FAQ about Yoga

Yoga has been around for an incredibly long time, and over that period different practitioners have added refinements and styles into the core Yoga discipline. There are so many different styles now it is nearly impossible to count, but they all stem from the same core philosophy and methodology. Unfortunately, having so many styles makes it easy for newcomers to get confused about what they are doing and what they can hope to achieve with Yoga. This article will answer some of the common questions.

What is Yoga?

Most people have a general idea of what yoga is but aren’t sure where Yoga fits into the world. Is it an exercise? Is it a philosophy? Is it a form of physical therapy? Is it a spiritual process? The answer is that to different people Yoga is all of the above. At its core, yoga is a group of exercises and poses which are very low impact and work by strengthening the body and increasing its flexibility.  Each pose will stretch a particular area. The body benefits from the stretch by increased blood flow and energy release. Many of the exercises release tension from areas of the body that regular activities do not emphasize. Because Yoga is generally performed slowly and with a clear emphasis on breathing patterns there is often a powerful mental and spiritual element to the exercise. Many see it as a way of cleansing mind, body, and spirit.

Do I Need To Be Religious To Get The Most Out Of Yoga?

As mentioned above Yoga is different things to different people. Many people perform Yoga purely for its spiritual benefits. Others perform Yoga purely for the physical benefits associated with it. What you get out of Yoga will depend largely on your mindset, your openness to new ideas and your ability to let yourself enter a complete meditative state. For some people, this is difficult at first, but that won’t prevent them from getting the physical benefits associated with Yoga classes. You will find that even if you do not have any strong spiritual base, you will still benefit from an increase in your self-confidence and personal contentment.

Where Can I Do Yoga?

Practically anywhere. Many people practice Yoga in their homes every day. Others will go to the local park and practice Yoga with a group. A good place to start is inquiring at your local gym about Yoga classes. Many places offer them every day. Even if they aren’t, they will probably be able to tell you where to go for Yoga instruction. One of the big advantages of a Yoga based exercise regime is that you don’t need expensive equipment. Some poses are assisted by cushions to support the body, but in general, the only thing you need is your body and perhaps a good mat.

I’m Not Very Fit – Is Yoga For Me?

Yes. Definitely. One of the things about Yoga is that the exercises and poses can be adjusted to your level. Fitness isn’t usually a problem because the exercises are slow and often motionless, but your body will become better at performing them over time as your strength
and flexibility improve. You’ll get the most benefit by balancing between your limits and challenging yourself.