Yoga is a system of physical, mental and spiritual exercises that aims to transform the body and mind. It is one of the six Hindu philosophical schools that accepted meditation as the main means of achieving liberation. Yoga practitioners are called yogis.
Highlights of practicing yoga
Yoga is one of the most ancient systems for physical and spiritual cultivation, which originated more than 5,000 years ago in India. Yoga is not a sport, but a science for reaching pure consciousness, peace and bliss in us and for getting to know our essence. It reveals the laws that govern our mind and shows us how to deal with the emotions that flood us every day.
Fear, anger, envy, guilt are some of the emotions that overwhelm us regularly. They take away some of our life energy, which makes our mind and body disappear. However, by learning to use yoga techniques and getting used to applying them in our daily lives, we will be able to start recharging our body and mind at any time. In this way we will be able to “earn” extra time for ourselves, our family and everything we have to do. Through practicing yoga, we learn how to find and maintain balance when we are happy and how to deal with stress and maintain self-control in critical situations. We take care of our body and spirit, we are charged with energy and harmony, we become happier and calmer.
Basic rules for practicing yoga
We must not force our body more than it can bear.
The posture does not have to be performed perfectly. The important thing is to feel the progress towards our capabilities and to enjoy the movements themselves. This does not mean that we should not make an effort. However, they must be in accordance with the abilities of our body.
We must be careful when choosing a teacher
It is very important to choose the right teacher, especially if we have no experience with practicing yoga. The right teacher will give us courage and confidence and will help and guide us when I need it. If the teacher is not qualified enough, he will not be able to fully convey the intricacies of this science. He will not be able to show the necessary attention and give the right advice.
Don’t take yoga as a sport
As mentioned earlier, yoga is not a sport. There is nothing concrete to achieve, there is no competition with the people around us who do the exercises. This is the place for peace and solitude. And it is certainly not the place where you will be able to lose weight as fast as possible and sculpt your figure in no time.
We should not compare our body with what it was some time ago
We certainly should not compare the things we could have done with our body some time ago with the things we can do now. Unfortunately, we do not rejuvenate with time, but with desire and regular exercise we can try to keep the tone and skills we have acquired for as long as possible.
We must be consistent in our practice
Usually after a yoga class we feel full of energy and can’t wait to go back to the gym. However, it often happens that everyday life engulfs us and stops us from having time for that. However, we need to exercise self-control and find time for yoga so that we can “reap the fruits” of the results we have achieved.
We must be patient and not give up
It takes time for us to start performing all the poses with ease and perform them correctly. We cannot expect instant results. We cannot expect our body to start making certain movements after a few workouts. And we should not be angry that we are not able to achieve what we want quickly. It is necessary to load with patience especially for more difficult poses. Patience and perseverance are the two things that will help us achieve the results we want. We must also realize that our body may not yet be able to do everything we want from it, but our mind is already at a completely different level from the beginning.
What does the yoga system consist of?
The yoga system consists of 8 levels and is called Ashtanga Yoga (eight-level yoga). The first 4 stages make up Hatha Yoga (yoga of effort). They deal with the physical body and maintaining its health and purity. They also serve as preparation for the next degrees. They form Raja Yoga (royal yoga), which deals with mind control and the use of meditation. From there, the goal is to reach the ultimate goal in yoga – the superconscious. Here are the eight degrees:
1. Pit ( Yama )
These are the limitations and moral principles. It includes ahimsa (non-violence), satya (adherence to the truth), asthea (non-theft), brahmacharya (storage and cultivation of sexual energy) and aparigraha (non-attachment).
It is associated with the observance of discipline. It includes shaucha (purity of mind and body), tapas (conscious effort for self-education and asceticism), samtosha (satisfaction), svadhiya (study of the scriptures and oneself) and Ishvara pranidhana (devotion to the Divine).
These are static postures and psycho-physical exercises that strengthen the body. Many of them also have a healing effect, as they are designed to affect all muscle groups, organs and glands. By definition, an asana is a stable and comfortable posture. It is considered mastered when done with ease and effort. There are several main groups:
Relaxation poses – they are used to completely relax the body and calm the mind.
– Sitting postures – with their back straight and legs crossed. They are used to practice meditation and pranayama (information in point 4).
– Balancing postures – they strengthen concentration and muscles, as well as improve balance.
– Inverted postures – in them the head is down and the legs are up. They are considered the most effective asanas, energize and tone.
– Spinal flexion poses – bend the spine forward, backward, sideways and twist it. Thus, it is maintained healthy and flexible, which in turn guarantees good health and longevity. In yoga, it is believed that the spine is the “pillar of life”.
In addition to these static poses, there are also dynamic ones. They are called vinyasa and in them the movement is synchronized with the breathing.
These are breathing techniques to control breathing, the vital energy prana. They are a powerful tool for accumulating vital energy. They strengthen the control of the mind and balance the circulation of energies in the body.
This is the process of withdrawing the senses from external objects and directing attention to oneself. The senses are placed under control so that they can prepare for the upcoming stage of concentration.
6. Dharana (concentration)
This is the conscious process of directing attention to a particular object or process. Usually the body or its energy centers (chakras) and the process of respiration are used as the object of concentration. These techniques develop the stability of attention and improve the ability to concentrate.
7. Dhyana (meditation)
This is a process that occurs spontaneously after prolonged and deep concentration. Meditation is a special state of mind in which the thought process has stopped and the mind is completely calm. The body and the mind merge into one and a state of inner bliss is reached.
This is a superconscious state of consciousness, which is accompanied by a feeling of supreme bliss. It arose spontaneously after prolonged meditation. This is the ultimate goal of yoga and is the moment when a person has completely mastered himself and gained full control over his consciousness.
Basic steps in practicing yoga by beginners
There are several basic steps that need to be taken if we decide to practice yoga. We should not eat 2-3 hours before exercise and it is good to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. We need to start at the beginner level if we have never done this type of exercise. At the start of the program we must warn our teacher if we have any health problems. We should always ask questions about everything that interests us during classes. We should practice yoga regularly, but at the same time we should not overdo it. It is good to try all possible styles of yoga to find the one that suits us best.
In addition to straightening our posture, yoga relieves stress and makes us feel in harmony with ourselves. It makes us stronger and more flexible and saves us from pain. When we practice yoga, our immunity is increased and the appearance of unwanted diseases is prevented.