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Part One: The A to Z of Yoga

20th July 2017

Part One: The A to Z of Yoga
Not everyone understands Yoga. Is it religious? Does it work? How does it benefit me?

These are just a few of the burning questions that a beginner might have. Yoga has a long list of benefits and it's a fun, accessible way of keeping healthy.

Often, the more educated you are about what yoga is and what it can do, the more convinced you will be to give it a try. So if you want learn your Asana's from your Savasansa's and know your Hatha from your Iyengar, here's a helpful A-Z to get you started...

Part One: A- M:

A is for Asana

Asana, the first sanskrit yoga term on this list. Asana is another word for 'pose'. It describes the different postures a student will practice during a yoga routine. It's believed that there are more than 8 million different asana's in existence.

B is for Breathing

Breathing is one the most important parts of Yoga. Also known as 'pranayama', the practice of controlled breathing is something that can be used in all kinds of situation. It helps you to slow down your heart rate, reduce your stress and clear your mind, all through the use of a few simple techniques.

C is for Chakra

Yoga teaches that the body has 7 centres of spiritual power. Each of them is a cog in a larger machine and when working in harmony they create a flow of energy. This energy, called 'Prana' is a vital life force that keeps us feeling healthy, vibrant and positive.

D is for Downward Facing Dog

If you're new to yoga and don't know a lot about it, then 'downward dog' is probably one of the few yoga poses you will have heard of. Using your hands and legs, you pose on the mat in a reverse V shape. It's a great way to stretch the muscles and is great for women to relieve menstrual discomfort.

E is for Education

Yoga will be a great educational tool about how you can improve your wellbeing, but it will also educate you about yourself. It will teach the importance of the relationship between mind and body and help you to become a more positive person. It will also shine a light on your capabilities and how you can achieve self-improvement.

F is for Flexibility

Yoga poses are gentle and flowing. They are designed to help you become more flexible and loosen up joints. This allows you to have a greater range of motion and makes it easier to complete day to day tasks.

G is for Guidance

A good yoga teacher can really help you achieve your goals. Before you start practicing yoga, it's important to decide what you want to accomplish. This will help you choose the right yoga style and in turn, find the right teacher to help you. A good relationship with your teacher will go a long way to improving your health and practice.

H is for Hatha

The most traditional form of Yoga that you will experience. Hatha Yoga is about achieving balance, hence the definition being “sun” and “moon”. It has been practiced for thousands of years and is by far the most popular yoga class for beginners. A lot of more modern styles draw influence from hatha.

I is for Iyengar

Iyengar is a yoga style that helps you to develop strength, endurance and flexibility. It focuses heavily on alignment and posture while making use of specialist props like blocks and straps. It was invented and subsequently named after one of the most renowned yoga teachers in history, B.K.S Iyengar.

J is for Jivamukti

Jivamukti yoga is heavily traditional and a challenging workout. It's most suitable for advanced students and tries to teach them to find enlightenment both during and outside of practice. It draws influence from Vinyasa yoga and combines breathing, meditation, sanskrit chanting, relaxation and philosophical discussion.

K is for Kundalini

Kundalini Yoga classes focus of movement. Routines incorporate yoga poses that flow naturally into to each other. Kundalini tends to be more fast paced than styles such as hatha and if you head for an advanced class, it can be a vigorous workout.

L is for Losing Weight

Yoga is a good tool for weight loss. Styles such as Bikram Yoga and Hot Yoga make you practice yoga in heated rooms which means you sweat, sweat and sweat some more. This is a great way to burn calories and help you shed a few pounds.

M is for Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a key teaching of yoga. It translates to “being aware” and in Yoga terms it refers to being aware of your own presence and mental state. It will make you more mindful of your own body and helps you to achieve inner peace.

How to find a yoga class near you

If you can't wait for part two and have already decided you'd like to join a yoga class then we can help you do just that.

On the NearYou App, you'll find yoga classes all across the UK with qualified yoga teachers. If you want to join a class, simply book yourself a place or contact the instructor to find out more.

You can choose between yoga styles and experience levels to make sure that you find a suitable class. Just download the NearYou App now to get started or head to the homepage of this website to search for local classes.
Source: Yoga Class Near You