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Yoga postures: A guide

Yoga postures: A guide

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Yoga postures: A guide

98 pagine
1 ora
Dec 19, 2013


The Yoga poses outlined in this book will help the students at a beginner level to start practicing Yoga while will direct the more advanced ones to fine-tune their technique. By presenting each pose in the form of an easy-to-use card, the author has made a great effort to communicate her experience so that it can be easily understood. The book is filled with over thirty photos as well as instructions and suggestions on how to get the poses properly done. Some of the postures are basic, others are more advanced so that the book can accompany the students in different stages of practicing Yoga. As the author has done extensive researches on the importance of breathing while holding poses, a chapter is dedicated to breathing techniques with the intent of applying this knowledge not only during the Yoga practice but also in the life of every day.
Dec 19, 2013

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Yoga postures - Friederike Baum



The power of Yoga

The importance of breathing

30 Postures for your daily practice

The journey of practicing Yoga


The power of Yoga

YOGA is known to be an ancient physical and spiritual discipline as well as a branch of philosophy originated in India most probably 5,000 years ago. The word Yoga comes from the Sanskrit yuj, which means to yoke, join, or unite. The Iyengar school of Yoga also defines yuj as the joining or integrating of all aspects of the individual (i.e. body with mind and mind with soul) with the intent to achieve a happier and a more balanced life. The ultimate aim of Yoga is, in fact, known to be reaching kaivalya, the emancipation or ultimate freedom.

Origins and development of Yoga

UNFORTUNATELY, there is no written record about who invented Yoga since the discipline was practiced by yogis (i.e. Yoga practitioners) much before humans knew how to write. Over the millennia, Yogis passed down their knowledge to their students with many different Yoga schools developing and branching apart.

The earliest written record of Yoga is one of the oldest texts in existence. It is generally believed to be written by Patanjali, an Indian yogic sage who lived around 2,000 years ago. Patanjali is believed to have written the Yoga Sutras (i.e. thread, in Sanskrit). Those are the principles, philosophies and practices of Yoga that still followed today. Although many schools of Yoga have evolved over the centuries, they all follow such fundamental principles described by Patanjali. Buddhism and other Eastern spiritual traditions use a number of the Yoga techniques as well as derivations of those techniques.

The exact location where Yoga originated has long been object of debates and discussions among historians and scholars. Some believe to be the foothills of India, others the valleys of Southeast Asia, and others the mountains of China. Whichever the right location was, Yoga did not remain a secret forever. Eventually, one of the oldest form of personal development found its way out of the Asian continent and developed into what is known today for. With millions of practitioners around the globe, Yoga ended up in revolutionizing the meditative lifestyle.

Swami Vivekananda is known to have been the first Hindu teacher to share and promote the aspects of Yoga to the West around 1890. In addition to Yoga, many other aspects of Hindu philosophy were introduced to the Western public during the same time.

In the 1960s, Western interest in Hindu spirituality and Yoga (at that time considered a synonym of Hatha Yoga) reached its peak. Several Neo-Hindu schools or schools meant to spread the Hindu philosophy and Yoga to Western audiences emerged across the US and Western Europe. The practitioners of Yoga devoted their time to learning about Samsara (i.e. the Hindu cycle of rebirth) and Moksha (i.e. the release from the cycle of rebirth and sufferings). In these early studies Yoga was more than simple and basic Asana (poses) and Pranayama (breathing exercises) as most of the people may consider it today. Yoga was instead perceived by the masses for only a limited number of people who eventually spent years in studying under a yogi (Yoga masters) as if it was a religion to which devote the own life.

It was not until the 1980s then, that Yoga witnessed a sudden revival in its popularity when several researches and doctors in the West found a way to connect it to heart health. This connection changed the connotation of Yoga into a physical system of exercise, removing the heavy religious connotation that it had since the 1960s. The average person at this stage felt to be able to practice Yoga without the need of learning Sanskrit or Hindu philosophy. A heavy burden was left behind and many Western fitness centers began to present Yoga in their programs. Soon Yoga studios were opening across Western Europe and the United States.

In the last ten years Yoga has appeared in the medical field as a new, modern treatment to complement medications. Nowadays, Yoga has even been the subject of studies investigating cancer treatments and it has been proven to decrease depression, pain, insomnia, fatigue, as well as control of anxiety in cancer patients [1].

Studies on the treatment of schizophrenia have also pointed out how Yoga is actually able to improve cognitive functions and reduces stress. When paired with existing drugs and therapy, the introduction of Yoga into the daily routine of schizophrenic adults has been proven to have profound effects. Patients with schizophrenia saw an improvement also in social and occupation functions in only four months of Yoga practice [2].

Since heart diseases is among the top killers of developed countries citizens, Yoga’s positive effects on their treatment have earned attention in the mainstream media. Also in this case, Yoga has been proven to reduce high

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