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Do you know the benefits of yoga?

Yoga:a discipline with many virtues

Lotus, downward facing dog, tree, warrior… the somewhat strange names of yoga postures intrigue you, as does the practice of this sport itself. What are its real benefits for our body? How is it a source of well-being? Find out where this practice, which is increasingly appreciated by the French, comes from.

Yoga:where does this practice come from?

The history of yoga begins over 5,000 years ago in India. At that time, the first writings on this physical and spiritual practice appeared in the form of texts called yoga sûtra. All styles of yoga draw their inspiration from this yoga sutra written by Patanjali. The original texts were then reworked to become accessible to all. The practice of yoga born in India is also inspired by many sacred texts such as the Upanishads, and philosophical currents such as Vedanta, Buddhism, Samkya, etc.

Yoga very quickly seduced the Western world and new yoga practices appeared. The practice of yoga has become accessible to everyone. Besides the spiritual aspect, yoga can be practiced as a physical activity to gain flexibility or reduce stress.

If you've ever taken a yoga class, you've probably heard your teacher say "Namaste" at the end of the class, folding his hands in front of his heart. Do you know what that means?

– “ Nama ”:to bow,

– "as":I

– " te ":you.

Namaste therefore means " I bow before you ".

Yoga and the French in a few figures

– 2.8 million French people practice yoga regularly or occasionally;

– 49% of yogis are between 35 and 64 years old;

– 50% practice yoga for a healthy lifestyle.

The benefits of yoga on body and mind

The main goal of yoga is to find harmony between body and mind. More than just a physical activity, yoga is a path to mental and physical well-being. Its benefits are therefore multiple.

  • Better Breathing :the breath (the "prana") is a key element in the practice of yoga:it gives rhythm to the movements. Different breathing exercises exist to learn how to control your breath and purify your body. Well controlled, breathing helps you massage your organs and bring them oxygen.
  • A more flexible body :your body gains in flexibility. By practicing yoga, you will relax your spine, your hips, your knees, your ankles, your wrists, etc. It is a complete practice that works your whole body.
  • A reinforced back :yoga postures (or "asanas") stretch the spine and tone the back muscles. The practice of yoga is therefore excellent for preventing chronic back pain. Upper back tension decreases.
  • A better balance :yoga requires a constant alignment of the body. Regular sessions will help you have a better balance.
  • Better stress management :yoga teaches us to live in the present moment and to feel good "here and now". The goal is to better control your thoughts, but above all to let go. These are the beginnings of meditation. Yoga is therefore very useful for learning how to manage your stress and your mind.
  • A toned body :yoga postures make you work all the muscles of your body. Breathing exercises strengthen the abdominals. More athletic yoga practices such as ashtanga or vinyasa help you detoxify the body and contribute to weight loss.
  • Better concentration :the practice of yoga is a real workout for the body and the mind. Body alignment, sequence, breathing… so many parameters to control that help you boost your concentration.

What are the best yoga postures?

Whatever the type of yoga, this activity consists of doing sequences of postures guided and punctuated by your breathing. What are the best simple and effective yoga postures for beginners or the most experienced?

  • Downward facing dog:Begin by getting on all fours. Lay your hands flat (fingers wide apart) shoulder width apart. Feet are hip-width apart, in line with hands. Stand on your tiptoes then push your pelvis upwards by stretching your arms and legs. Push your seat bone skyward and gaze down at the ground.
  • The tree is great for working on your balance:stand on your mat and stand straight on one leg. The other leg is bent and the foot is placed in the hollow of the opposite thigh. The arms are extended to the sky, hands joined, stretch the spine, and look straight ahead.
  • The plank which is a perfect posture to strengthen the abdominals.
  • The warrior strengthens the abs, stretches the hips and thighs.
  • The pliers stretch the hamstrings and lower back.
  • The bridge strengthens the back, buttocks and stimulates blood circulation.

What are the different types of yoga?

– Hatha:a comprehensive yoga that prepares the body for meditation through postures, stretches and breathing exercises;

– Ashtanga:a dynamic yoga with series of rapid postures associated with breathing.

– Kundalini:a yoga for the more initiated that requires great concentration and a certain stability;

– Vinysasa:a dancing yoga with an almost choreographic sequence of postures;

– Nidra:A spiritual yoga that encourages letting go. It is said to help you get a good night's sleep.

If the practice of yoga has undeniable positive effects on our physical and our mental, it also allows us to reconnect with ourselves. The more you practice, the more you will want to have a healthy lifestyle. Namaste.