Yoga is becoming increasingly popular in this day and age with origins dating back to almost 5,000 years ago. That’s right, this popular workout is 5,000 years old!
Whether you are a well-seasoned yogi, or someone who’s looking to start their yoga journey, here are some things you probably didn’t know about yoga.
1. Yoga didn’t start as a workout.
The ancient version of yoga was originally a study of the mind, breathing rituals, mantras, ethical values, meditation, philosophy and a way of life. While these practices are still extremely important in new age yoga, for a non-yogi, it could easily appear otherwise.
2. Yoga can treat mental and physical health issues.
There are countless health benefits that yoga has for the body as it is inherently a holistic and healing approach: mind, body and spirit. For example, some stretches were designed to massage your bowels to improve digestion. Not to mention the importance of breathing which promotes lung and heart health. It has also been known to encourage psychological well-being by treating anxiety, depression and reducing stress.
3. There are many different styles of Yoga.
Hot Yoga uses humid conditions to promote flexibility. Aerial Yoga keeps things interesting by using a hammock. Some are light and gentle, while others are more athletic and upbeat. If you haven’t found the right style for you, chances are you haven’t tried enough styles. 😉
4. You don’t need to be physically flexible.
A common misconception is that you need to be flexible to be a yogi. It is more important to be spiritually and mentally flexible, physical flexibility just comes along the way.
5. Diet is important.
Western medicine has established that an unhealthy diet affects a person on a physical level, while yoga suggests that unhealthy eating habits also affect us on a spiritual level. A particular food might taste good, but if you feel lethargic afterward, you can’t sleep well, or your meditation is more distracted than usual, it may be that this food isn’t agreeing with you.
6. International Yoga Day is on the 21st of June.
Every year, on the 21st of June, hundreds of thousands of people of different nationalities gather together in their respective countries to perform a yoga session observed by millions across the globe. In 2017, India alone observed 54,522 participants at the GMDC Ground in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. It set a new world record for largest yoga class ever!
Have a great International Yoga Day everybody!