What Is Taught in Yoga Classes The Ultimate Yoga Guide

Yoga is more than a trend sport, it is philosophical teaching that began in India almost two thousand years ago. Thanks to physical and spiritual training, it is aimed to reach the person’s essence. In the USA, physical training known as Asanas and practiced since the 70s are known and preferred.

Since its creation, yoga has improved itself constantly. Thus, apart from the traditional shapes, there are many modern variations today. The common goal of all of them is that the body, soul, and mind are one and thus lead a healthier and more comfortable life. Yoga allows us to better understand the body and mind; so we can have a more conscious effect on our health. In addition to strengthening the inner balance, yoga has many more positive effects on our body.

What are the Benefits of Yoga?

Yoga, which has a history of nearly 5000 years, forms the Vedanta philosophy, the oldest doctrine of India. Later, this philosophy continued to develop and change by opening up to the Western world in the 1950s. The word meaning of Yoga is known as “unification, integration”. In other words, it expresses the physical, spiritual and mental integrity of the person. Thanks to his yoga postures and breathing exercises, the person re-discovers his soul while resting his/her mind and body. Yoga can also be called the balanced state of the person.

  • The most important benefit of yoga is that it brings the mind to peace.
  • Yoga renews the body and takes the mind away from the negative thoughts of modern life.
  • Stress and emotional concerns physically act on our body and accelerate aging. It is possible with yoga to open these stuck areas, relax and, most importantly, to allow oxygen to enter closed areas.
  • Yoga strengthens the back, abdomen, legs, and arms, improves your posture and helps you with your physical problems.
  • It increases the activities of metabolism, digestion, circulation and internal glands.
  • It increases energy, strength and endurance limit.
  • It makes your body more flexible and agile.
  • It allows you to discover your physical and mental limits.
  • It regulates your heart rhythm with breathing exercises.

What are the Types of Yoga?

When you decide to do yoga, which is a lifestyle, you should also decide which type of yoga to do according to your expectations and what you need from yoga. Here is the information that will make it easier for you to decide about yoga types.

Hatha Yoga: It is the most widely practiced yoga type with its balancing feature. In this type of yoga, which aims to be purified spiritually and physically, there is a multidimensional development of individuals. Hatha yoga; uses our physical, mental, emotional aspects and our inner nature as raw materials. In this way, it enables us to open ourselves to all our imagination, our ability to comprehend, our energy and the awareness of life.

Asthanga Yoga: It is a type of yoga, also known as power yoga, where breathing exercises take an important place. This type of yoga, which has 7 basic principles, covers all mental, spiritual, psychological and ethical principles.

  1. Yama: It includes criteria such as not stealing, being honest, avoiding violence, being restrained, being patient and forgiving.
  2. Niyama: This principle, which prioritizes self-discipline in general, includes elements such as humility, commitment to creativity and benevolence.
  3. Asana: It is the lifestyle necessary for the person to remain calm and relaxed mentally and physically. It covers 84 kinds of physical movements. Asana applications improve the long sitting of a person in a certain position and open the energy channels and centers thanks to the body positions it contains.
  4. Pranayama: It is the principle that provides life energy.
  5. Pratyahara: It is the principle that advises being purified from the material world and turn your feelings into spirituality.
  6. Drahana: These are exercises to increase concentration. It allows you to focus your energy and feel strong.
  7. Samadhi: It is the principle that provides integrity in perception. It teaches you to reflect the energy you get to yourself and your environment.

Yin Yoga: In this type of yoga, the development of connective tissues and flexing of the muscles is provided by applying the flows that stay longer in asanas.

Bhakti Yoga: Also known as devotional yoga. Bhakti yoga advises devotion to God and instills his unconditional creative love. For this, he teaches how to worship. Those who practice this yoga are motivated by the power of love.

Kashmir Shaivism: It advises to be free from personal interests. The person who tries to do his best and be understanding moves away from self-centered understanding. Thus, it prevents the dissolution of mind energy.

Restorative Yoga: Also known as healing yoga. The purpose of Restorative Yoga is to repair the nervous system and balance consciousness. In asanas that you stay longer, connective tissues and muscles are deliberately relaxed, along with breathing practices. In this way, the body and soul are relaxed.

