What Is Yoga

What is Yoga?

Yoga is an ancient art – known in India for thousands of years.

It’s basic aims are “spiritual” in nature. However, as a basic component exercises were developed designed to gain and maintain good health – and to purify the body so it would serve as a suitable vehicle.

These exercises form one of the “limbs” of yoga – known as “Hatha Yoga” – which translates roughly as bodily yoga.

Finger Yoga is an excellent and easy way to stretch and relax the hands, for anyone who uses their hands in a stressful or repetitive manner. Whether you play an instrument like the guitar, perform needlework, garden, or, like many people in the Internet Age, type or text a lot, Finger Yoga can help keep your hands loose and limber and can help ease aches and pains. Finger Yoga is a healthy, wholesome exercise for our all important hands, once you try it, you will see how easy and helpful it is!

Hatha yoga is one of the most fundamental, and remedial forms exercise.

It is universal in scope – and can be practiced by anyone.

Hatha yoga should be the foundation of any exercise program.

In other words, regardless of whether you dance, play sports, practice martial arts, do resistance training – or whatever – you should learn and practice yoga first – for the sake of safety and in order to best attain and maintain good health.

Hatha yoga is centred around static stretching exercises.

It includes passive and active stretches,

 

 

Finger yoga is hatha yoga for the fingers.

Extremities need yoga like every other part of the body. However hands are rarely given much attention in yoga classes – where focus naturally is concentrated on very important areas – such as the spine.

To a certain extent, hands represent a microcosm of the organs of action. They need a slightly different emphasis, perhaps from the other limbs. In particular, they are easier to apply excess force to, and potentially expose more connective tissue to stretching forces.

How To Learn Yoga?

The best way to learn Hatha yoga is from a human teacher.

Also finger yoga is best learned after studying the other aspects of yoga for some time.

However, I will take this opportunity to briefly present some of the most basic and fundamental elements of hatha yoga here.

Hatha yoga involves stretching

Traditionally Hatha yoga consists of a range of exercises that affect the body and mind.

Many of these are static postures with the limbs placed in extreme positions.

These positions are impossible for untrained individuals to assume – and stretching exercises are typically necessary in order to adopt them.

Hatha yoga also employs balancing poses, inverted poses, locks, strengthening poses – and a number of other things that have nothing to do with stretching – but I won’t discuss those much further here.

Mudras and What Shall I Wear?

Mudras

“Mudra” is the traditional term for yoga poses involving the hands.

Mudras have a range of traditional uses – from meditation aids to symbolic gestures; from healing poses to dance moves; from invocations to prayers.

However relatively few of them correspond closely to the asanas of hatha yoga.

Much of the literature associated with healing and therapy using mudras deals with effects of mudras on distant parts of the body – in a manner rather reminiscent of reflexology. It seems unlikely that much of this material is very well founded.

While the yoga asanas map fairly closely to effective stretching and strengthing exercises, mudras covered by the existing literature do not appear to cover this ground very effectively.

yoga wear

Poses

Inside, outside, open, closed

I’ll sometimes refer to opening and closing joints. Opening joints refers to the effect of activating the extensors – and closing a joint is the result of activating its flexors.

It is sometimes useful to refer to the inside and outside of joints.

The inside of joints is where more sweat glands are located. It is either hairless – or sometimes very hairy. The outside of joints tends to be more bony and is often covered with wrinkled skin.

The main place where this terminology can seem unorthodox is when dealing with the ankle – the achillies heel represents the inside of the ankle joint. Consider the analogy between the ankle and the wrist and this might make more sense.

What Shall I Wear?

This is a very easy question. You can wear whatever you want. The only important thing is that your clothes for yoga should be light and “breathable” so as you feel very comfortable in it. If you practice at home, it probably doesn’t matter that much. If you go out, for example to a yoga studio, you might want to wear something not only comfortable but also nice looking or maybe even fashionable. If that’s the case, you might want to check some online stores for inspiration, just google terms like yoga wear or yoga clothing and you shall see that there is a lot of brands focusing on yoga wear.

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