Hot Yoga – How to Be Healthy and Flexible
For someone intending to change one’s lifestyle in a way or another, there are some interesting options, some, very exotic and clearly Oriental by their name as Zen or Yoga (with more modern varieties as Hot Yoga). That person might want to know more about them. So, what is Yoga? There is not a definite answer, but you may consider it a complex of physical, mental and spiritual techniques, invented or discovered a very long time ago in India. The first images hinting at Yoga postures were those unearthed from the famous ancient civilization of Indus Valley (Harappa/Mohenjo-Daro), a culture that thrived on almost 5 millennia ago, and whose graphic art – bas-reliefs mostly – pictured bodies in such postures that can easily be considered as Yoga. The first mentions of this ancient practice are made in the Indian scriptures: the Vedas and the Upanishads. Later on, an Indian scholar, Patanjali, systematized the ancient art in his work, Yoga Sutras. The actual term means union (another meaning is “yoke”), so for many, Yoga means “re/union with the Divine”. Being as such, there is no wonder (pardon the pun) that Yoga is an important part of many religions of the area – Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.
The actual system involves the body stretching and twisting into specific postures (Asanas), named in the Indian cultural style as the Lotus (Padhmasana – the most known one, since Buddha is depicted in paintings and sculptures in this posture, sitting and with his legs crossed), or Frog, Cobra, and others. There is a breathing technique as well, called Pranayama, prana being the equivalent of the Taoist term qi/chi – the subtle vital energy.
There are numerous clinical studies proving the benefits that Yoga brings about health, and just as many methods and treatments including this ancient complex. Spread to West at the beginning of the 20th century, today you can find many Yoga studios, some of these using original styles as Hot Yoga – asanas practiced in a hot and humid environment, the same climate as in India – its country of origin.
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