Yoga Is A Way To Explore Strength, Peace, And Harmony

The origins of yoga are shrouded in mystery, from its oral teachings to its historical text.  Dating back at least 10,000 years, it was practiced by religions, which may have had a foundation in Hinduism.  So why are we so fascinated by yoga and what makes it extremely popular in today’s society?

Yoga is no fitness fad, it’s a way of life and an outlook that many follow.  It was first introduced to the western world in the 1880s, as historical teachings.   Much later, it was expanded to include physical practice in the 1950s.  From that time to the present, yoga has grown in popularity, with many types of yoga to suit different lifestyles and needs.  Breaking down its methodology gives an overall view of its benefits:  karma yoga (action), to jnana yoga (wisdom).


Many turn to yoga looking for physical accomplishment and possibly body transformation.  Soon realizing that yoga is much more than just the physical action.  The practice has many styles, some of which include Iyengar, which focuses on precision and anatomical alignment and Vinyasa, which is a fun form of yoga poses, to rhythmic pattern.  Yin yoga, is also very popular today, focusing on lengthening and conditioning the body, whist calming the mind.  This yoga is great for those who want to master both patience and inner physical strength. Bikram yoga, commonly referred to as hot yoga, was born out of traditional hatha yoga.  This form of action yoga is currently very prevalent with the practice room heated to a balmy 95-108˚F.  The heat is believed to cleanse, focus and warm the body, so strengthening and lengthening the muscles is easier.  Action yoga in general claims many health benefits, some of which include:


  • Strengthening of body core and muscles
  • Weight reduction
  • Enriched organ health
  • Increasing spine flexibility
  • Easing arthritis
  • Improving balance
  • Regulating metabolism, while improving digestion


Although yoga combines physical and spiritual strength in all its teachings, wisdom yoga is the mental segment of yoga.  An example is Himalayan yoga, which is based in sacred texts and Vedic knowledge.  To crudely put it, this is a collection of sacred mantras and hymns.  Recited aloud, these mantras/hymns are an ancient comprehension of the scientific makeup of our planet.  Today we could categorize this as philosophy.


Osho is a form of wisdom yoga that uses meditation techniques to rid the ego and escape modern day pitfalls of self centeredness and materialism.  Restorative yoga focuses on healing and relaxation.  Many of these practices have been used to develop modern day yoga classes, one of which even includes a laughter class, which focuses on its benefits as a therapeutic release.  Wisdom yoga and its practices, have been used in schools, to calm and focus children’s attention.  In the workplace, wisdom yoga can help center creativity and enlighten thought.  Many of the claimed health benefits for this type of yoga include:


  • Stress relief
  • Greater personal energy
  • Focus
  • Happiness
  • Self Confidence
  • Creativity
  • Freedom of inhibition


Making time for your own body and mind is crucial, so why not become a “yogi” (a playful term endearing someone who practices yoga).  Whatever the stated health benefits are, yoga is a way to explore strength, peace, and harmony in today’s high pressure society.


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Wave Bye-Bye to Anxiety and Say Hello Yoga to Reduce Stress

Are you done being stressed out? Yoga to reduce stress is your saviorHello!  It’s time to introduce yourself to a proven means of relaxation. As a result, bid anxiety buh-bye! Most of all, you’ve got so many types of practices available, there’s sure to be a style that will fit your needs.

Y Yoga?

Seems like, your goal is to lower your anxiety levels. Probably, you can do this through delegating your workload or exercising. Maybe, you can cut down on caffeine, meditate, and/or utilize several other coping skills as well. Most remarkably, yoga not only helps reduce stress.  Especially relevant, it’s beneficial in so many other ways. Some are:

  • Improves flexibility
  • Strengthens immune system
  • Increases strength
  • Relieves pain
  • Assists with weight management
  • Improves circulation
  • Conditions cardiovascular system
  • Lowers blood pressure

What Type of Yoga is Right for Me?

