Yoga is a spiritual practice that dates back centuries but in the present day, the ancient ritual has taken on many variations: naked yoga, beer yoga, you name it. So, how it did it get to be so popular, and how do you know which type of yoga is right for you?
Yoga is a variety of physical, mental and spiritual practices which originated in ancient India. Different styles of yoga combine physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation, all with the aim of getting the body, mind and breath in harmony with one another.
The exact date yoga came into existence is hard to trace, as some of the earliest writings on it were destroyed or lost. Most think that yoga began in India some 5000 years ago, while other researchers believe it’s up to 10,000 years old.
The word ‘yoga’ comes from the Sanskrit word ‘yuj’, meaning to ‘yoke’ or ‘join together’, which many interpret as meaning that yoga is a union of the mind and body.
Jaggi Vasudev, a leading yoga guru from India, believes that in present day, around two billion people in the world practice yoga.
So, why has this practice grown more popular than ever, despite being thousands of years old? Advocates for yoga say the possibilities are endless, and whatever you may be looking for – be it weight loss, mood management, or even a boost in creativity – yoga is the answer.
It’s also inclusive, which explains why it has spread to the far corners of the world. Yoga isn’t restricted to any one religion, belief system or community. It’s viewed as a tool to achieve inner and outer wellbeing, regardless of a person’s faith.
Yoga is so widespread now that it has branched out into many weird and wonderful variations.
As well as this, it has many physical benefits, such as increasing strength, flexibility and balance. Medical studies have also suggested it can help combat conditions such as arthritis, asthma and high blood pressure.
And in terms of mental health, the results are positive too.
In one study, people that underwent a nine-week yoga course experienced a significant reduction in anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts by the end of it.
Yoga is so widespread now that it has branched out into many weird and wonderful variations. Some of the more unusual derivations include beer yoga, nude yoga, laughter yoga and even, believe it or not, goat yoga.