),Dharana (concentration and cultivating inner perceptual awareness), Dhyana(devotion, Meditation on the Divine) and Samadhi (union with the Divine).
The first two limbs that Patanjali describes are the fundamental ethical precepts called yamas (universal morality), and the niyamas (personal observances). They are:
Yamas: Ahimsa (non-violence), Satya (truthfulness), Asteya (non-stealing), Brahmacharya (non-lust) and Aparigraha (non-possessiveness);
Niyamas: Saucha (cleanliness/purity), Santosha (contentment), Tapas (austerity or Sustained Practice), Svadhyaya (Self Study) and Ishwara-pranidhama (Surrender to God).
There are different styles of Yoga. Take a look to some of them below, and it may help you to find the best practice to your lifestyle:
The most popular branch of Yoga and from which a lot of the Styles of Yoga originated. This ancient system combines the body, mind and breath to achieve self-improvement. Classes focus on postures, breathing and meditation exercises to help purify the mind, body and spirit.
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga
That’s the perfect practice for those who want a serious workout. Participants move through a series of flows, jumping from one posture to another (Vinyasa) to build strength, flexibility and stamina. It's not for beginners or anyone who's been taking a leisurely approach to fitness. The so-called Power Yoga is based on Ashtanga.
It focuses on the controlled release of the Kundalini (serpent power) energy which is found at the base of your spine. The emphasis however, is not on the Yoga Poses but on the Chanting and Breathing, what also strengthens the immune system, balances emotions and increases energy level.
This style of yoga is noted for great attention to detail and the precise alignment of postures, as well as the use of props such as blocks and belts. The props helps Iyengar Yogis to achieve the best possible pose, it also provide support and minimizes the risk of getting injured. This type of yoga is can also be used to treat many ailments, including extremely serious medical conditions, under the supervision of a suitably experienced teacher.
Once you know the basis of Yoga, and the practice that fits better your lifestyle, it’s time to choose the teacher and the studio. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and try one practice before do a monthly payment.
Enjoy your practice. Namaste!