Iyengar Yoga

7th November 2022By DZ TeamHolistic Health

Iyengar Yoga

Iyengar Yoga – What is it?

Iyengar yoga is a powerful and sophisticated combination of different asanas or poses that are achieved using various props. Developed by B.K.S Iyengar, Iyengar yoga is a suitable choice for beginners as yoga props make it easy for them to stretch their muscles fully. It is a fluid type of practice, where you transition gently from one yoga pose to the next, which helps you be fully aware of your body and positioning. Additionally, pranayama, or deep and focused breathing, is also an integral part of this yoga. Focusing on your breathing enables you to get rid of unwanted thoughts and puts you in a meditative and relaxed state of mind.

Props and Devices Used During Iyengar Class

Following are the common props that can be used during an Iyengar class:

Blankets

Blocks

Chairs

Pillows

Straps

Bolsters

Bricks

Belts

Ropes

Using props during this yoga technique is an innovative practice invented by B.K.S Iyengar. The aim of using props was to make it easy to hold perfect alignments, which makes it suitable for people of all ages.

What are the benefits of Iyengar Yoga?

Regularly practicing Iyengar yoga can bring various physical and psychological benefits, as it can:

Improve body alignment

Adjust spinal vertebrae

Relieve back and neck pain

Help promote holistic healing

Increase flexibility

Bring calmness to the mind

Perfect the posture

Boost immunity

Optimize the breathing

Enhance the proprioception

Better overall health and well-being

 

What should I expect from an Iyengar Yoga Session?

The aim of an Iyengar class is to teach students the perfect alignment, which is thought to bring a deeper spiritual awareness. Your instructor will closely monitor you while you assume a certain posture and correct your positioning where needed. Using props during this yoga session is a way of ensuring that your posture is on-point. You will be asked to hold each pose for a while to get a better sense of your body in space. Additionally, your instructor will guide you to take deep breaths while changing postures. A typical Iyengar class can last for 90 to 120 minutes.

How to Prepare?

You should wear comfortable, loose clothes so you can move easily during your session. It is advised to avoid using strong perfumes or other fragrant products like aftershave. Remove all the jewelry before starting the yoga session.

It is recommended to perform Iyengar yoga on an empty stomach. Still, if you have already eaten, you must wait three hours after a heavy meal to participate in yoga.

Levels of Instructions

Various levels of Iyengar yoga are being offered depending on the level of expertise of students. You can choose one of the following levels to begin your yoga training:

○ Level I is for beginners. The aim of this level is to teach students a few basic standing asanas.

○ Level II aims at teaching students to make their basic postures perfect. They are also introduced to a few advanced poses like shoulder stands and headstands. Additionally, deep breathing is brought into play at this level.

○ Level III is for those students who have mastered assuming the headstand posture for five minutes. During this level, students are taught postures that fall in intermediate difficulty.

○ Level IV offers advanced-level asanas and breathing exercises. It is for students who can keep the headstand position for ten minutes without assistance.

Conclusion

Iyengar yoga is an immensely popular type of yoga that was introduced in the West in the 1950s. One reason for its popularity is the ease of its performance. Therefore, people of all ages can participate in this yoga for physical and psychological benefits.

Check out our related articles:

Kundalini Yoga

7th November 2022By DZ TeamHolistic Health

Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini Yoga – What is it?

Kundalini yoga is a powerful yoga that involves sequences of movements that aims to unlock the Kundalini energy of the body. It is an advanced practice of specific yoga postures and deep breathing that targets certain body parts to release energy and let it flow throughout the body. It helps balance the inner chakras or energy centers of the body which can lead to “Kundalini awakening” or spiritual enlightenment. It is different from other forms of yoga as it is more of a spiritual practice than a physical one.

Seven Chakras of the Body

There are seven chakras of energy in the human body, including:

Root Chakra

Sacral Chakra

Navel (Solar Plexus) Chakra

Heart Chakra

Throat Chakra

Third Eye Chakra

Crown Chakra

The meaning of the Sanskrit word “Kundalini” is circular, and it is referred to as a coiled snake that sits at the base of our spine. Kundalini yoga aims to assume certain positions rapidly to wake up this sleeping cobra. It combines chanting, singing, movements, and deep breathing to bring optimal spiritual results.

