What is Yoga: All The Basics You Need to Know As A Beginner
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What is yoga?
Yoga is a body-mind practice. It offers immense benefits for physical and mental health. As a result, it has grown in popularity across the world.
The word yoga means union, integration, or wholeness. In the context of yoga, this means the integration of body, mind, and spirit, or the union of the individual and universal consciousness.
When you think of yoga, you may think of people in seemingly impossible poses. But yoga poses are just the surface of what yoga is. More than the poses, yoga is a body-mind-spirit practice that has helped people improve health and flexibility and also find inner peace and freedom for thousands of years. The beauty of yoga is that a little practice can go a long way. You don’t have to be a lifelong practitioner to get started with reaping its benefits.
You are a born yogi
We have been doing yoga poses since we were babies! Whether it is Triangle pose or Downward facing dog pose, we often see small children do some form of yoga postures throughout the day. Babies naturally practice deep breathing and live in the present moment. So in a way, we all are born as yogis!
Yoga is for everyone
Yoga works for everyone. From homemakers to professional athletes to lifelong monks, everyone can benefit. Whether you are looking for peace of mind or better flexibility of body, yoga can support you in your goals. Regardless of your age or fitness level, yoga has the power to calm your mind and strengthen your body.
Benefits of yoga
Yoga is a way of life. Practicing yoga consistently can improve the quality of your life immensely. It helps enhance your physical and mental health. Whether you’re looking to increase your physical energy and fitness, improve your cardiovascular health, or want relief from pain or stress, yoga can help you. Here are 13 benefits of yoga that you can start seeing with regular yoga practice. Everyone can practice yoga and start to see the benefits.
Yoga’s ancient roots
To understand yoga better and go beyond the physical postures we are going to look at some traditional yogic terminology. This will help you know the real depth and scope of yoga.
The word yoga comes from the root word ‘yuj’ in Sanskrit, the age-old language of India. It means union, integration, or wholeness. Yoga is uniting the body, mind and spirit in complete harmony.
The origins of yoga can be traced back more than ten thousand years. The Rig Veda, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, and The Bhagavad Gita are three of the most popular ancient texts that offer insights on yoga. They explain profound yogic philosophy and yoga practices.
Yoga’s approach to health and wellbeing promotes the harmonious collaboration of body, mind, and spirit. In the Yoga Sutras, Sage Patanjali calls this eight-fold path “ashtanga yoga.” Ashta means eight, anga means limbs. These eight limbs are:
- Yama: Social ethics
- Niyama: Physical and mental hygiene
- Asana: Postures or poses
- Pranayama: Breathing exercises
- Pratyahara: Withdrawing the senses inward
- Dharana: Art of effortless concentration
- Dhyana: Meditation
- Samadhi: Equanimity
As you understand this eightfold path of yoga in depth, you will realize that yoga is a way of living. It provides a complete philosophy to live a healthy, happy life to its full potential.
Yoga for beginners: getting started with yoga
Our simple guide to yoga for beginners will help you begin your yoga practice and understand some basic yoga philosophy.
Our yoga style and yoga courses that we offer
There are many styles of yoga. Sri Sri Yoga is a holistic style of yoga that integrates the eight-fold path of yoga. This makes it a prayerful practice, uniting the body, mind, and soul. It is a mix of traditional hatha yoga and vinyasa yoga. Along with the series of simple, restorative yoga postures, breathing techniques, and relaxation, a greater emphasis is placed on the inner experience of meditation. We believe when one is in harmony within, the journey through life becomes calmer, happier, and more fulfilled.
For the yoga enthusiast, the Art of Living and Sri Sri School of Yoga offers following programs:
- Sri Sri Yoga Foundation Program (Prerequisite: None)
- Sri Sri Yoga Deep Dive Retreat (Prerequisite: SKY Breath Meditation Program)
- 200-Hour Teacher Training Program (Prerequisite: None)
- Virtual Yoga Studio (Prerequisite: None)
Are you interested in becoming a 200-Hour certified yoga teacher?
Sri Sri School of Yoga is a registered school with Yoga Alliance. It offers the most authentic, traditional (scripture-based), and accessible 200-Hour teacher training programs in online, hybrid and in-person set up.