Verified on 01/26/2023 by PasseportSanté
Relaxation, relaxation, muscle strengthening, alignment, maintenance, cardio, spirituality, meditation… Yoga can be a bit of all of these things at the same time, because it has the great advantage of existing in many forms. Some practices are even the opposite of each other. Something to adapt to your moods, your desires and even the different phases of your life.
We take stock!
What yoga to relax and calm my energy?
Excess enthusiasm, joy, excitement… do you need a practice “to come down” and to find a little grounding? In these cases, we will favor a relaxing and slow yoga like yin. Most postures are practiced on the ground and are held for several minutes.
If you want to move more while keeping grounding and relaxation in focus, the haha is perhaps what you need: the pace is faster but still less than dynamic yoga practices. Some postures are performed standing and even require balance and therefore concentration, thus avoiding that the energy goes all over the place.
Which yoga to fight stress, fear and anxiety?
All types of yoga are indicated to fight against stress, anxiety and blockages. No matter which style you choose, breathing is the key to releasing tension.
Be sure to breathe deeply and never compromise the breath to achieve a pose. You can also try pranayama (breathing) exercises, some of which are particularly powerful for acting on the mind. You can practice pranayama through online videos if your usual teacher does not offer them in his classes.
As for yoga itself, some practitioners will opt for a slow rhythm and introspective yoga such as yin, nidra, hatha or even kundalini to meditate and chase away negative emotions.
Others will need to physically feel the tension leaving their body and choose a more intense yoga like vinyasa, power yoga or ashtanga. Note, however, that some demanding postures may not be within your reach and lead to feelings of failure. It is better to have it in mind to prepare for it or to choose another type of yoga in these cases.
If you want to overcome fears and blockages, it can still be interesting to try a dynamic practice with challenging postures that make you want to surpass yourself. Be careful to be well accompanied so as not, again, to find yourself in a situation of failure or injury. Your yoga teacher must be able to guide you and encourage you to surpass yourself while ensuring your safety.
The ideal way to combat these feelings of stress, fear and anxiety will be to use accessories such as bricks, straps, wheels, which support the practitioner in his postures and help him feel good there.
There is, for example, the Feet-up, a kind of chair allowing you to practice inversions without ever putting any pressure on your neck or back. The practitioner thus learns the inversion of the poles, head down, legs in the air, which literally makes you see life differently and helps to take a step back.
What yoga to evacuate anger?
Again, breathing is essential. Certain pranayama exercises such as alternate breathing or air retention contribute greatly to regaining serenity, and this, in a few minutes.
Then, you have to ask yourself if your outburst:
- prevents you from standing still. In these cases, dynamic practice will be appropriate.
- or if, conversely, calming the body helps you calm the mind. Instead, go for a slow practice that brings softness and deep stretching.
More anecdotal, because very little widespread in France, the “yoga rage” has been talked about in recent years across the Atlantic. This is a classic dynamic yoga class in which you swear and shout insanities to vent your anger. If you can’t find a “rage yoga” teacher near you, nothing prevents you from trying to shout a good blow during your sun salutations or during a posture of the chair, when the thighs start to heat seriously !
What yoga to laugh and not take yourself seriously?
With the westernization of yoga, many currents have emerged in order to adapt to bodies and pathologies, but also to try to seduce the greatest number, including those recalcitrant to yogic culture.
Forget the quest for spirituality, meaning, songs, mantras… here, we want to relax with laughter!
- Laughter yoga: no specific postures or breathing exercises, just laugh, even without a reason, joke or sense of humor. Many health benefits have already been observed by the scientific community, such as a reduction in stress and the symptoms of certain chronic diseases.
- Goat yoga: more than a yoga class, here, we aim for an experience in the heart of nature. The idea is to chain the postures, often in the heart of a farm, surrounded by…. goats! The concept has since opened up to other animals such as cats and dogs. Equi-yoga is also attracting more and more riders!
