Yogasana, pronounced with the emphasis on the second syllable, is a term for the various postures that comprise the core of a yoga workout. Different systems of yoga training require different postures. In all systems of yoga, though, the postures are only one aspect of the overall workout, because yoga encompasses more than just the physical aspects of an athlete’s health.
The term yogasana consists of two Sanskrit words: yoga and asana. The translation of these terms into English can be difficult, but yoga is an ancient body of knowledge consisting of six branches that collectively cover aspects of the physical body, spirituality, morality and even social relations. The term asana translates to “posture” or “pose.” Yogasana, then, is the term for the postures that comprise the branch of yoga that focuses on the physical body. This branch is called hatha yoga.
It is important to realize, though, that there is more to hatha yoga than just the postures. Maintaining proper breathing and meditation practices also are crucial to most forms of yoga. Some styles of yoga, such as ashtanga yoga, also place an emphasis on the motions that connect the various postures. Yogasana, then, is only one particular part of hatha yoga, which, in turn, is only one of the six branches of yoga.
EVERY YOGA FORM HAS ITS ADVANTAGE
Nowadays there are many types of yoga forms. That is to say, many types of lessons that you can follow. As you have read in my previous blog, yoga goes beyond just the lessons and it is precisely how you apply it in your daily life, off the mat. And especially in these times that development is very welcome. So join in spreading the love !! But there are several ways to Rome, so also several practice ways to achieve the same common goal. Below I will form the most common lesson, from my vision, which will be explained and explained in more detail.
Ashtanga is a traditional and spirited yoga form. It is a fluid form, moving on the breath. The postures are held in 5 breaths and are connected to vinyasas (whole or part of the sun salutation). It is always the same and is therefore called a fixed system. This can be seen as boring. But the best answer I have heard is “The practice does not change, but you do”. In this form of yoga the (Ujjayi) breathing, the activation of the Bandhas (shortly through the bend you can call this the core muscles, in a later blog I will go into this further) and the Drishti (focus point, gaze) concentration). If you combine the 3, you come to the essence of this form and its effect after a lot of repetition (practice). One of the best-known statements is: “Practice, practice and all is coming.”
Bikram yoga is also a fixed system and therefore always the same. This form can be labeled as powerful. You practice 26 postures twice. It is a static form and is not linked by vinyasa’s. In addition, the room in which you practice it is always between 38 and 40 degrees. There is also a mirror in the room and the form of implementation and the challenge is important. This is a big discussion in the yoga world. Well, actually there is no discussion anymore. The rest of the yoga world does not find this form a yoga, because it is too competitive and not consistent with yoga philosophy. Yet this form is very popular in our Western world. It is not my style, but if you know your body well and know how to respect your own boundary, this can be very good and pleasant.
Hatha known actually sun and moon. So it is both opposites, the union. 1 of the meanings of yoga is also to unite. This is also a traditional form. Usually this is not linked by vinyasa’s, and thus a static form. You work from posture to posture and often have moments of rest between the postures. It is not a fixed system and therefore every lesson is different. The teacher therefore also has a strong influence on the lesson, in contrast to the 2 forms above. This form is very suitable for beginners, since you often work quietly and are busy with one posture for a while.
This form has increased in popularity lately and I think that is also due to Bikram yoga. The advantages of the heat, but not the fixed Bikram system. It also differs per school as to which forms are offered, how the room is heated and to which temperature. For example, you have schools that are very similar to the regular Bikram system, but also schools where, for example, they offer different types of lessons. Heating the way of space is also different. It can be done by ‘normal’ heating or with infrared panels. The latter has advantages again. For your muscles this works very conducive, restorative and supple. This can also be very pleasant for people with rheumatic or joint complaints. With all forms of Hot Yoga you lose more fluid because you sweat more. This is cleansing. You also get deeper in the posture more often, in the stretch. This can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. It feels great at the moment, but can also contribute to going a little too far, across your border. It is important that you replenish this fluid loss after the lesson. Super in the spring to support a cleanup.
Vinyasa flow, it is also called. A smooth form of movement, many vinyasas and smooth transitions between the postures. Also with this form you move on the rhythm of the breath, which is, as with Ashtanga, central. But this is not a fixed system. Each lesson is different and has a different ‘choreography’. This form is usually taught with music, so each lesson is again highly dependent on the teacher. It can be powerful, or very soft. With this form you go more subtly from one posture to the other. The teacher also often works with a theme, a focus or intention for that particular lesson (or week or month). You can, for example, consider the season or work towards a certain attitude. Especially nice for people who love a lot of variety and exercise.
This is the most static form and a separate category. Most postures are sitting or lying down and you stay in the posture for minutes. The postures are adjusted per person using pillows and other materials so that it is not too uncomfortable. It is not focused on strength, but on subtle relaxation of your joints and connective tissue. It is therefore very quiet, but certainly not always easy. It can be quite confrontational, especially with your own thoughts. It can be quite enlightening and a long time ago research has been done that has shown that relaxing your connective tissue is rejuvenating. It is a very good addition for people who practice very powerful and intensive sports or have a stressful job (yang). To relax the muscles, to restore and to balance the energy.
In short, every form has its advantage! The most important thing is that you do not give up immediately after 1 lesson. “You only see it when you realize it”, just to speak with wise, memorable words. The teacher can also put a decent mark on the lesson and that is of course taste dependent. So, shop around! See which form and which teacher suits you and are open to new experiences, who knows what will happen!