However, special care must be taken to perform this yoga as inaccurate poses can imbalance the energy systems and lead to negative physiological and emotional consequences.

What are the benefits of Kundalini Yoga?

Although the primary goal of Kundalini yoga is to get in touch with our spiritual self, it also has various positive impacts on physical health. The benefits of this yoga include the following:

It helps relieve stress and anxiety immediately

Enhances cognitive function

Sharpens memory and focus

Positive body image

Strengthens and tones up muscles

Brightens the mood

Calms the nervous system

Helps with self-acceptance

Lowers blood pressure

Long-term improvements in executive functions like reasoning and critical thinking

Boosts positive emotions and feeling like empathy, creativity, energy, and inner peace

Improves digestion

A faster metabolism

What should I expect from a Kundalini Yoga Session?

A Kundalini yoga session is usually divided into the following three parts:

An opening chant or "tuning in," along with a brief warm-up period

A sequence of postures combined with Kundalini breathing, also known as kriya

A closing chant or meditation

Kundalini breathing is a vital part of Kundalini yoga. The most common breath you will use during this practice is the “breath of fire." Breath of fire involves rapid and equal breaths through your nose and move your stomach in and out during inhalation and exhalation. This will help you feel more energetic by supplying ample oxygen to the blood.

A typical Kundalini session includes the following components:

Mantras

Chanting and singing continuous mantras is a key component of this yoga. Singing mantras can bring chemical reactions to your body that will make you happy and joyful. Mantras enable your body to vibrate at a higher frequency and elevate energy levels.

Kriyas

Kriya brings vitality and overall well-being by affecting your mind, body, and spirit all at once. A Kriya is a combination of breathing, posture, and sounds. Kriya can help protect your energy chakras and boost your stamina.

Mudras

Mudras are a way of channeling energy into various parts of the body by using specific hand positions.

Meditation

The purpose of Kundalini meditation is to bring healing and release negative stresses from the body. Therefore, meditation is performed at different lengths for different results.

Conclusion

Kundalini yoga is a unique kind of yoga due to its spiritual benefits. Combining yogic elements like postures, breathing, chanting, and hand gestures brings you spiritual enlightenment. Kundalini breathing is an integral part of this yoga, and this is what makes this yoga different than other forms, which are more focused on physical alignment.

Check out our related articles:

Pregnancy Yoga

7th November 2022By DZ TeamHolistic Health

Pregnancy Yoga

Pregnancy Yoga – What is it?

Pregnancy yoga is an excellent way of staying fit during pregnancy while also getting plenty of rest. It provides means for women to keep fit and prepare them for the tiring process of labor and delivery. Gently stretching the muscles and coupling them with deep breathing techniques make women feel more in control of their pregnancy. Additionally, pregnancy yoga can help relieve the uncomfortable symptoms of pregnancy, like back pain, neck pain, and morning sickness.

Pregnancy can limit your workout options. Therefore, you need to put extra thought into the physical activities you would like to perform during pregnancy, to ensure the safety of your baby. Prenatal yoga provides a suitable option for staying active while avoiding extra stress on the baby.

What are the benefits of Pregnancy Yoga?

Pregnancy can bring some unwanted and undesirable discomforts in a woman’s life than can make this wonderful experience a bit difficult. Regularly practicing pregnancy yoga can bring many positive changes for you and your baby as it can:

Reduce the risk of premature birth

Improve stamina and strength

Promote deep sleep

Relieve low back pain

Bring mental calmness

Prepare you for childbirth

Improve circulation

Reduce stress and anxiety

Increase muscle strength, flexibility, and endurance that can ultimately help with an easy childbirth

Help alleviate the signs of morning sickness

Improve balance and posture

Lowers the risk of high blood pressure

Apart from the benefits mentioned above, participating in a pregnancy yoga class allows women to meet with other pregnant women. These bonding sessions can help women to share their experiences and find support from each other.

What should I expect from a Pregnancy Yoga Session?

