Yoga is an art form with many facets and potential benefits for practitioners. Engaging in yoga can provide a full-body workout along with mental and spiritual stimulation, all within the same activity. As yoga has grown in popularity, many people have started to experience the positive effects that it can have such as improved balance and flexibility. Although these benefits are wonderful, yoga goes far beyond a simple set of poses, and knowledge of different yoga formats can greatly increase the impact of your practice. Here are a few types of yoga and some of their benefits:
• Ashtanga yoga is an ancient form that focuses on cleansing and purification of the body. This practice focuses on synchronization of body, breath, and movement in order to tone the nervous system and lead the practitioner towards spiritual enlightenment.
• Iyengar yoga was brought into practice by the master B.K.S. Iyengar. Some key benefits of Iyengar yoga include strength, coordination, improved flexibility, and an enhanced sense of well being. This form focuses on the art and science of Pranayama. Breaking down this word, “prana” refers to energy within our bodies, similar to the concept of a life force. The second half of Pranayama means control, and so all together the word means the control of breath. By engaging in Pranayama, one can control the energy within their body which leads to a healthy body and mind, and can help attain a higher state of awareness.
• Kapalbhati yoga is a yoga technique and a type of Pranayama. It is a breathing technique that cleanses the mind of carbon dioxide. On a deeper level, kapalbhati allows for the cleansing of restlessness from the mind.
Another important term associated with yoga is the Surya Namaskar, or the Sun Salutation. The Surya Namaskar is performed during the morning hours of sunrise. It is made up of twelve poses that all flow into one another with ease. This my be performed at a fast pace as a warm up for a workout, or taken slowly depending on the preferences of the practitioner.
A unique aspect to the Sun Salutation is that it creates a complete full-body workout. It is comprised of 12 sets of exercises, which translates into 288 powerful yoga poses, all occurring in a span of twelve to fifteen minutes. The Surya Namaskar helps to tones and strengthens the muscles, and can be extremely beneficial for the heart. Additionally, it connects the mind, body, and breath in a harmonious way that facilitates a complete meditative experience.
Yoga is a unique art form to help strengthen your body and sharpen your mind. Many people enjoy the benefits of practicing yoga poses in nature. This can be a very enlightening experience, and helps to build an appreciation for the natural world around us. The belief that nature holds the key to eternal health and wellness is important to us at the Goa Wellness Festival 2018, and we look forward to facilitating a truly enlightening experience for each of our guests.