Stone seals showing Yoga postures have been found that date back to 3,000 BC, but it’s believed that Yoga practice began even earlier than that. Yogic teachings are found within the Vegas or sacred scriptures of Brahmanism which some say evolved into Hinduism.
Yogis are the Shamans of Indian culture and many are said to have developed their practice to the point where they are capable of extraordinary feats, such as withstanding extreme cold or even going without breathing for long periods of time.
There are many variations of Yoga, each quite different so you should be able to find a class that suits whether you want to focus more on meditation and breathing or whether you want to push yourself towards the kind of power poses made famous by Madonna. Hatha Yoga classes are usually quite slow and gentle compared to the more demanding Vinyassa yoga where you work towards postures that demand a lot of strength and flexibility. Ashtanga or Power Yoga is fast moving and physically very demanding. Iyengar yoga classes are much more concerned about getting the postures exactly right and then holding them, but they do have the advantage of using props to help you which can make it easier for absolute beginners. Kundalini yoga focuses on using breath and posture combined to harness and replenish our life force or energy. Wayne Dyer is a real fan of the fairly new Bikram yoga, which is done in very hot rooms to make the demanding stretches much easier.
A great friend who is a yoga instructor visited from overseas last year. Whilst she was staying, we did some yoga together and I absolutely loved it. So if you’ve got the slightest hankering to try it, I would urge you to find a class in your area and if you do have any concerns that are making you hang back, you can call go and meet the teacher beforehand and have a chat.
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