Yin yoga, also referred to as Taoist yoga is becoming more and more popular on the modern yoga scene. While still a lesser known and understood form of yoga, as more and more practitioners discover the style and its many benefits, yin yoga is sure to move its way to yoga’s forefront. Most styles of yoga popular among modern yogis are yang in nature. They are muscular and dynamic. It’s important to complement your yoga practice with the yin-style for many reasons. Let’s explore the style in detail so that we can better understand the hows and whys of its inner workings.
Ishvara pranidhana is the fifth and final of the niyamas found in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra. Ishvara refers to ones personal connection with the divine, while pranidhana means surrender. When we put these two words together, the niyama tells us to surrender to the divine, to cultivate a deep surrender that connects us to the all pervasive force that embraces all that ebbs and flows in our ever changing universe. It’s a very powerful practice. In fact, one could say it’s one of the most advanced principles of yoga because once we connect to the great beating heart of the universe, we become confident yogis, deeply empowered and better equipped to navigate the often chaotic landscape of life. On the surface, it seems ironic that we become more powerful when we surrender and let go, and yet - this is a yogic truth that offers us a profound transformation of perspective. When we practice Ishvara pranidhana, we align with the divine, and life flows with more grace and beauty.
When we think of someone we know who has integrity, we think of someone who means what she says, and who’s words and actions are aligned with their core beliefs and values. This characteristic is one that we yogis aspire to. It’s a virtue that takes courage and a knowledge of who we truly are - at the heart of our being. When we hold an unshakable inner-knowing of our truth, living with integrity comes naturally. If we've done the inner-work, so to speak, we are more in touch with our values than we were before. This is a blessing - a beautiful gift that yoga gives us when we practice with focus and devotion.
Viniyoga evolved from the teachings of the grandfather of yoga, T. Krishnamacharya and his son T.K.V. Desikachar. In this style of yoga is all about conforming to an individual’s needs based on his or her profile (age, current and historical health condition, as well as the physical condition). This type of Yoga customizes the program for each student and gives the training privately. Viniyoga is more concern with function rather than form. What is very essential here is the careful assimilation of the following: breath control, spine movement, intensity, and sequencing. Everything is dependent on the need of the individual.
If one wants a workout Yoga then Ashtanga is your type of Yoga. Unlike the Hatha, Ashtanga is more intense, fast-paced, and physically demanding. Credit for this type of Yoga should be given to the one who developed it – K. Pattabhi Jois. In Sanskrit, the word Ashtanga means “eight limbs” and it refers to the eight limbs of Yoga from the Patanjali Yoga Sutras. In Ashtanga Yoga, the poses are performed in a set of series with constant movement one after the other. Basically, the physical benefit that is gained from this style is endurance, stamina, flexibility, and strength.
Nowadays, Yoga has attracted many people from all walks of life as it has shown the benefits one could gain from it. From the classic Yoga, various styles have been explored and practiced. Basically, all styles of Yoga use almost all Asana (poses) but differ on the emphasis of building strength and flexibility. Each and every style has its own physical and mental benefits that aim in reducing stress, losing weight, toning muscles, improving blood circulation, relaxing the body, and attaining a spiritual journey. So read on and know more about the different styles of Yoga as this article briefly explains each one of them.
The physiology and body’s chemistry changes immensely during an individual’s puberty or teen years. It is also at this time where the chakras starts to develop and becomes more and more active. However at this point, while change and development takes place in the body chemistry, chakras, and physiology, there are also imbalances that occur. Most often than not, it becomes evident or it results to mood swings and rebellion. This is why Yoga is very helpful to stabilize or maintain the three into a balanced state. Having a regular exercise of yoga will enable a healthy spirit and soul and in the process it also enhances both the mind and body.
Wikipedia defines and describes Mantra as a tool for a spiritual transformation, which is created through sound, word, syllable, and even group of words. India’s Vedic tradition is where Mantras originated which later on became a fundamental part of Hindu’s custom and tradition. It has also been an established practice within Sikhism, Buddhism, and Jainism and since then it gained popularity and became a widespread custom among other religious groups or movements, some of which were off-shoots of the earlier religions and Eastern traditions.
One misconception when in meditation is that one should eliminate the stream of thoughts in one’s mind. The truth is that one should actually allow the train of thought arising without interruption and be able to let go of it. It usually takes a lot of effort to develop this new skill.
The practice of yoga aims for “Enlightenment” and also “Self-Realization”. In order to achieve this state, one must be able to focus and bring himself to meditate at a level or depth where he discovers the Center of his consciousness. In doing so, one must have a set of skills to reach one’s self within. It might be confusing at times when we hear the words techniques and skills. To simplify it, techniques are methods by which one enhances a certain skill. In Yoga, the more important thing that one should be able to focus on is the skill and not so much on the techniques.