Yoga is Yoga is Yoga … isn't it? Actually, no…
So if yoga isn't yoga isn't yoga, then what is it? Well, that's like saying a car is a car is a car, but we all know that's not true either, I mean we can hardly compare a Formula 1 racing car to a decrepit old rusty bucket of bolts with wheels, can we? They both get us from A to B and do the same function, don’t they?
Well yes and no….
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Ashlí Miréla and I have been teaching yoga for some years now, and I hear stories of people giving yoga a very wide berth because they think that all yoga is the same. They also think its only for young gorgeous chicks with lithe sexy skinny bendy Lycra clad bodies.
You may be amazed to hear that there are at least 28 styles of yoga and that contrary to popular belief, yoga is for everybody, although not every style is for every BODY. You may have heard some of these names bandied about, for example, Hatha, Vinyasa, Yin, Hot & Ashtanga, to name but a few.
These are all very different from one another, e.g, Hatha is a gentle, slow breath led style, Vinyasa is a faster advanced style but continuous flow, Yin is passive with a focus on releasing fascia and a meditative style of yoga, whereas Hot yoga is practised in very hot studio of 40·C, resulting in extreme sweating (all good for detoxing) and Ashtanga is considered the premier elite style of yoga with a fixed sequence of 66 postures. All have benefits exclusive to themselves and all play a very important role within the body and mind.
The actual word YOGA means ‘Unity’ of the body, the mind and the spirit and depending on what you're seeking from your practice, you can choose to focus on the physical aspect, the mental or connecting with your spiritual self, or a combination of all three. However, no matter what style of yoga you choose to practice, you are healing the body because yoga is medicine and the ultimate healer for a myriad of health issues.
Regular practice of yoga can improve many areas of health including,
One of the great things about yoga, is that it is gentle on the body and I think it’s the most sustainable exercise there is. If an exercise practice goes into the ‘too hard basket’ then we are likely to ditch it. Which leads to the other great thing about yoga, which is that you don’t need any special clothes or equipment, you can simply do it anywhere, any time and there are a variety of styles to choose from that you and your body may need at that time. You don’t need to to able to touch your toes to do yoga, you don’t need to wear purple Lycra and you certainly don’t need a fancy space or swish mat. All you need is the desire and willingness to just DO IT, that's it! No excuses, just yoga.
So in your enthusiasm to try this ‘yoga thing’, and before you go rushing out to buy your yoga mat and sign up with a studio, its recommended you shop around. Try a few different studios, styles and yoga instructors, (it is super important that you have a really good connection with your yoga teacher, otherwise you wont go back), as we are all different and are schooled from all around the world, but most of us have our speciality (mine is assisting people in beginning their yoga journey).
Finally, with these extraordinarily stressful times, this is the BEST time to start your yoga practice, now and remember, you're never too old, too big, too tall or too stiff to start. Here at the VaVa Yoga Studio, we are ready to guide you through your yoga journey; for all ages, all genders & all levels.
Yoga is for everybody. Namaste, Ashlí