There are many ways to define or explain what yoga is. You can go into its benefits, how it's practiced, how its learned, who teaches it, and so on and so forth. All that is helpful information if you want to get into yoga and learn the different yoga poses. But before all that, we're going to help you with vital information to help you answer that age-old question: what is yoga?
Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual practice that originated in India. The ultimate goal of practicing yoga is to attain tranquility in the mind and spirit, and making this goal achievable by means of yoga poses and meditation. It has a holistic orientation in that yoga is practiced physically, but its benefits extend to the mental and spiritual being. If you want the answers to what is yoga and what its benefits are, practicing it yourself is the best way to learn.
Essential Yoga Poses You Need to Learn
As mentioned before, a central factor in knowing what is yoga and what it 's about are the different yoga poses that calm the mind and improve physical and mental health. By keeping steady breathing while doing yoga poses, you reap the many benefits of yoga including improved posture, increased lung capacity, strengthened knees and joints, increased flexibility, and it also improves the ability to cope with stress and anxiety. Here are some of the essential yoga poses you'll learn when you start practicing yoga.
Tadasana or the Mountain Pose
This is an important starting yoga pose (classified under standing poses) that helps to familiarize beginners on how to listen to their breathing and to establish breathing patterns that will come in hand when performing yoga. The Mountain Pose is also often used to transition to other standing, inverted, or bending poses. To do the Mountain Pose, stand with your back and neck straight, your shoulders relaxed, and your weight falling evenly on your feet; from heel to toe. This is a good way of getting good alignment on the body before you move to other yoga poses.
This pose is known to be beneficial to yoga students of all levels because it stretches more than the physical body. When done properly, it also signifies opening up mentally and spiritually to how your body behaves. Stand with you legs bent forward and your arms above your head, palms facing. Stretch your arms toward the ceiling, opening up your chest and shoulders while you breathe in and out.
These are two of the more important yoga poses you'll learn when you finally decide to take a class to answer your question of "what is yoga?" There are hundreds of yoga poses that are typically classified into the following: standing, bending, inversions, back bends, sit and twists, etc. Other poses that are considered important by yogis and advanced students alike include the Sun Salutations, the Downward Facing Dog, the Child's Pose, the Cat-Cow Stretch, the Cobra Pose, and the Triangle Pose.