Yoga is the brand new “in” word in the world of fitness. Never has there been so much mileage given to a mode of acquiring good health. Though the oldest forms of yoga can be listed as Ashtanga, Iyengar, Vinyasa and Hatha yoga, they have several versions that have been re-created by the new age gurus. Every teacher has their own take of it should be done. There is Bikram’s Hot Yoga, the Chinese version of Yin Yoga, Power Yoga and even weirder ones that include animals, babies, drinking beer. Yes, the quirkier … better the eyeballs.
However, if one really gets into in-depth studying of what yoga has to offer, a whole new world can open up to you. It is not just about stretching, balancing and holding to build endurance, but actually about connecting you with your body. Every pose has a science behind it. Each pose brings along with it awareness. Awareness of each muscle being used, the flow of breath, the tension and release of a hold increasing your endurance. Gradually one becomes conscious of every muscle fiber that twitches as you move from one position to another and every joint that gets aligned as you maximize perfection. So, if you integrate that into functional movements that spearhead your daily routine like I do, you are in for a treat.
The body awareness is needed to help you correct your restrictive movements. With the similar science behind it, functional training and calisthenics help you to become pain-free and strengthen the muscles.
In my personal space, there is a lot more that I have to learn before I can say that I know Yoga, but I am definitely body aware. So though I might not be able to perform Yoga poses I do know what they can help you achieve. The base can be formed by using functional movements and calisthenics which can help you strengthen, add mobility and endurance that then can be used for focused weight training or in-depth yoga without getting injured. I say this because though Yoga is meant to guide you to the perfect understanding of your body, there are very few yoga teachers who themselves have really perfected the art. Many people suffering from spondylitis, back injuries, shoulder impingement/frozen shoulder, osteoarthritis etc may not be guided properly and can have elevated pain while performing certain yoga postures.
The new age yoga with its fad counterparts has caused more injuries than just wasted time. So do make an intelligent choice when you chose your yoga class. Don’t add to your woes instead of solving them, make sure you chose a knowledgeable teacher to guide you through.