“We are spiritual beings born for human experience; we are not human beings born for spiritual experience.” – Yogi Bhajan
With kundalini yoga, nidra yoga, prenatal yoga, and yoga for kids, not every type of yoga is for everyone. This is normal as there are over 50 different types of yoga around the world and each of them is a bit different. Whether an aspiring yogi is interested in sequences of poses, breathing exercises, or working on their flexibility, they should be able to find a type of yoga that works for them.
Whoever you are, you should also be able to find a type of yoga that works for your body type, too. Of the 300 million people practising yoga in the world, Japan has seen an explosion in the popularity of the pursuit with a growth of 413% over 5 years! This is why you should be asking what yoga is for. In short, for relaxing, battling stress, toning muscle, there are thousands of reasons for practising yoga.
There are almost as many yoga classes as there are yoga postures. If you want to enjoy the restorative properties of a good yoga class, you just need to find a yoga teacher who’s familiar with a type of yoga that works for you.
If you think that there’s some reason you can’t enjoy yoga, then you’re probably wrong!
Pregnancy is a special time in a woman’s life and you shouldn’t let this time get away from you. You need to make the most of it, think positively, work on your breathing, and improve your mindfulness. Remember that you might only be pregnant once and you should make the most of this time. There are a lot of benefits to doing yoga when you’re pregnant and attending prenatal yoga classes:
Pregnancy doesn’t mean that you have to stop all physical activity. (Source: hummingpuppy)
You can make the most out of your pregnancy by rediscovering your body, mind, and spirit. While not every type of yoga is suitable for pregnant women, there are types of yoga that pregnant women can do for their own and the baby’s benefit. For example, you shouldn’t be doing yoga in the third trimester because the baby’s vital organs and nervous system are in full development.
Yoga during pregnancy is generally fine before this time. However, always check with a doctor before you get out your yoga mat. No matter how gentle you think these yogic exercises might be, pregnancy yoga is still a physical activity and a pregnant woman won’t necessarily be able to do it for one reason or another. While the healing properties of pregnancy yoga may sound enticing, we can’t stress enough how important it is to get advice from your medical practitioner before you start any type of new physical routine.
Once you’ve got the green light from doctors and yoga teachers, you’re good to start enjoying the benefits of yoga, be it in a yoga for pregnancy class, private yoga tutorials with specialist yoga teachers, or in a yoga workshop for expectant mothers.
These types of classes will generally be quite calm and will focus on pelvic exercises to ensure that childbirth is as free of anxiety as possible. You’ll look at relaxation techniques, improving your stamina and endurance for the physically demanding aspects of birthing the baby, and pregnancy exercises you can do to make your pregnancy easier.
Of course, when say that you should do yoga when you’re pregnant, we mean yoga with pregnant women in mind. This type of yoga can help you improve your breathing techniques, something your yoga instructor or tutor can help you with, and your posture.
Just because you’ve had the baby, that doesn’t mean that you have to stop your yoga practice, either. In fact, there’s postnatal yoga. Generally, this type of yoga will focus on alleviating the tension of your new life, leave you feeling relaxed, and help you to adjust your mind and body to a life of motherhood.
When you get to a certain age, you need to adapt your physical activities. With this in mind, a lot of older people are wondering how they can start or continue doing yoga once they reach their golden years. You don’t need to stop doing yoga once you get old.
No matter how old you are, yoga is great for your mind, body, and spirit. (Source: mohamed_hassan)
Yoga for seniors is a type of yoga that can help those who are getting on in years. Let’s not forget, when you’re 75, you won’t be in as good a shape as you once were at 25. This type of yoga still includes the benefits such as improving your concentration and helping you to let go whether you’re a beginner or an expert.
As you get older, there are certain yoga poses (known as asanas), such as twisting poses, that you will no longer be able to do without losing balance, falling, or causing injury. You need to pay particular attention to your spine, which probably won’t be as flexible as it once was. That said, regular practising yoga can strengthen your spine and improve its flexibility.
A tutor or yoga instructor will tell you which poses are the best for older yogis. The beauty of yoga lies in the fact that it brings together sport and meditation for people of any age, body type, and experience.
This is a question that a lot of those with physical limitations will ask.
Can those with physical disabilities do yoga?
There are so many different types of yoga for different types of people. However, traditional yoga might not be suitable for everyone.
There are physical, mental, and spiritual benefits to disability yoga. (Source: Ben_Kerckx)
Of course, yoga for those with physical disabilities can still help you let go, relax, and enjoy almost all the benefits of yoga. You can listen to your body and harmonise it with your mind and spirit. This can help you achieve your physical goals, too.
Yoga for those with physical disabilities can help you improve your self-confidence along with the help your yoga instructor will give you. This renewed confidence can make you more sociable and you can meet new people who do the same types of sporting activities. There’s nothing better than doing sport and meeting people!
There are plenty of benefits to doing yoga as a couple. Doing yoga as a couple is a great way to benefit from meditation and a physical workout. In fact, doing yoga as a couple allows you to do plenty of different things including:
Yoga is great on your own. As a couple, it’s even better! (Source: RachelScottYoga)
It’s a fact that doing yoga as a couple with the help of a tutor or yoga instructor can be great for your relationship. In fact, there are plenty of poses designed for couples to do together. The closeness of two yogis can make yoga more than twice as effective.
In fact, there are even exercises that are impossible to do on your own. Doing things together than bring couples closer together in mind, body, and spirit. Time spent together, even while doing yoga poses, can help you to let go, achieve mindfulness, and become closer as a couple.
Making the decision to do yoga is easy, you just need to choose between ashtanga yoga, vinyasa yoga, hatha yoga, Iyengar yoga, power yoga, and all the other types of yoga out there. As you do a challenging asana (pose), work on your pranayama (breathing techniques), and attend workshops or classes for beginners, you’ll start strengthening muscles you didn’t know you had, developing an awareness of yourself and the world around you, discovering deep relaxation, and harmonising your body, mind, and spirit.
Thus, as you’ll have understood, yoga is a beautiful discipline that anyone can do and it’s so much more than a bit of stretching, holding your breath, and chanting some mantras. Whether you’re an older person, have a physical disability, are in a couple, pregnant, etc., you can benefit from practising yoga, deep breathing, and meditation sessions. The rest is now up to you!