Benefits of Yoga

Benefits of Implementing Yoga into Your Life

Yoga is one of the oldest forms of exercise dating back to what some describe to the dawn of civilization. The physical practice of yoga is called “asana.”  Yoga is so much more than a physical exercise, which makes it extremely beneficial to add to your life.

For example, when talking to junior communication student Caitie Link, she talked about the positive impact yoga has had on her physically. “I have muscle knots that are so tight that massage therapists can no longer fix my back and shoulder. I’ve been doing yoga weekly recently and my knots are finally starting to release and I’m feeling less pain. Plus, it’s a good relaxer from class!”

Yoga originated thousands of years ago in India, where its purpose was to prepare the body for a long meditation. It was also a practice that was only accessible to men. However, as time went on, yoga moved to the west and became a very popular form of exercise.

Professor of art history Rohini Iyengar shared her thoughts. “Yoga has been around for so long for many reasons. It is something that helps you have control over your body and also your mind. Besides the practice, Yoga is something that has been prominent in many different religions and cultures throughout history. Its idea of bringing you back to yourself and helping you avoid temptation is something at the core of many belief systems such as Buddhism.”

Today, there are many different types of yoga, the most popular being hatha yoga. Hatha yoga is what was practiced when it first originated in India. It is practiced in a neutral environment while going through the postures. Other types of yoga that have come about in our modern western world are Bikram yoga, aerial yoga, prenatal yoga, and many, many more.

Bikram yoga is the first form of hot yoga that originated in California. Now, hot yoga is one of the most popular forms of yoga! It is a regular vinyasa styled class but in a hot environment. It is a very cleansing experience and provides a challenge for more experienced yogis. There are numerous studios in the area that offer hot yoga including Synergy Hot Yoga in Fair haven and Powerflow Yoga in Asbury park.

Aerial yoga, also known as anti-gravity yoga, is a new form of yoga that involves being suspended in the air by a cloth hammock. It originated in New York but has sense moved all over the world. It provides a very freeing feeling while being suspended in the air. A studio that offers it in this area is Tula Yoga in Long branch.

Beyond the physical exercise yoga provides, there is also a deeper aspect of yoga that draws people in for different reasons. Meditation is something that originated along the same time as yoga and is a great way to calm not only the body, but also the mind. As stated previously, yoga was initially intended to be a way to stretch the body so you could sit for hours on end in meditation.

Meditation is something that can be extremely beneficial to everyone but especially people who may suffer from anxiety. It is a great way to unwind and settle your mind. In a typical yoga class, at the end you will lie in a pose that is called savasana. This is the final relaxation pose of the class and entails lying still on your back with your eyes closed.

Junior music industry student Jess Mcgovern also has had a positive experience with yoga. “A big part of yoga is concentrating on positivity. The instructor will always pick a theme for the class, like self love, mantras, relationships with others, the moon, etc, that all center around us and the world we live in. It’s a great way to reflect on who you are as a person and what you can do to become happier and more positive individual.”

As Mcgovern said, yoga is a great way to enhance your mood. Going to a class alone or with friend is a great way to escape the day to day chaos and you will always leave feeling refreshed and much more calm. So take off your shoes, roll out your mat, and Namaste.

PHOTO TAKEN by Campbell Lee