There are literally hundreds of yoga poses practiced worldwide, some traditional and some hybrid. Listing all poses in one article would be impossible, so we’ll list some of the more popular poses here to give you an idea of the body manipulation needed for all difficulties. We’ll use the 26 Bikram Yoga poses as a model, since it uses poses of varying degrees of difficulty ranging from beginner to advanced yoga poses.
Floor and Standing Yoga Poses
In most cases, yoga poses are separated between standing positions and floor positions.
Yoga poses are not mastered in a day or even a week. Mastering yoga positions takes a great amount of time and patience. Your body will need to learn to use muscles you don’t normally use. It will also need to learn how to bend in areas it does not normally bend. Therefore, it’s best not to overdo it on the first second or third class until you understand your body and its current limitation. Don’t worry, as you work on your yoga your body will respond. In time you will probably shock yourself with what your own body is capable of.
The Purpose of Yoga Poses
Yoga isn’t just about going through the motions. Yoga incorporates physical poses with metal focus and proper breathing techniques. By using proper techniques, yoga can help with back pain, arthritis, circulation, depression, anxiety and countless other ailments not usually treated with traditional exercise.
Yoga ultimately relates back to the union of the body, spirit and the mind. Yoga poses are simply the physical manifestations of the overall practice. Therefore, simply learning the poses will indeed make you more flexible and perhaps help your physical health, but will not reap all of the rewards attributed to this beautiful practice.
Breathing is a very important part of each yoga pose and is one of the Five Principals of Yoga. Different breathing techniques are used for different poses, and at different intervals. Some Yoga poses, like the khapalbhati, is based solely on breathing and not on flexibility. Pranayama, the first yoga pose in Bikram Yoga, is based solely on the science of breathing. The science of breathing in yoga is meant to help oxygen circulate to all your organs, facilitating good health. Certain Pranayama poses are designed to provide full body circulation, which with proper breathing, circulates oxygen throughout your entire body.
Breathing also helps us concentrate, and concentrating is essential to yoga meditation. As a whole, breathing, yoga poses and meditation are extremely beneficial to an individual in mind, spirit and body. Without one – none are effective.
Meditation is also one of the Five Principals of Yoga, and should be used while performing any and all yoga poses. Research has long shown that meditation, in various forms, can help relieve stress and bring harmony and a general sense of well-being to our lives. When most people think of meditation, they envision old men in robes “oommmmm” ing throughout the day and night. Although this is a form of meditation, there are many ways to meditate – right in your own home. Meditation is the practice of letting all of your thoughts fall away leaving nothing but the ‘now’. To help people meditate, usually an object is chosen to focus on. All other thoughts fade away – if your thoughts start to wander, refocus on the object.
The result of proper meditation should be a full awareness of the ‘now’ and nothing else. No distracting thoughts, no worries about work, no TV in the background – simply the ‘now’. By performing proper meditation, one is able to cleanse their mind of trivialities and focus clearly on what is important – themselves. People who meditate properly every day start to become more focused, mentally balanced and generally feel better from psychological standpoint. Just like the yoga poses however, meditation is not something that can be rushed. It is also best to find a professional meditation teacher to help you get started so that you are clear on what you are trying to attain.
Yoga Poses, Breathing and Meditation
Make sure you find a yoga instructor that will teach you all of the proper yoga poses in conjunction with proper breathing and meditation techniques. By learning the fundamentals early, your yoga journey will be very rewarding and help you become more balanced, happy and physically in tune with your body.