Yoga and meditation, both ancient practices are an important aspect of lifestyle management. The two have become very popular in Western culture as people face more and more stress due to the demands of life in general. For many, yoga and meditation is an escape from the pressures and demands of everyday life.
Yoga provides many other mental and physical benefits, and once established in practice, you find that you cannot start your day any other way.
There are many types of Yoga practices and it’s important to choose one that’s suitable for your individual body. Here are a few of the basic yoga types:
Hatha Yoga refers to most types of yoga that are practised in the U.S. that involve
physical postures. Most Hatha Yoga classes will provide an introduction to basic yoga postures and should leave your muscles feeling loose and relaxed.
Ashtanga – An ancient and rigorous style of yoga that follows a specific sequence of postures that links every movement to a breath. The poses are performed in the same order each time. This is a physically demanding version of yoga. The best way to practice Yoga is to find a Yoga Retreat Center.
Bikram – This is the classic “hot yoga” in which the classes take place in heated rooms.
to make you sweat, the series of 26 poses are always performed in the same order. Bikram yoga is trademarked by the founder, making the practice slightly controversial.
Hot Yoga – Similar to Bikram yoga, and only deviates in some of the sequences.
Iyengar Yoga – This type of yoga focuses on alignment and holding each pose correctly. You will often use blocks and straps to help keep your ailment correctly.
Restorative Yoga – A great way to use yoga for relaxation purposes. This type of yoga focuses on breathing and relaxation techniques. You will feel more relaxed and rejuvenated than ever before as Yoga is considered the most effective stress relief method of all.
Vinyasa Yoga – This type of yoga is known for fluid and intense movements. The focus of this type of yoga is also linking breath to movement.
Yoga has many benefits, both mental and physical. The physical benefits include improved circulation, increased muscle strength, increased flexibility, better posture, better breathing, improved concentration, increased mindfulness, weight loss, and much more.
Meditation the practice of focusing the mind on a particular object or thought. It is practised mainly for brain health. The point of meditation is to train the mind to ultimately achieve an emotionally calm and stable state of mind.
Like Yoga, there are many types of meditation practices, and each type of practice requires different skills.
There are many tools out there for beginners, such as meditation DVDs, meditation retreats, or meditations centres where you can sit with a group of people and meditate together.
Two basic types of meditation are Concentration and Mindfulness:
Concentration meditation involves focusing on a single point. This “point” could be your breath, a “mantra,” or even staring at a single object like a flame or using prayer beads to chant a word or phrase of your choice. You will start off meditating for a short period of time, and then gradually increase your practice.
Mindfulness meditation is different because you will be more like an observer on your thoughts. You should take note of the types of thoughts that enter and exit your mind and see what kinds of patterns they form.
Benefits of daily Meditation:
Lower blood pressure
Improved blood circulation
Lower heart rate
Less anxiety and stress
More mindfulness and feeling of being present
Simple Meditation Techniques for Beginners:
Sit with your legs crisscross on a cushion.
Close your eyes.
Breathe naturally and focus on each inhalation and exhalation.
Notice how your body moves with each breath.
If your mind wanders, return your focus to your breath.