Yoga is a physical exercise that has a meditative and spiritual core, originating from the ancient Indian tradition, and introduced to the western world in the late 19th and early 20th century. By the 80s this physical practice gained great popularity, thus it came to the attention of an educated western public who conducted many studies in order to determine its effects on the human body. Today the presence of yoga in the American lifestyle can be represented by the latest numbers generated by the National Health Interview Survey, a long-running study from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. 14.3 percent of adults questioned in 2017 during the research work said that they had practiced yoga in the last year.
In the present article, we will provide a complete guide that will enable you to master yoga in Seattle.
What is yoga?
Yoga represents a number of physical poses combined with meditation and breathing aiming to clear the mind and strengthen the body. It provides a total mind-body workout while strengthening your core, arms, legs, glutes, and back. In addition, it stretches your muscles and increases your range of motion while also building strength and flexibility. Finally, yoga promotes a feeling of calmness and helps relieve stress and anxiety through deep breathing and relaxation or meditation.
Once you get into Yoga though, you learn that it is so much more than just a way to work out and keep in shape. It is a philosophy, a passion and a way of life for many of those involved in Yoga. While you may be getting into yoga for the exercise, you may soon find yourself wrapped in the philosophy and spirituality that Yoga brings along with it.
Although Yoga is very famous as an exercise that reduces stress and allows for greater relaxation, it offers several other physical and mental benefits to its lovers. The following paragraph lists some of the major advantages of the practice:
Physical Benefits of Yoga
- Increased Flexibility
- Increased Strength
- Improved Balance
- Increased Stamina
- Improved Body Alignment (reduces joint pain)
Mental Benefits of Yoga
- Stress Reduction
- Body Awareness
- Better Sleep
- Improve self-confidence
Most Popular Styles of Yoga
The ancient Indian practice gained its popularity due to the fact that it was possible for yoga masters to develop it during years, and modify it to suit people with different abilities, preferences, degree of mobility, or health conditions. This development lead to the emergence of many types of yoga, from which you can choose the one that fits you the most.
Hatha Yoga is a balanced practice when movement and surrender are combined into one single session. Therefore almost every type of yoga taught in the West is a form of Hatha. A typical Hatha class means that there will be a gentle approach to performing basic postures while focusing on breath.
Bikram Yoga is a style of yoga that involves a 26 Hatha posture series that is practiced in 105 degree Fahrenheit heat. The artificially heated room allows toxins to be released, promotes more flexibility, and prevention of injuries. This style of yoga became so popular that certain studios have taken the practice and modified it. You’ll often find these classes called “Hot Yoga” instead of “Bikram”.
Vinyasa is the Sanskrit word for “flow,” and is known for fluid movements that build up intensity. Vinyasa flows smoothly from pose to pose, creating a dance-like rhythm. The intensity of the class is similar to that of Ashtanga, But with a level of creativity in Vinyasa classes, as no two flows are ever the same. Thus Vinyasa tends to be a more vigorous style of yoga, with focus on breath synchronized movement, moving from one pose to the next on an inhale or an exhale.
This type of yoga is appealing to those looking to develop a stronger mind-body connection and grow in strength and flexibility through fluid and creative movement.
Based on ancient yoga teachings, this practice was brought to the West in the 1970’s. The Ashtanga style of yoga involves a rigorous sequence of specific postures that links breath with movement. The system is based on six series of asanas, and within each series, the same poses are always performed in the same order. Therefore Ashtanga Yoga can be physically demanding as the practice focuses on constant movement from one pose to the next.
Bender Birch developed this technique in 1995. Power yoga was set out to give the Western world a new spin on traditional Ashtanga Yoga by utilizing the challenging aspect of creating heat and energy through a rigorous movement that incorporates strength and flexibility using intense flowing sequences. Studios’ approaches to Power Yoga differ across the country, so it’s important to ask about the specifics before jumping onto the mat. Practice Power Yoga if you are looking to increase metabolism and burn fat.
Founded by B.K.S. Iyengar, this practice focuses on the precision of alignment in each pose, strength, and flexibility. A variety of yoga props (including yoga blocks, blankets, straps, chairs, walls and bolsters) are all common in Iyengar classes to ensure the student’s form is correct. This style of yoga is fairly passive, but it provides a different type of physical and mental challenge. Since you are required to hold poses for longer periods of time. The practice is gentle and alignment based, thus it is great for people wanting to learn the basics of yoga and who have recently suffered an injury.
Top 4 Free Yoga Classes In Seattle
Yoga is very popular in the Seattle area, therefore many studios and groups are organizing free yoga events regularly allowing people to get together, exercise, and have a good time. In this article we have compiled the four most popular free yoga events just for you.
Top 5 Yoga Classes in Seattle
If you live in the Seattle area and you enjoy practicing Yoga while improving your health, or just plan to discover this practice, then in the following paragraph you can find the top 5 online rated yoga studios in 2018.