Copyright 2006 Rob Daniels
Many yoga styles have been derived from classical yoga, and are designed to suit various preferences. Most of the different yoga positions practiced fall into one of two categories: meditative or therapeutic. There are literally hundreds of yoga basic positions or yoga asanas. All of the yoga positions are designed to provide benefits for both the mind and the body.
Each of the five prayer positions have a corresponding yoga position, and the positions together activate all seven chakras or energy fields in the body. The different yoga types and positions focus on different chakras or energy forces. The numerous positions that are part of yoga were originally designed to prepare the body for meditation.
Asanas, the actual poses or positions of yoga, may seem difficult or complicated to the novice. However keep in mind that all the basic positions of yoga are designed to help develop both strength and flexibility. Many yoga positions involve deep stretching and, as such, could help the repetitive trauma disorders tendonitis, tennis elbow, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
A basic knowledge of yoga postures and philosophy is helpful, but not essential. If you cannot be comfortable in your meditation and yoga positions, then you will be unsuccessful.
Unfortunately, many believe that yoga requires tremendous flexibility and the willingness to twist oneself into pretzel-like positions while chanting something unintelligible. But yoga is a series of in and out breaths which move through a variety of physical positions. The physical part of yoga consists of a series of stretching and strength-building positions of varying difficulty.
Although most yoga exercises are safe for nearly everyone, certain twist positions should not be done by pregnant women or people with back problems.
Muscles stretch better when they are warm so be sure to practice yoga in a comfortable environment. Remember to sink into yoga positions slowly and carefully to avoid injury. Don’t try to hold poses for too long of a time period. If you get used to practicing yoga positions everyday, it is expected that your bones and muscles will react accordingly.
It is recommended that practitioners include some form of yoga positions and preferably a yoga routine in daily life. When done properly yoga should increase the lubrication of the joints, ligaments and tendons. The well researched yoga positions exercise different tendons and ligaments of the body so focus on those difficult areas. There are a lot of yoga positions and poses that is built to enhance posture. The Yoga philosophy urges that the necessary inhibition of mental states is brought about by practice and conquest of desire. Through the practice of yoga an individual can gain information about physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well being.
The yoga postures are often misconstrued as the definition of yoga. Stretching is only a small part of the yoga philosophy. To be rid of sorrow and sin, one must, according to yoga philosophy, attain spiritual unification, the consciousness of two in one, or yoga. Each pose integrates the foundational principles of asana, anatomy, and yoga philosophy, and develops the transcendent inner experience. For an authentic appreciation of the Yoga philosophy of mind, it is essential that these ideas be fully explored.