First of all, in general, yoga is a practice that combines physical movement with attention to the breath. Yet, the focus is on creating calm and balance in the body and mind. Much as, yoga connects the body’s physical poses with mindful breathing in an attempt to shut down the noise in the mind. Consequently, anxiety levels are decreased and stress-reduction rules.

Especially relevant is choosing a style of yoga that is personal to you. Only you can know which type is preferable or can benefit you the most. So, below you can read brief descriptions of several common, various practices. They are:

  • Ashtanga
  • Iyengar
  • Bikram
  • Hatha
  • Kundalini


Hence, there are numerous styles of yoga to reduce stress from which to choose. As a result, others you may learn about and/or practice are: Restorative, Yin, Jivamukti, Pranayama, Ananda, Kripalu, Sivananda, Power yoga, among more.

Almost, with any class or practice, you will want to be as comfortable as possible. This would include wearing loose fitting tops or particular yoga clothing. Also, wearing your hair back will help when stretching or maintaining certain poses. In addition, having your own yoga mat is helpful for hygiene and personal comfort.

Ashtanga (pronounced Osh-tong’-uh)

Ashtanga yoga moves pretty quickly from one pose to the next. Another key here is the inhaling and exhaling of breath with each move. As a result, this style of yoga to reduce stress focuses on a series of poses linked by a specific way to breathe. Repeating certain movements like down-dog and push-ups can get you seriously strong in no time!


Iyengar (pronounced Ay-en’-gahr)

Many times, this yoga class is fairly slow-paced. That doesn’t mean it’s easy! It’s just that the Iyengar approach pays incredible attention to every detail of every fine movement and pose. This is a great style if you have injuries or are pregnant because it focuses on safety and meticulousness.


Bikram (pronounced Bih’ krum)

The main thing to note about Bikram yoga is the heat. Classes are held in rooms that are specifically set to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Include in that, 40% humidity. That’s some sweaty space. Yogis are expected to go through 26 different poses twice. Fortunately, the second time around, the poses are only held for a third of the time they’re held on the first go-around.


Hatha (pronounced Hah’-thuh or Hah’-tuh)

Hatha yoga to reduce stress focuses on strengthening the body-mind connection. Your body’s energy is the focal point. Mainly, it consists of obtaining balance. “Ha” means sun and “Tha” means moon. The essence is about combining all systems. Thus, relaxation is the target goal. Stretching, deep breathing, and meditation are all emphasized.


Kundalini (pronounced Koon’-duh-lee-nee)

We all have chakras, energy centers, according to Eastern healers. The chakras (pronounced shock’-rahs) in our body hold our life force. If they get “locked” or “clogged”, we may become physically and/or spiritually ill. Kundalini yoga to reduce stress works on unlocking blockages through yoga poses and emphasizing focus on the breath. This style aims to reawaken your life force. May your force reunite with you!


Regardless of the style of yoga you practice, the goal is to regain and maintain positive health. Certainly, stress-reduction is a step in the proper direction. If yoga is the catalyst for healthy renewal, why not give it a go?


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Is Yoga Cool, Hot, or Bikram?

An experienced yogi reveals the differences between hot power yoga and Bikram.

The Good, The Bad, and The Smelly

Hot power yoga takes place in a room approximately 90 degrees in temperature. Poses are practiced amongst scents from candles that are calming and soothing. Bikram requires a temp of 105 degrees, and some studios are stinky from carpeting and intense, sweating bodies.

Non Slip Yoga Mat
Non Slip Yoga Mat

Feeding the Fire

Before a Bikram class, some suggest eating a light meal up to three hours before. In hot power yoga, it’s recommended to eat a snack, perhaps a banana, about a half-hour before. In both scenarios, hydrating is necessary, before and after, preferably with cool water.

All yoga is about patience, balance, commitment, and practice. Whether it’s room temperature or a varying level of heat is added, it’s all about the poses and loving your body.

Get Thrive Yoga Pants
Get Thrive Yoga Pants