What is Yoga? What You Need to Know Before You Begin to Learn the Benefits
If you’re a yoga beginner or even if you’re not, it’s important to know the basics of yoga before you begin to learn the other aspects of the practice. So, what is yoga?
In many ways yoga is just another exercise, with a lot of similarities in its form and movements to other types of exercise, but it also has a very unique perspective on the meaning of exercise. While other forms of exercise focus on improving strength and fitness, the practitioner of yoga sees the practice as being about strength and fitness for the mind and body. The intent of yoga is to focus on the goal of total well-being, not merely physical fitness.
Because of this emphasis on total well-being, the “why” of yoga is often overlooked by the beginner in the practice. What is yoga? Who is it for?
Because yoga originated as a way to practice meditation, spirituality, and inner awareness, one may think that it is for the more spiritual person who doesn’t need to look outside themselves to achieve self-awareness. However, many of the forms of yoga also include breathing exercises that do not simply relax the body, but rather focus on relaxing the mind and breathing with oneself. These exercises help to free the mind from distractions and keep the practitioner from becoming distracted from the object of meditation.
What is yoga for someone who wants to lose weight? For someone who wants to improve their mental performance? For someone who wants to relax and soothe their mind?
This is where the benefits of yoga and the overall experience of the practice are so important. It may be true that to become completely relaxed one must concentrate on the object of meditation, but the more time that a person spends doing this, the better that person will become at meditation.
Why not use yoga to help you forget your problems for a while? Perhaps some yoga can help to un-stress yourself or help you to forget what you’re thinking. Even though yoga is more focused on physical movement and not on mental skills, it is still a great tool to help the practice of meditation go much more smoothly.
There are so many benefits of yoga that one really cannot argue against the practice. Many people find yoga to be an excellent way to relax and unwind, or to get through the day. With just a little effort you can gain all the benefits of yoga without losing the practice of meditation or the meditation itself.