Yoga is a staple in nearly every health and fitness magazine these days. Far from being a trendy form of exercise, Yoga is an ancient practice that began in India centuries ago. Or is it…
If you really dig into the history of the practice, you’ll find that what we call “yoga” today DID start in India, but not until the 20th century! Modern Postural Yoga was first taught by guru Krishnamacharya, who taught a mix of gymnastics, wrestling moves, Western calisthenics, all mixed up with something called hatha yoga – a medieval practice all but lost in India for centuries.
Hatha Yoga can be traced back to 10th century India, but focused mostly on controlled breath during a handful of very specific poses. The goal of hatha Yoga was to achieve enlightenment or foresee the future. Krishnamacharya may have incorporated ancient breathing techniques like those done in hatha yoga into his exercises, but the poses he taught, and we still do today, are very much a modern invention.
No matter when yoga came to be, we can all be glad it is here today. Regular practice of yoga does wonders for your cardiovascular health, flexibility, core strength, and balance. Yoga routines designed for seniors are a great way to help reduce the likelihood of dangerous falls.
In addition to the obvious physical benefits of a regular yoga practice, there are many psychological and emotional benefits, too. People who practice yoga regularly are happier, experience less stress (even in stressful situations), report better mental health on self-assessments, and has even been shown to reverse the symptoms of PTSD in women in just 10 weeks.
It is theorized by scientists that the practice of yoga actually affects the human body on an epigenetic level – meaning that yoga can turn on more genes related to good health and wellbeing and turn off genes related to stress responses and illness.
There are so many varieties of yoga available today, from very intense classes designed to build athleticism and strength, to seated yoga routines for the elderly or those who are wheelchair bound. Take a look around our community and we are sure you’ll find a yoga class that matches your exact fitness and health goals!
Sound Healing is a wonderful way to add more benefits to your Yoga Practice. We offer a really cool Gong & Himalayan Bowl Session during which you can bathe your body and mind with the meditative harmonic sounds of Gongs and Bowls. Read about it here.