Pregnancy yoga sessions are somewhat similar to regular gentle yoga sessions. However, your instructor will make changes to different postures to make them pregnancy friendly. You expect to practice the following techniques during your session:

○ Breathing Techniques

Practicing focused breathing is a fantastic way of getting control over your breathing. Learning to control your breathing can help you greatly during labor and vaginal delivery.

○ Gentle Stretching

Gentle stretches can put your muscles in an extended position and help release the built-up tension.

○ Poses

Your instructor will teach you specific poses suitable for each trimester. These poses are designed to strengthen the muscles used during labor and delivery.

○ Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation techniques are an integral part of prenatal yoga classes as they enable pregnant women to learn to calm their minds and mentally prepare them for the arduous process of childbirth.

Pregnancy Yoga for Different Trimesters

Each trimester brings different challenges to pregnant women as their bodies keep making changes as the fetus grows. Therefore, pregnancy yoga sessions can be a little bit different for each trimester.

First Trimester

While you can continue with most physical activities in this trimester, you must modify them appropriately. As this is the initial stage of pregnancy, physical changes are minimal. However, morning sickness is the most prominent feature of this trimester. Therefore, you should take a seat if you feel nauseated during the session.

Second Trimester

The second trimester is the best time to start your prenatal yoga classes. During this time, the morning sickness subsides, and your body starts to change shape. You should avoid poses that require you to lie on your belly and involve deep twisting movements.

Third Trimester

During the third trimester, you must make further modifications to avoid over-stressing your big belly. For example, use a gentle pose and a wider stance to keep your balance. In addition, you should avoid any poses that are difficult for you.

Conclusion

Pregnancy yoga can be valuable to keep you fit and active during pregnancy and to help you cope with pregnancy discomforts. However, it is recommended that you practice this yoga under the guidance of an instructor to perform it correctly.

Check out our related articles:

Vinyasa Yoga

7th November 2022By DZ TeamHolistic Health

Vinyasa Yoga

Vinyasa Yoga – What is it?

Vinyasa yoga is also known as "flow” as it is comprised of various poses that transition smoothly from one to another and are synchronized with breathing. It is also referred to as vinyasa flow due to its fluid transitions. Breathing is of prime importance in this form of yoga, as the poses and their transitions are centered around breathing. It is a strong form of yoga and is exceedingly popular. It differs from other forms of yoga, like Bikram yoga and Ashtanga yoga, in which a fixed sequence of movements is performed. On the other hand, this yoga involves a string of poses that do not follow a rigid structure and are performed in a random order.

The philosophy behind this yoga is that nothing is permanent in this world. We enter a pose for a while and then move to the next one creating a flow. It is not a good choice of yoga for beginners as it can get quite challenging to change poses quickly.

What are the benefits?

This type of yoga is fast paced, with numerous benefits for physical and mental health. This yoga can warm up the body and make you sweat profusely, which carries additional benefits. You can benefit from this yoga in the following ways:

Excretes harmful chemicals from the body

Increases flexibility

Protects you from injuries

Reduces stress and anxiety

Optimizes heart health

Reduces the risk of high blood pressure by keeping the arteries patent

Lowers blood sugar levels

Decreases cholesterol levels

Boosts mood

Makes you more resilient

Promotes relaxation

Builds endurance

Encourages you to stay in the moment

Moreover, this yoga is fun to engage in. It is more challenging than other types of yoga and carries additional benefits for your cardiovascular health.

What should I expect from a Session?

As mentioned above, vinyasa flow does not follow a rigid structure. Instead, you will learn to move from pose to pose in a smooth manner. Sessions can vary in pace, format, and other aspects that depend on the instructor and how a session will take place. A few things you can expect to be the same are the beginning of the session with an intention-setting phase and ending it in relaxation.

Your instructor will either say aloud the names of poses, and you will need to assume them, or it can be an alignment-based vinyasa class where your instructor will guide you to perform them.

Different Styles

Vinyasa yoga can take many forms and styles, a few of which are:

Vinyasa Flow Yoga

This yoga involves different poses chained through smooth transitions and is guided by breath.

Vinyasa Hot Yoga

It is a fast-paced form, which is performed in a heated room. The room is commonly heated up to 26 degrees Celsius and can even reach 35 degrees Celsius in some cases.

