The time that yoga was only practiced by sticky types is over. Yoga is more popular than ever! Very hip Netherlands is doing yoga. Your best friends, your manager and even the hunk you recently met in the pub are doing yoga.
According to yoga, online 558,000 Dutch people did yoga or pilates in 2012. 895 yoga schools are registered here in 2015. There are more than 200 yoga schools here. Sportnext writes that yoga is the trend of 2018. But what is yoga? Where is it from? And why is it so popular?
What is yoga?
Yoga has its origins in India. And is ‘no religion’, I read on various sites on the internet. No religion? Ah, Wikipedia teaches me that yoga from an origin is a Hindu philosophy: a righteous way to the God within yourself. And religion is something other than religion, it seems.
The meaning can be found in Sanskrit: “yoke”, which means “unite,” “to control,” “to be reborn.” In the encyclopedia (2014) there are no less than 21 meanings of yoga, the first of which is “Learn from India that says how you can relax your body and mind with meditation, breathing exercises and concentration.” Also a beautiful meaning: “yoga is a process of awareness, whereby the techniques do not become the goal but the means. Not the result, but the experience and the experience is the most important. ”
Have you ever practiced yoga? Does your experience relate to the description as above? I myself have followed various yoga classes and have even attended a yoga retreat. Especially inspired by a good friend, who currently also teaches.
For me, yoga symbolizes rest, relaxation and a way to let go of my busy life, thoughts, and activities. Among the fitness album ambassadors, I hear that many perform as a counterweight to the other sports, such as Crossfit and strength training.
Did you know that many in the 60s came into contact with yoga by the pop group ‘the Beatles’?
Another nice fact: the yoga poses such as ‘the Eagle’, ‘the Cat’, ‘the Crane’ come through observations from nature. Old sages observed the behavior of animals to learn from this.
Breathing exercises were also developed by observing the breathing of a number of insects and animals, which remove toxic substances. For the human body, these breathing exercises help physical fitness and (spiritual) rest.
In the west, hatha-yoga is practiced in particular: a branch of yoga that consists of body postures in combination with breathing exercises. This yoga mainly deals with the physical aspect of yoga.
In addition to hatha yoga, there are plenty of other yoga forms to be found, such as:
kundalini yoga (where energy is generated through postures), Bikram yoga (yoga that is practiced in a room of 40⁰C) and power yoga (postures that are in a series behind each other and very similar to a work-out).
The basis of yoga consists of asanas (performing physical exercises), pranayama (breathing) and often also dhyana (meditation).
Yoga in daily life
Yoga is practiced by many people and there are many currents. The reason that yoga gains such popularity is because more and more people are confronted with symptoms of stress, sleep problems, overstimulation, concentration problems and burn-outs.
Several scientific studies show that practicing yoga regularly helps against stress, because yoga counteracts the production of the stress hormone cortisol, helps to lower the blood sugar level and helps prevent depression and anxiety disorders.
The benefits of yoga
- Yoga care for stress reduction: the relaxation hormones release less of the stress hormone cortisol into the body.
- Yoga provides lower blood pressure, improved digestion and increased immune system.
- Yoga helps to prevent anxiety, depression, fatigue, and insomnia
- Yoga can help relieve pain.
- Yoga provides better lung function and an increase in the amount of oxygen in the body.
- Yoga makes you more lenient
- Yoga strengthens your muscles
- Yoga can help to stay on body weight
- Yoga ensures better blood circulation
- Yoga provides more endurance
- Yoga helps you to focus on the here and now
- Yoga can provide inner peace (through the meditative aspect).
Which yoga suits you
Which yoga suits you depends on what you are looking for. In addition, there are so many types of yoga that my advice would be to try out some lessons first and then look at what you get energy from. Do preliminary research on the internet about the many forms of yoga. Listen to your body, your mind and your heart at all times. Because in yoga (I have learned), everything revolves around the balance between them.