It has recently come to my attention that a lot of people around the Helderberg are misinformed and carry an incorrect concept regarding yoga. Here are the facts:
1. Yoga is NOT a religion. It is not a spiritual journey either.
Why do people say it is then? It can be. Anything that causes us to be healthier, and feeling better, calmer, and more confident, can be perceived as ‘godly’, or ‘enlightenment’. It is only health. I believe we as humans have the right to take care of ourselves and feel good. Yoga helps with this.
2. Chanting in yoga is not praying! Why do we do it?
Here is an interesting concept to consider: I have 2 relatives around my age that lost their voices due to some type of ailment. One vocal cord paralysis and the other polyps on the vocal cord. Both the conditions strange, unexpected, and eventually healed perfectly to everyone’s surprise. Doctors included. Do you talk too much? Do you not talk enough and do mostly everything online? How do you keep a balance, which will help your vocal cords be in good health? Like any muscle needs to be exercised, also the brain stimulated – chanting exercises the vocal cords and voice, for optimal health. How awesome is that? (This is only one of many uses, of course.)
3. You do not need to be able to touch your toes in order to do yoga.
As a matter of fact – no one, including me can touch their toes without warming up to do so first. How to warm up? Yoga. You will be surprised at your own body and its capabilities should you give it a try.
4. What is power yoga? Vinyasa yoga? How should you know what to choose?
Yoga, for the most of it, is yoga. General terms used around this area may include Vinyasa Flow, Hatha yoga, Yin yoga, Power Vinyasa Healing Hot…all elaborate terms coming down to subtle differences of the teaching styles of the individual yoga teachers. You may find Vinyasa Flow and Healing Hatha classes with one yoga teacher, and experience the exact same class. However, Power Yoga with me and Power Yoga with Eugene will be completely different experiences. However, bottom line is that all yogas, no matter the name will guide you into a pose that will stretch your body and help you feel good.
Yin is unique, however. You may expect yin yoga to put you into a pose, which then you hold for around 50 seconds to 3 minutes, where Vinyasa or any of the other will take you into a pose, and then the next shortly thereafter – hence the flow. (This is because yin yoga targets your deep connective tissues, like your fascia, ligaments, joints, and bones while ‘normal’ yoga focuses on your muscles, strength and stamina.)
Kundalini is also quite different. Here you may be faced with what seems like something of spiritual nature. Again, this is not the case. To explain it in most basic terms – Kundalini focuses on the human body and all the weird stuff one can experience doing different stuff with it – like holding your breath will make you feel dizzy.
Feel free to shoot some questions on the topic in the comments here. I am happy to answer any yoga related queries you may have.