Power Vinyasa Yoga

This is an active type of yoga that can be physically challenging. The goal of this yoga is to go through rigorous movements in a flow and produce body heat. Profuse sweating during this practice helps detoxify the body.

Dynamic Vinyasa Yoga

You will need to be agile and have a good balance to practice this type of yoga. It requires you to move from pose to pose seamlessly. However, if you are a beginner, it will take you some time to master it.

Conclusion

Vinyasa flow is a challenging type of yoga that involves a chain of movements that does not follow a particular pattern. Many variations of this yoga exist today that also vary in their benefits.

Check out our related articles:

Hatha Yoga

7th November 2022By DZ TeamHolistic Health

Hatha Yoga

Hatha Yoga – What is it?

Hatha yoga is an umbrella term that includes many yoga practices that are derived from it. It is a Sanskrit word that can be translated into English in more than one way. Hatha means "stubborn" or "forceful" in Sanskrit. "Ha" in the word Hatha means sun, and "tha" means "moon.” So, hatha yoga can be defined as a continuous and powerful practice combining different yoga poses, breathing exercises, and meditation to achieve mental and physical harmony. It is also known as Hatha flow, as it requires you to change one posture into the next in a fluid motion without interruption.

Tools Used in Hatha Yoga

Hatha yoga is not just about maintaining rigid postures. Other practices are involved during its performance, including the following:

Asanas or posture to give you control over your body

○ Pranayama gives you control over your breathing

○ Mudras or symbolic hand gestures to help you manipulate and stimulate subtle pranas or subtle energies within your body

○ Bandhas open up your chakras or energy channels of your body

○ Kriyas to massage internal organs

○ Mantras to free your mind of useless thoughts and be in control

What are the benefits of Hatha Yoga?

By regularly engaging in hatha yoga, you can open the energy channels of your body and be in a state of emotional and spiritual well-being. In addition, this type of yoga carries a wide range of health benefits.

Physical Health Benefits

Physical benefits that you can expect from this yoga include:

Increased joint mobility

More flexible connective tissues

Boosted metabolism

Increased balance and coordination

Improved blood circulation

Enhanced cell regeneration and early injury recovery

Body cleansing by promoting an active lymphatic system

An overall positive impact on every system of the body

Elevated energy levels

Deep and regular sleep

Optimal cardiac and pulmonary functions

A more balanced sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system

It can further help manage the symptoms of the following health conditions:

○ Osteoarthritis

○ Fibromyalgia

○ Rheumatoid arthritis

○ Low back pain

○ Hot flashes during menopause

○ Multiple sclerosis

○ Neck pain

○ Insomnia

Mental Health Benefits

Mental health benefits of Hatha flow include the following:

Reduced anxiety and depression levels

Improved concentration

Increased mindfulness

A greater sense of calmness

Enhanced focus and motivation

Increased creativity

Improved learning abilities

A well-balanced emotional state

What should I expect from a Hatha Yoga session?

A typical hatha yoga session can take 45 to 90 minutes, depending on your instructor. It consists of different yoga styles, all of which come under this yoga. Your yoga session will begin with a warm-up period and consist of three main parts; breathing, poses, and meditation.

Breathing or Pranayama

Practicing deep and focused breathing is usually the first part of a yoga session. Next, the instructor will guide you to clear your mind of any thoughts and concentrate on your inhalation and exhalation, leading you to a relaxed state. They will also remind you to keep redirecting your focus on your breathing while practicing different poses.

Poses or Asanas

During this part of the session, your instructor will guide you about different poses that can be performed in various positions. These poses can be of varying difficulty levels, and your instructor can provide you support for the ones you find difficult to hold.

Meditation

Meditation is the last part of a yoga session. In this part, your instructor will ask you to lie flat and guide you in a deep state of relaxation, which might make you fall asleep. Again, your instructor can use different tools like singing bowls to help you with guided meditation.

Conclusion

Hatha yoga or Hatha flow encompasses different yoga styles that can help harmonize your mind and body through deep breathing, poses, and meditation. It is a gentle type of yoga that is also suitable for beginners.

 

Check out our related articles: