If you have been paying attention, you know how popular yoga has gotten within the last few years.
It seems that new yoga studios are opening in almost every corner, celebrities are endorsing it, and even doctors are recommending yoga to their patients. Yoga has become mainstream sparking everyone’s curiosity and interest.
People that want to start a yoga practice find themselves asking questions like: How do I know if yoga is for me? Does it really work? Can it help me? There are a so many styles of yoga to choose from than can confuse anyone trying to find the right yoga class. Some yoga classes concentrate on resting in simple supported postures in quiet rooms. Others are very dynamic, pushing students to the edge of their physical capacity. Some styles of yoga play music while others are done without. Some yoga styles concentrate on physical alignment, while others offer a more spiritual approach. There is so much variety, it is impossible to describe them all.
As different the various styles of yoga may be, they all share one thing in common: No matter what path and style you choose, they all work. You can feel the effects as soon as right after class. People notice that they always feel better after practicing yoga than when they first walked in. Many wonder why and how does it work? To start, Yoga teaches you to breathe with awareness, slow down, calm your mind, strengthen your body and lengthen the spine. Yoga helps your body and mind relax, lowering your blood pressure and heart rate. In turn you can see benefits like better digestion, stronger immune system, and better sleep after few weeks of practice, things that tend to be affected by stress in our lives.
I often hear people ask me; I get how yoga can benefit everyone but what makes all the different styles of yoga work if they are so different? That is a good point; the effects of a strong Ashtanga practice cannot be the same as a restorative one. People that usually come to those classes are definably different as well. Yoga teachers and practitioners all agree that Prana (life force) is the key. Almost all styles of hatha yoga increase the flow of prana, life force, in your body. Prana is the essential life force that sustains everything.
Yogis believe that the intelligent use of Prana is the key to spiritual awakening. The practice of yoga asanas helps us access this life force by holding a pose and breathing into it or breathing through it. The main reason people feel better after practicing yoga is because in one way or another they increased the flow of Prana in their bodies, making them fell more balanced, centered and relaxed. The more you learn and practice yoga, the more you get to know which poses will help you at any particular time. You may notice that a particular style of yoga works best for you or you need certain styles the most at certain periods of your life. That means that your yoga practice will often change accordingly to your body’s physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
After all that is what yoga is all about, to help us bring balance, health and overall wellness into our lives. It does not matter what type of yoga you choose to practice, as long as you do it with dedication, devotion and awareness the flow of Prana will definably increase in your body providing you with all the benefits yoga has to offer.