yoga

This post features the art of yoga as revealed through the eyes of Mike Brennan. He is a multimedia artist: digital, acrylic, watercolor, photography. He’ll sketch your special event and paint your pet portrait as a memorable keepsake. Take a look at his talent:

http://www.mikebrennan.me

Many people come to yoga simply as a means to stretch, relax, work out and chill out. Yoga is a great form of exercise and it can bring spiritual awareness. Some see it as a sweat-filled beautiful dance. It is a harmonious blend where body, soul, and mind connect in one place. Movements are fluid, like paint on a canvas. Yoga is an aart formof its own.

“The purpose of yoga is to create strength, awareness and harmony in both the mind and body,” explains Natalie Nevins, DO, a board-certified osteopathic family physician and certified Kundalini Yoga instructor in Hollywood, California.

Conventional kinds

Anusara: is a modern-day Hatha yoga system founded by John Friend in 1997. It is based on the philosophy that life is a gift that we are invited to remember and celebrate in our yoga practice. Anusara means “flowing with grace,” “going with the flow,” “following your heart.”

Ashtanga: This dynamic, physically demanding practice synchronizes breath and movement to produce an internal heat designed to purify the body. Ashtanga yoga, with its many vinyasas, is great for building core strength and toning the body.

Bikram: A system of yoga that Bikram Choudhury synthesized from traditional hatha yoga techniques and popularized beginning in the early 1970s. All Bikram Yoga Beginning Series classes run for 90 minutes and consist of the same series of 26 postures, including two breathing exercises. Bikram Yoga is a hot yoga style, and is ideally practiced in a room heated to 40 °C (104 °F) with a humidity of 40%.

Hatha: Hatha is a very broad term that encompasses any of the physical practices of yoga. It can be used to describe every kind of yoga asana practice from Iyengar to Ashtanga and everything that falls between and beyond. In fact, any of the many contemporary types of yoga that are popular today can be accurately described as hatha yoga.

Iyengar: Named after and developed by B. K. S. Iyengar, is a form of Hatha yoga that has an emphasis on detail, precision and alignment in the performance of posture (asana) and breath control (pranayama). The development of strength, mobility and stability is gained through the asanas.

Jivamukti: Jivamukti Yoga Method teaches its students that they must be willing to promote the happiness of all beings without exception if they wish to realize their fullest capacity for joy. Jivamukti students are encouraged to adopt a diet that eliminates all animal products (vegan) as this is the diet that causes the least amount of harm to the earth and other beings, humans included.

Kripalu: Kripalu Yoga is an interplay of body, mind and energy. Within the physical body is a subtle flow of rhythmic, energy pulsations that we call prana, or life force.

Kundalini: An uplifting blend of spiritual and physical practices, Kundalini Yoga incorporates movement, dynamic breathing techniques, meditation, and the chanting of mantras, such as Sat Nam, meaning “truth is my identity.” The goal is to build physical vitality and increase consciousness.

Prenatal: Much like other types of childbirth-preparation classes, prenatal yoga is a multifaceted approach to exercise that encourages stretching, mental centering and focused breathing.

Restorative: It is the centering of your breath and body – aligning the physical and mental by practicing stillness or gentle movement for extended periods of time.

Sivananda: Asana is one of the eight limbs of classical Yoga, which states that poses should be steady and comfortable, firm yet relaxed helping a practitioner to become more aware of their body, mind, and environment.

Viniyoga: A very general, broad and inclusive definition that describes the approach of Viniyoga in the most expansive way is: those actions and practices which complement a person’s constitution, capacities and personal desires, on all levels: physical, mental, and psycho-spiritual, and which bring the individual closer to an authentic and lasting fulfillment.

Vinyasa: The word “vinyasa” can be translated as “arranging something in a special way,” like yoga poses for example. In vinyasa yoga classes, students coordinate movement with breath to flow from one pose to the next.

Yin: Initially called “Daoist” yoga this style of yoga targets the deep connective tissues of the body (vs. the superficial tissues) and the fascia that covers the body; this Daoist yoga is to help regulate the flow of energy in the body.

Nontraditional kinds

There are more types of yoga than a person can shake a stick at. There’s yoga with your pet, yoga with wine, and yoga in a costume.

“Yoga with Dog”

“Yoga with Wine”

“Happy Halloween Yoga Style”

“Yoga Pose with a Buddy”

All yoga poses by feature artist Mike Brennan. Check out his yoga series.

There’s a kind of yoga that fits anyone who wants to give it a try.

See chart to find your balance:

And, there’s some science to the art. Medical or scientific benefits and health are gained:

Benefits:

  • Increased flexibility.
  • Increased muscle strength and tone.
  • Improved respiration, energy and vitality.
  • Maintaining a balanced metabolism.
  • Weight reduction.
  • Cardio and circulatory health.
  • Improved athletic performance.
  • Protection from injury.

What’s not to like about those benefits?

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If you do yoga what can you do that you couldn’t do before?

If you are new to yoga you may be in search of tools to enhance your health.

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Helpful sources: 14 styles of yoga

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