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Yoga

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Yoga Origins

Yoga, whose origins lie in India, is an ancient spiritual practice involving disciplines of asceticism and meditation which are thought to lead to spiritual harmony and a profound understanding of the nature of human existence. 
  
Outside of India, Yoga as we know it concentrates on the practice of “postures” and physical exercises, referred to as Hatha Yoga.  This modern form of Yoga has become increasingly popular in recent years.

Styles of Yoga

There are many different styles of Yoga taught throughout North America.  Although most are based on the same fundamental poses, each has its own unique purposes and benefits.  Here is an overview of some of the most common styles:
 
Hatha
Typically slower paced, gentle and provides a good introduction to the basic poses.

Vinyasa
Breath-synchronized, more vigorous, intense stretching.

Ashtanga
Physically demanding, flowing style from one pose to another.

Power Yoga
Based on flowing style of Ashtanga but not necessarily using the same set of poses.

Iyengar 
Principle focus on body alignment, emphasis on holding poses for long periods of time, and the use of props (blankets, blocks, straps).

Kundalini 
Concentrates on breathing exercises, incorporates rapid repetitive movements (instead of holding poses for long periods of time), and chanting.

Bikram “Hot Yoga” 
26-pose yoga class in conducted in a 95 to 100 degree room, which loosens tight muscles and induces heavy perspiration which is believed to cleanse the body.

Anusara 
Light-hearted classes suitable to all abilities, poses are taught in the belief that they will open the heart, both physically and mentally, and props are sometimes used in these classes as well.

Jivamukti 
Physically intense yoga including chanting exercises.

Forrest
Intense workout with emphasis on deep breathing and abdominal strengthening exercises.

Integral 
Gentle Hatha practice including breathing exercises, chanting and meditation.

Sivananda 
Based on 5 major principles:  proper exercise, breathing, relaxation, diet, and positive thinking and meditation.
 

Yoga for Seniors and Older Adults

The stretching, deep breathing, and relaxation techniques that all styles of Yoga use, are particularly well suited to older adults and seniors.  
Deep breathing relieves tension and provides energy to the entire body.  Stretching exercises improve balance and coordination.
Yoga’s strong focus on understanding the body’s anatomy works to improve posture and prevent osteoporosis.  Seniors’ yoga also has many anti-aging effects as it conditions the body, cleanses and promotes deep breathing. 
  
Yoga for seniors promotes healthy, happy, and active lives.  Feel free to try different styles or stick to the Yoga form that bests suits you and your body to achieve optimal results.
 

 

 

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CANADA
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