Bikram Yoga: It is applied in the rooms at 38-40 degrees temperatures. The reason for this is that with increasing temperature, the connective tissues flex more easily and the toxin excretion in our body accelerates. Due to the temperature of the room, there is no need for warm-up and stretching movements at the beginning of the session. Bikram Yoga, which consists of 26 Asana, ensures that the glands are actively working by providing plenty of sweat.

Things to Know Before Starting Yoga

  • In order to find the right type of yoga for you, researching and referring to expert guidance will help you make the right decision.
  • Stop eating and drinking liquids 1-2 hours before starting yoga. Starting to practice yoga before your body completes digestion can cause you to have stomach problems, especially in upside-down movements.
  • Before starting the yoga session, you should go to the toilet. As the bladder and intestines are emptied in this way, there is no pressure on them.
  • Before doing yoga, the place should be ventilated and free from heavy odors such as incense and perfume.
  • Be sure to drink enough water before and after yoga.
  • Physically, fatigue and sweating are encountered. You may also experience tremors in your body during the session. This indicates that your muscle group is actively used, which you haven’t worked before.
  • Before starting yoga, be sure to consult your doctor if you have any discomfort.

How to Do Yoga – Getting Started

Set a focus for your yoga exercises: Setting focus can help you understand for what reason you want to do yoga. This can be an exercise to reduce and manage stress, or spiritual support to cure a disease. Decide which wellness components you want to work on, such as flexibility, endurance, strength, and depression. You can also exercise for general peace of mind. Focus on your exercise. Constantly update and review your goals.

You should know that there is no such thing as ‘good’ or ‘right’ yoga: There are many different styles of yoga. You may always encounter more experienced yoga practitioners. This is not a competition either. It does not contain right or wrong. Remember, your priority is the contribution that yoga will make to your journey. Anyone can do yoga. Even 10 minutes of yoga a day can provide mental and physical support. It may take time to find the style that suits you and you can enjoy it. Of course, it may take time to find the most suitable teacher for your goals as well. Make an effort to be open-minded and free from prejudices. There is no place for competition in yoga. Everyone’s talent is different. Your goal is to focus on yourself, not on others.

Find the equipment to use: In fact, all you need is your breathing ability. Some equipment can help you feel more comfortable, especially at the start. Equipment such as a yoga mat and a yoga belt can help you improve your exercise. Let the mat you use be a comfortable and non-slip mat. You can find mats in sports stores or yoga studios and Internet stores.

Choose clothes that you can breathe comfortably while moving: Comfortable and breathing clothes give you flexibility. You don’t have to wear special yoga clothes. Wear comfortable things so that your movements are not restricted. While women can wear tights, men can wear athletic shorts. When doing Bikram yoga, it may be best to wear a sweat-absorbent dress as the room is heated.

Exercise in a comfortable place: Find a place where you can perform your movements comfortably or even isolate you from the world for a while. Leave space in front of and behind your mat so that you don’t hit the wall. Find a quiet and calm place so you can stay focused. Also, a humid and cold place can be uncomfortable.

Start warming up with the sun salute: Proper heating of your body can prepare your muscles and mind. There are 3 different sun greetings. Yoga classes usually start to warm up with the sun salute.

Learn a few asanas: There is a wide variety of yoga postures and asanas. Their difficulties may be different. Try to learn a few yoga asanas that suit you. There are 4 different yoga postures. As an example of standing postures, we can count Tadasana, Vrksasana, and Virabhadrasana. Examples of adverse postures are Adho Mukha Svanasana, dolphin stance, Mukha Vrsasana, and Salamba Sirsasana. We can count Salabhasana, Bhujangasana and Setu Bandha Sarvangasana as examples of bridge postures. You can finish your exercise by Savasana. Doing this for 3-5 minutes can help control your nervous system and stress. Always ask yourself how to do yoga and update your movements.

Be sure to focus on your breathing: Breathing is one of the most basic yoga exercises. Thus, you can deepen your asana movements and make yourself relaxed. With Pranayama, you can pump oxygen to different parts of your body. Your goal here is to breathe in a balanced way through your nose. Stand upright with your shoulders back and take full advantage of your breathing by breathing at full capacity. You can do your exercise more effectively by trying Ujjayi breath.

Take as much time as possible to yoga: Try to exercise frequently. Even for 10-15 minutes, the more exercise will benefit you.

