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Yoga is full presence in the now

What is yoga?

Yoga is many things, according to Pantanjali yoga sutra's 8 limbs of yoga, there are 8 parts to a yoga practice; Yamas - External instructions on how we interact with other people, Niyamas - Inner instructions on how to control our own lives, Asana - Physical Poses, Pranayama - Breathing exercises, Pratyahara - Sensory control, Dharana - Focused concentration, Dhyana - Meditation and Samadhi - Bliss and surrender .

 

When we usually talk about yoga, we are talking about Asana, the physical postures. Although these are the ones we perform in our yoga training, all the other areas naturally weave themselves into our practice, so through the physical poses we work with all 8 limbs of yoga. This is what sets yoga apart from all other physical exercise.  

Yoga Asana.

Yoga means "To unite". In connection with yoga, you become aware of the connection between the breath, the body and the mind. As you gain a greater body awareness, you get to know both your body better, and at the same time become aware of how your mind works.  

 

Yoga can be a transforming process, both physically and mentally. As the physical poses becomes more and more familiar to the body, tension and blockages are released from the body, which in turn makes it possible for you to open yourself up in your own life, and release any limitations and tension present in your life.

The physical benefits of yoga are flexible and more toned muscles that are less likely to be injured. But it is the work of the mental body-mind balance and connection that can help you through stressful periods in your life and that is crucial to your well-being.

 

Yoga is a unique tool for getting to know your body and your own resources. yoga is both de-stressing and revitalizing, it strengthens and softens your muscles as well as has a deeply regenerating effect. Physical issues and unbalances are prevented and remedied by regular practice, and your energy level and resilience increase.  

 

It can be hard to tune out all the thoughts that are constantly flying around in our heads. However, if you do not find a way to relax, it can quickly end in stress, inability to concentrate, burnout and failing memory. Yoga teaches the body and mind to relax and let go. In addition, mental clearance is strengthened in situations under pressure and you will experience increased balance in your life. When you practice yoga, you spend time on- and with yourself, the strength and balance yoga offers you both physically and mentally, creates increased awareness in your relationship with yourself and others.

Yoga is for everyone regardless of age, gender, size and past experience with yoga. It is not necessary to be particularly agile or strong. As long as you feel like working with yourself and your body, and you dare be authentic in relation to what you feel, and respond honestly to what your body is telling you.

Yoga creates balance in body and mind, and provides physical and mental well-being, you experience increased energy, you release tension and stress, and you increase your body awareness. Yoga is physical as well as mental training for body and mind, it's about being present in what you're doing right now.  

 

Yoga has a particularly positive influence on: Muscle tension, mental state, stress, ability to concentrate, depression and balance. Yoga poses is in itself physical training, but also helps to provide peace of mind if you feel stressed. Yoga stretches and flexes muscles and tendons, and is a great addition to; running, strength training and other sports

When energy and flow comes into an area that has been blocked, and you use muscles that are not used to being activated, you will be able to experience some discomfort. However, direct pain is not tolerated, and if you experience pain, you must leave the pose, or withdraw a little from the pose until the pain disappears.

 

When you perform the poses, you direct your attention to the reactions and signals you experience in the body and adjust the poses yourself based on this feedback, among other things with the use of variations and modifications.

 

Try to perform the poses based on the instructions and directions you are given, and concentrate on following along as well as possible, if you can't get into a given pose, do it as best you can. Doing a little is better than doing nothing, it is a developing process in itself to recognize that there is something you can do and something, right now, that you can't, both parts are equally good.

outstretched hand in yoga pose mudra

Stress-related symptoms such as tension, headaches, fatigue and frustration are reduced.

Choosing a style of yoga / yoga teacher

Yoga is a living form of exercise, constantly evolving and the same yoga class can be experienced completely differently depending on which type of yoga and yoga teacher you choose.

 

The term yoga covers many different types of yoga, all of which are rooted in the traditional Asana (yoga postures) but where the physical - the actual performance of the postures - and the mental - focus and attention - can vary greatly from type to type.

 

Despite our very broad use of the term "Yoga", yoga is not just yoga, there are countless variations.

The more dynamic forms like; Vinyasa yoga, Forrest yoga, Anusara yoga and Jivamukti yoga to the more gentle forms like Hatha yoga, Yin yoga, Iyengar yoga, Vini yoga, Kundalini yoga, Satyanada Yoga, Sivananda Yoga and Kripula yoga.

There are yoga with a fixed choreography / series that is repeated in every class, and where there is a step-by-step development from one series to the next such as Astanga yoga, Virya yoga, Tri yoga and Svaroopa yoga. There are the more acrobatic yoga forms like Acro yoga and Unnata Areal yoga and a mix of yoga and fitness in yoga forms like; Power yoga, Bikram yoga and Hot yoga.

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Choosing the type of yoga you resonate with is ultimately a matter of personality, try to find what works best for you. But it is crucial that you find a yoga teacher with whom you have good chemistry and who you feel comfortable with. It is important that the yoga teacher is able to not only give initial instructions, but also be able to explain how to modify and vary the positions to suit you and your level.

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Read more about which yoga I teach

Here are some tips to help you find your ideal yoga teacher / class.  

1. Ask family, friends or colleagues if they know or can recommend someone.

2. Find a yoga teacher who is balanced, content, and patient.

3. Ask about the teacher's qualifications. 

4. Tell the teacher about the physical or mental limitations you have, but be aware that it is you who is

    responsible for your body, so always listen to your body and respect its limitations. 

5. Choose a yoga teacher who has a own daily yoga practice and who still continues learning.

6. Start by taking beginner classes or an intro course.

7. Listen to your body and follow your intuition.

8. Be open for it to take a little time to feel comfortable, remember "once is never".