Yoga is a 5,000-year-old practice and was first mentioned in the sacred Rig Veda. In the pre-classical era, Yoga was a collection of Mantra and rituals that took an individual through self-knowledge, wisdom, and realization. Over the years Yoga was refined and further developed by Brahmans, Patanjali, and Yogis. Yoga was further classified into various styles by the westerners to make yoga more accessible and suit our modern lifestyle.
No matter the style or form of Yoga, it still carries its basic values and beliefs that have a singular goal; unification of the body, mind, and, soul. Yoga incorporates physical postures, called asanas, meditation, controlled breathing and other mindful activities that improve our physical well being and brings mental peace. Yoga teacher training in Rishikesh gives a brief knowledge of the different styles of Yoga and the fundamentals behind them. Each yoga style works in a systematic way to address a particular issue.
Ashtanga Yoga is the most popular and traditional form of Indian Yoga. ‘Ashtanga’ is a Sanskrit word that means ‘eight limbs’ as it is based on the eight basic principles, namely; restraint, posture, observance, breath control, sense, withdrawal, concentration, meditative absorption, and, enstasy. These form the basis of Ashtanga Yoga where an individual follows a series of asanas that are synchronized with the breath.
Ashtanga Yoga training in India is a holistic approach to a balanced life. It is an effective cardio workout and raises heart rate promoting better flow of blood throughout the body. This style of yoga has major physical benefits as it reduces weight, improves body strength, increases flexibility, tones muscles, and, improves physical posture. Surya Namaskar is a popular example of Ashtanga Yoga that can significantly reduce body fat. One round of this exercise burns approximately 14 calories! The 12 poses in Surya Namaskar are designed very carefully to aim every body part individually and therefore reducing weight. When practiced at a fast pace, it stretches the muscles that assist in burning fat around your abdominal area. The compression and stretching of abdominal organs regulate better digestion which in turn lowers the body’s tendency to store fat.
There are a variety of Yoga courses in India that help train people and practice yoga properly. Ashtanga Yoga serves as the basis for Power Yoga which is gaining popularity as a modern cardio-workout. Nowadays, Power Yoga classes are also being organized for small groups, where the individuals can learn and perfect the series of asanas. The group follows a leader through a series of postures, in a rhythmic and fast flow which helps in sweating out and burning calories. Power Yoga is a fitness-based practice that increases stamina, strength, flexibility, and, body heat to make our bodies fit and healthy.
Power Yoga is modelled on Ashtanga Yoga and carries its athleticism in a vigorous form. It gives Ashtanga Yoga an interactive and playful nature with added benefits. The profuse sweating after its practice helps burn calories and mimics the feeling one might get after a high-intensity gym workout. Power Yoga shouldn’t be confused with gym workouts, as they are the conventional sequence of poses from Ashtanga Yoga with the holistic and spiritual foundations of Yoga. Different Ashtanga series are combined together to produce interesting and physically intensive workouts that work in different ways for the body.
Ashtanga Yoga is an efficient way to unite the mental, physical and spiritual benefits of Yoga with a modern touch of a calorie-burning exercise.