The Basics of Yoga

The Basics of Yoga

Getting into yoga can be a challenge particularly if you have never done anything similar before. If you go to a yoga class you may feel out of place as everyone else seems to be ahead of you. Darlene, the lady who provides our house cleaning service, has been practicing yoga for 3 years and shared some great basic tips with us for newcomers.

If you know some of the basics, you should have an easier time getting started.


Know The Type Of Yoga

Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years and a history that long means that there are different types of yoga available. It is important that you first look into the type of yoga that you want to try. Standard yoga is ideal for beginners as it teaches all of the poses in a calm manner.

Other forms of yoga like hot yoga should be looked at later as they are more intense and could strain new yoga practitioners.

You Don’t Need To Be Flexible

A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that they need to be flexible to do yoga. While some of the poses do require flexibility it is not a prerequisite. In fact, most people do yoga to increase their flexibility. Of course, you will need to be patient and not rush the process as yoga is about calming yourself and being at one with your body.

Take Off Shoes And Socks

The removal of shoes and socks are both practical and part of the traditions of yoga. Removing your shoes is a sign of respect to the instructor and you should leave them at the door. Removing your socks is more functional because socks make you slip and you do not want to be tumbling when doing the movements.

Choosing The Right Mat

If you’re going to yoga classes the studio should have mats and towels that you can rent or that come as part of the class fee. It’s recommended that you use these mats at first until you are comfortable with the exercise and able to determine which mat you will want. There are different mats available and you need to consider the type of yoga you do and your comfort levels when choosing one.

The Appropriate Clothing

Unlike many other Asian exercises, there is no uniform for the completion of yoga. You’ll want to have fitted clothes purely for comfort as you don’t want your top to block your vision when you go through certain poses. If you are looking at hot yoga you need to consider clothing that will keep you cool in the hot temperatures of the practice room.

Knowing All The Poses

You do not have to know all of the poses when you start yoga. There are a few basic poses that all beginners will start with, but the instructor of the class you go to should work through them. Having an encyclopedic knowledge of yoga is not necessary to complete a class and most people will not know more than the poses they regularly use in class or practice.

Yoga for Beginners

The important thing when it comes to Yoga is to relax.

Obviously if your worried or anxious about getting started, this will hinder your results.

Thanks again, Darlene, for your great insights.

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A Basic Guide To Zen Yoga

A Basic Guide To Zen Yoga

Zen yoga is the name given to the energetic and physical practices that make up Zen Buddhism.

There are 3 principles to this form of Yoga as well as different schools within the practice.

To get the benefit of Zen yoga it is recommended that you understand what these principles are and the different schools.

The Principles Of Zen Yoga


The 3 principles of Zen yoga are alignment, energy, and mindfulness. These 3 principles cover the physical movement of the body, the energy that flows through the body and the awareness of the practitioner of the principles.

There is a great emphasis on alignment in Zen yoga because it is part of Zen Buddhism. Zen yoga was created to prepare the body for prolonged upright meditation which is part of Zen Buddhism. Practicing the poses and keeping the right posture are important parts of this principle otherwise, you could be harmed by the prolonged meditation of Zen Buddhism.

Alignment flows into energy because the position held will impact the state of mind and flow of energy through the body. In Zen Buddhism, it is believed that the energy of the body can be enhanced or depleted and that it flows in particular directions. If the position held by the practitioner is not correct the flow of energy will be interrupted and this could affect your health, mental well-being and emotional state.

The last principle of Zen yoga is mindfulness and this relates to understanding all aspects of yourself. This will be what makes you happy and what makes you unhappy. The basis of this principle is that when you are aware of blocked areas in your life you will be able to confront them and this will help the flow of energy.

The Yoga Schools

There are 5 primary schools of Zen yoga and they are Zen Taiso, Oki-do yoga, Zenways, Zen yoga with Aaron Hoopes and Zen Yoga with Tatjana Mesar. The oldest is Zen Taiso and differs greatly zen-yoga-schoolsto the modern Zen yoga that is taught today. The routines for this yoga will vary depending on the temple and the instructor, but will be practiced each morning.

Oki-do yoga was created by Masahiro Oki and is a blend of traditional Indian hatha yoga and Zen meditation. There is also a blend of martial arts, chanting, dancing and physical games. This type of yoga emphases the balance of opposites such as tension and relaxation.

Zenways is an organization created in 2007 and encourages the practice of yoga for well-being and awakening. The founder of Zenways, Julian Daizan Skinner studied at yoga schools across the USA, Japan and Europe. He combined what he learned to create the training that this organization offers.

Zen yoga with Aaron Hoopes is a style of yoga that combines traditional yoga with many Eastern health and fitness traditions. The principles of Zen are incorporated into the yoga through the emphasis on mindfulness.

Zen yoga with Tatjana Mesar is a fusion of asana flow and physiology of postures.

The principles of this yoga come from Buddhist philosophy and ethics.

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