As yoga has become enormously popular over the last few decades, many new types have been invented to complement the traditional forms. The sheer number of possible yoga activities can seem overwhelming and off-putting, even to those familiar with the practice, so we are here to help. Come with us on our journey through the world of yoga and discover something new from our Ultimate Guide.
We will be taking you through each type of yoga in more detail in this series of posts, but first here is a short introduction to whet your appetite.
1. Definition of Yoga
Yoga means Union. It comes from the root yuj in Vedic Sanskrit and means "to add", "to join", "to unite", or "to attach". Practitioners use the term to mean the union of an individual’s body with their mind, the bringing together of people in a group during practice, and also the merging of those groups with the universe at large.
2. A little bit of history
No one knows exactly when or where Yoga began, but many believe its origins were over 10,000 years ago in India. However, the word was first recorded only 5,000 years ago in the Rig Veda, an ancient text of the Vedic priests. It was brought to the West in the late 19th century by Swami Vivekananda who introduced the practice to the people of Chicago.
3. For whom?
Since there are so many types of practice, there's a class for everyone regardless of age and ability. Yoga is a highly accessible and healing discipline; practise it regularly and you’ll be amazed at the improvements in your body and mind.
4. Eight Limbs of Yoga
Nowadays, we mostly focus on the physical practice of yoga known as Asana, but actually yoga is supposed to be a way to achieve healthy living at all physical, mental and social levels. It consists of eight steps, of which Asana is just one. All those together are called ashtanga (from Patanjali's Yoga Sutra) which means "eight limbs". Apart from Asana there are Yama (morality), Niyama (personal observance), Praynama (breathing), Pratyahara (control of the senses), Dharana (concentration and cultivating inner perceptual awareness), Dhyana (meditation), Samadhi (Union with the Divine).
5. Types of Yoga
There are numerous types of Yoga, including those above. Our Ultimate Guide will focus on all these kinds of physical practices to make it easier for you to navigate between them and decide which one is the best fit for you. So look out for our following posts and accompany us on this discovery of yoga!