Yay for YOGA!!

rd mtn yoga

Debra K enjoying tree pose at Red Mountain Resort and Spa

I made a great discovery and just had to share it.  FREE yoga online.  I had been contemplating doing yoga again, but as it had been awhile I wanted to practice at home first.  DoYogaWithMe.com has some great classes to get you started.

Having had an on again off again love affair with yoga for about fifteen years, I decided to give it another try recently.  I am one of the fortunate ones born a bendable gumby and not being very shy, I used to love impressing my fifth grade buddies with the fact that both my feet could go behind my head.  Once in high school I had to stop doing this, because it sent out a completely different message.  Arriving for my first yoga class back in the late nineties, it was exciting to realize that once again others encouraged me to twist myself into all sorts of fun, but weird positions.

The word yoga can be translated as “union,” “yoke,” or “balance.” It is believed when you do yoga you are creating a union between mind and body. The physical aspects of yoga also help you develop balance, flexibility and strength.

There are many types of yoga for you to explore and most likely you will find yourself drawn to certain styles.  If you’ve tried a class and it didn’t resonate, keep looking.  Below are some brief descriptions of several types of yoga.  See if any intrigue you enough to give them a try.

For the power hungry

Ashtanga:  This intense method of yoga involves synchronizing the breath with a progressive series of postures.  This system produces intense internal heat and a profuse, purifying sweat that detoxifies muscles and organs. The result is improved circulation, a light and strong body, and a calm mind.

Bikram:  A series of 26 postures placed in sequence and designed to support all systems in the body.  It was developed by Bikram Choudhury and usually is performed in a heated environment adding to the detoxification process.  If you go to this type class, take a towel, water bottle and prepare to sweat!

For those who want to go with the flow

dk and Sejal Shah

Sejal Shah, yoga instructor at Art of Living Retreat Center

Hatha: A generic term in yoga, but usually offers a series of movement that flows smoothly through the entire class.  Often sun salutations are incorporated at the beginning of each class to warm the body and prepare it for the day’s activities.  Here is a good example of sun salutations. 

Art of Living Yoga:  A discipline, both gentle and powerful, that integrates elements from the different paths of yoga, especially Hatha yoga, uniting the body, mind and breath in awareness. To participate in Sri Sri Yoga you can visit the Art of Living Retreat Center’s calendar for a schedule of events

For those seeking release in the stillness

Yin or Restorative:  The focus of this type yoga is to work the connective tissue in the body.  Often our lifestyle encourages use of our muscles, but rarely the joints and deeper tissue between our joints.  This type yoga achieves this through holding postures between three and five minutes.  It is a quieter and slower yoga that is perfect for later in the day or before bed.

Regardless of what type yoga you decide to practice, there are mental, spiritual and physical benefits to be gained.  

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