- Beer yoga: Invented in the United States in the early 2010s, beer yoga consists of a classic and affordable yoga class at all levels, accompanied by a beer tasting. According to enthusiasts, this practice causes the body to be more receptive to the flavors and aromas of their drink. There is also a wine version in France during tasting workshops, but this is an activity that remains rare.
What yoga in case of blues?
All yoga has an influence on mood. From the moment the practitioner concentrates on his breath and on his bodily feelings, he will divert attention and improve his mental state. Moving also induces the release of endorphins, the hormones of well-being.
From an energetic point of view, moving and stretching harmonize the body and release the energy that often accumulates in the sternum area when you are sad and “the heart sinks”.
Which yoga to do a sports session?
If you want to sweat and burn calories, you will have to go for a dynamic yoga type vinyasa, ashtanga, iyengar or even yoga-pilates, a fusion of the two disciplines.
In addition to feelings of well-being and better mobility, dynamic yoga helps develop deep, streamlined muscles. However, it is not the ideal ally for improving your cardio.
What yoga to connect to your spirituality?
Yoga is not basically a sport. It is historically and above all a cultural practice, even spiritual, for millennia. Moreover, the physical postures that we perform represent only one of the 8 branches of what yoga is in fact:
- Yama: these are the ethical rules that govern our behavior towards society (non-violence, truth, honesty, non-covetousness, continence).
- Niyama: behavioral and spiritual rules towards oneself (for example, gratitude, creating one’s meditation practice, getting some fresh air and creating times of solitude, etc.).
- Asana: these are postures to take care of your body, which is considered a yoga class among Westerners.
- Pranayama: control of the breath.
- Pratyahara: means withdrawal, detachment from the outside world to direct our attention inward. It is taking a step back and observing yourself.
- Dharana: concentration. From the base created by the previous 5 branches, dharana should allow us to focus only on our mind. We no longer let the mind wander, we prepare a little more for the next branch.
- Dhyana: it can be translated as “uninterrupted flow of concentration”. This is what is known today as mindfulness meditation. The mind is quiet and produces few thoughts.
- Samadhi: it is the state of ecstasy, of transcendence of the Self. This step allows connection to all beings, to all that is and to the Divine. It brings peace, joy and a sense of ultimate freedom.
For a spiritual approach to yoga that includes postures, but also chants, mudras, recitations and a large part of meditation, kundalini is ideal. Other currents of yoga can quite devote a small part of the courses to the spiritual aspect, but it largely depends on the teacher and his sensitivity to the question. It is also possible to carry out internships or meditation immersions.
What yoga on vacation?
On vacation, it’s often an opportunity to take time for yourself, to create a healthy routine like practicing 15-30 minutes of yoga daily by following a simple course on an online video platform. But the holidays are also the perfect time to try other forms of yoga:
- Outdoor yoga: practicing on the grass, on a beach at sunset or in the mountains are unique experiences that can make you feel yoga differently.
- Yoga-paddle and aqua-yoga: think about it if you are by the sea or lake. Paddle yoga consists, as its name suggests, of performing postures on a board that floats on the water. And with aqua-yoga, part of the class even takes place in the water!
- Hiking yoga: it is an increasingly popular practice that consists of alternating walking and yoga postures in the open air, over 1 hour, 1 day or even 1 week!
Other yoga for special moments in life
Yoga is a companion for all moods and for many stages of our lives. Certain very specific currents make it possible to cross the obstacles of life with more serenity and lightness. For example :
- Women’s yoga, hormonal yoga or fertility yoga: these recent currents help women get through their periods of menstruation, including those with endometriosis, to better live menopause, fertility problems or even hormonal imbalances .
- Yoga-therapy, Forrest Yoga, chair yoga: these currents offer the possibility for people with reduced mobility, seniors or convalescents after a long illness and accident victims to regain mobility, a better relationship with their bruised body. and general well-being.
- Prenatal, postnatal yoga, yoga with baby: yoga can also accompany the happy moments of life to approach them with serenity. This is the case for all yoga developed around parenthood. They help the woman to reclaim her body and better manage pain due to pregnancy and childbirth, but also to develop a special bond with her child.
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