Choosing a Yoga Class

Set your expectations from your yoga class: Yoga has many styles and practices with different focus points. Try different types to choose the one that suits you. Ask yourself what you want to achieve. Do you want to strengthen and shape your body? You can try Vinyasa or Ashtanga. Do you want to stretch your muscles? You can try Bikram, Iyengar, Kundalini or Hatha. Do you want to relax your body? You can try Restorative, Yin, Sivananda or Jivamukti. Do you want to strengthen your mind? Many yoga exercises can already achieve this. You can try Kundalini, restorative, Sivanand, Yin or Jivamukti.

Find a qualified yoga instructor: There are certificate programs for different types of yoga. Find a certified and qualified instructor for the yoga you will try. The instructor should always be willing to respond to the students’ wishes. The trainer’s attitude should always be inclusive, positive and full of energy. The trainer should be well equipped with the philosophy, history, and practice of yoga. The trainer should be able to give constructive feedback and guide when needed or requested.

Find a lounge or community where you can relax: The style and energy of each yoga hall are different. While some can also offer food, some can offer a quieter environment because it is more suitable for introspection. Review the level of other members in the class. A good hall can offer different grade levels for each level or group. The first lessons are usually free. For this reason, try different halls and look for suitable halls and trainers.

You can start with the type of work-study: Many halls can offer you free lessons for the service you will provide to help them.

Evaluate online classes: Many sites and apps devoted to yoga can provide information and videos that show all kinds of yoga exercises that you can think of. You can search for how to do yoga. You can find yoga movements for each level free of charge with a quick search on the Internet. Do not forget to check the qualifications of online trainers. Some sites can provide you with one-on-one instructor support via the webcam.

Improving Your Yoga Exercises

Set your goal: Put your intent and goal for a solid yoga workout. Focus on your goal during your application. Put your intent in your focus. To allow the flow of energy, leave some space between your palms. If you have no idea what your goal or intention is, think of something as simple and basic as possible, like letting go of something.

Extend the duration of your exercise: As you feel more comfortable over time, try new and challenging movements as much as possible by extending your postures and flowing between asanas. Generally, lessons are between 60-90 minutes. Set a working time for you.

Intensify your exercise: You may want to intensify the routine movements with more challenging movements after a while. Lung-compulsive or squatting movements can be reduced. You can create a more intense effect by increasing the speed of the transitions between asanas. You can choose more difficult asanas.

Increase the frequency of your exercises: One of the ways to deepen yoga is to increase the number of days you do the exercises. You can do up to 5-7 days a week.

Start with meditation: Many people like to start with a meditation session. The mantra spoken here can be a divine, word or phrase, said to be the focus of meditation. This can help you focus on your energy with your breath and understand the awareness of your body and mind. Meditation is an important part. Spend effort and time to find the style that suits you. Consider starting your meditation with a sacred voice, “Om”. You can feel the mantra vibrations in your lower waist while saying. If you can’t feel it, sit upright. You can choose the mantras that suit you for your personal goal. Let your thoughts come out spontaneously.

Create new goals: If you started yoga for a single purpose, try to include other goals and objectives over time.

Always go forward: Yoga has many benefits. Remember that yoga is a personal practice. Always strive to have an open mind and heart about your journey.

FAQ About Yoga

  • What kind of Yoga should I do?

You can find the most suitable for you to start yoga by experiencing. If you do not like the content of the instructor or course after your first experience, you can experience a different course with a different instructor. Over time, as you gain knowledge and experience in this regard, you will surely find a Yoga type that suits your style.

  • What to consider when doing yoga?

Choosing the right trainer and center is important for our work and ourselves. Yoga should be started with a trainer. The purpose of Yoga is to relax and strengthen the body and mind. It is not done to exhaust them. Do the movements slowly, calmly and without much effort. Try to catch a natural rhythm and try to make every post simple, gentle and fluent. Sudden movements can disrupt physical balance and show effects such as dizziness and fainting. Therefore, the student must learn to move from one posture to another easily, carefully and fluently.

Never force anything while doing the movements. Do not attempt to do movements that can lead to pain. Stay away from overstretching. Because everyone’s structure and physical condition are different, the capacities of people will vary. The student must first be aware of his strengths, limits, and ability. The person knows best how much tension and stresses his body can lift. People should not exceed their limits and capacity. Asana is not haste, it is the integrity of our work. Do not work with exaggeration or carelessness of any posture. If you feel any strain or pain in any movement, move slower. Set the number of repetitions of the movement and the tempo based on your capacity and ability.

