50 Shades of Yoga – or as I call it: stretching

Well, maybe 50 types of yoga would go beyond the scope here and yes, maybe I don’t even know 50 different types. Ashtanga, Hatha, Bikram, Flow – honestly, I lost track. But what I want to say is that there are so many different kinds of yoga and you don’t have to twist yourself around your shoulders or hover on one arm to call it yoga. What is the meaning behind yoga and why should you simply call stretching as such? I have tried that out.

I have to admit I’ m a complete beginner when it comes to Yoga. But maybe that’s why I’m just the right person to show you how to integrate yoga into your everyday life in a very easy way and without any special knowledge and try to get some stereotypes out of the way.

Why Yoga?

I have got it – everyone, really EVERYONE wants to tell me on social media but also in my personal environment that you can become a better person through yoga. But honestly, I’m happy if I drink two litres of water a day and call my mom once a week. Therefore I wanted to start slowly and simply added some stretching exercises, which I still knew from my school days while watching TV. Everybody is familiar with it, just put your elbow behind your head and pull your hand down. Bam, I feel my inner center. Unfortunately, it doesn’t go that fast, but you notice pretty fast how good it feels to stretch and take a deep breath. Little by little, you can add more exercises, the internet is a bottomless pit and there are enough examples for every level of difficulty. At some point, you might be able to twist around your own shoulder. And if not, that is fine too.

What is the purpose of Yoga?

According to Wikipedia, “Today, yoga exercises mostly follow a holistic approach, which is supposed to bring body, mind and soul into harmony”. Or as I would put it: Just press pause now and then and focus fully on yourself and your body.

All these stereotypes

  • Clothing: If you want to do yoga, you should definitely get the latest and most stylish yoga pants first, preferably with the matching top and everything skintight. No, with yoga it’s your own well-being that counts most. When you feel most comfortable with tight leggings: awesome. If not, then you are more than welcome to wear the wide cotton pants for the weekends and the t-shirt from the summer camp back in your teenage years.
  • Music: Yoga requires traditional relaxation music. I personally prefer to “stretch” to the sounds of nature (absolute country child at heart). But if you prefer to relax to the music of Green Day or the Backstreet Boys, so be it.
  • The mat: You don’t have a colourful rubber mat with an ergonomic carrying handle yet? Neither have I. For the beginning you don’t need this one either. I prefer to do the simple exercises on the washable knotted carpet on the balcony. For the more intensive ones, where you sweat and need support, there are very decorative mats made of natural materials such as cork. My personal favourite: The mat made of Zirbenholz, which is so beautiful that one does not put it away at all, but likes to leave it lying around in the living room.

Conclusion

No one has to, anyone can do yoga. I was initially very reluctant to start, simply because I had no plan which exercises I could do and in what way without knowledge. The internet is such a great help and you just shouldn’t stress yourself if you can’t get your hands on the floor while standing. It’s simply a matter of focusing on yourself, without any right or wrong. If you need some practical tips and exercises to get you started, this article “Yoga for Beginners” explains the most important things you need to know. On the other hand, if you want to try it out with your partner or a friend, we will show you in this article how to do it best. Have fun trying it out!

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