Asana postures should be done while your stomach is empty. The bladder and intestines should also be empty. Allow at least three hours to pass over the meal and at least one hour after drinking a drink such as milk, tea, coffee or juice before starting work.

  1. Choose a suitable time for the studies. But it does not matter in the morning or evening, stick to the schedule regularly.
  2. Whenever possible, perform Asana postures in a quiet and secluded place where nothing can disturb you. If it is an open space, it must be a place free from cold and wind. If working indoors, make sure there is adequate ventilation.
  3. Do asana movements on a folded blanket, a carpet or a thin rug (mat). Rugs should not be too thin or thick.
  4. Wear thin and comfortable clothing so that the body can move freely. With a dry towel, wipe off sweat as needed.
  5. Rest for a few minutes while switching between movements.
  6. Be quiet during the studies.
  7. After daily work, rest for a few minutes in the Shavasana (lying on your back) position. This resting is very important for relieving fatigue and meeting the effort.
  8. It is convenient to consume liquid at room temperature after the studies.

  • Why Do We Breathe Through Our Nose In Yoga?

Correct breathing means breathing through the nose and keeping your mouth closed. In this way, your lungs work completely and you can breathe correctly. As you exhale, the abdomen contracts and the diaphragm rises upward to massage your heart, while breathing expands and the diaphragm goes down to massage your internal organs. From the yoga perspective, the most important reason for breathing through the nose is Prana (breath-life energy). Just as if you are breathing through the nose to get the odors in the air, you should also breathe through the nose to increase the amount of prana that enters your body, so that more Prana will go to the sniffing center located at the back of your nose and reach your nervous system and brain.

Yoga breathing exercises teach you the connected Prana (breath) and how to control your brain in this way. When you get angry or frustrated, your breathing is short, fast and irregular, and on the contrary, your breath slows when you relax or dive deeply. You can easily try this on yourself. Try to hear the lowest sound in the room for a moment. You will see that while concentrating, your breathing will slow down or even stop for a while beyond your power. Since your brain is affected by the way you breathe, you can also control your brain by controlling your breath. By controlling your breath, you not only absorb more oxygen and Prana but also prepare yourself for concentration and meditation exercises.

  • What should people who are new to Yoga know?

Yoga is the first step to cleanse our minds, learn to think right and discover ourselves. It is also a whole that includes the teachings of meditation, asanas and breathing techniques. It is best to start yoga with a trainer.

  • What should I do when there is an unfamiliar movement during the lesson?

When there is an unfamiliar movement during the lesson, you can look at your instructor instead of your friends.

  • What to wear while doing yoga

It is important to be able to practice our work comfortably in Yoga practice without taking care of our clothes. For this reason, when practicing yoga, comfortable and abundant clothes that are not narrow and which do not wrap our body can be preferred.

  • Is yoga done barefoot? I don’t like my feet and I’m ashamed. What if I do it with socks?

It is recommended to do yoga with barefoot or special Yoga socks. When made with normal socks, you can stay in unsafe situations while performing Asanas. As we do yoga, we have the opportunity to feel many parts of our body, and with the increase in our awareness, we begin to like to show more interest in our bodies. The fact that we can discover our bodies while doing yoga gives us joy over time.

  • Do I have to wear uniform clothing?

It is not compulsory to wear uniform clothing, it will be more appropriate for the person to choose the clothes that he will feel good and make Asanas easily. Over time, the person will catch his/her own style and choose the outfit that he/she feels comfortable with.

  • Should I be hungry while coming to Yoga?

Asana postures should be done while your stomach is empty. The bladder and intestines should also be empty. Allow at least three hours to pass over the meal and at least one hour after drinking a drink such as milk, tea, coffee or juice before starting work.

  • Is Yoga Mat a must?

The yoga mat is not a must. You can do asana movements on a folded blanket, a carpet or a thin rug (mat). Rugs should not be too thin or thick.

  • Can I put on perfume before I come to class?

It is not very convenient to use perfume before coming to class. As our senses are opened in the yoga class, the participants are more likely to be uncomfortable with the smell.

  • Do I have to be a vegetarian because I do yoga?

The best nutrition plan for yoga students is natural fresh foods. You do not have to be a vegetarian because you do yoga. However, as the teaching of Yoga is learned over time, vegetarian nutrition can be preferred to maintain our ideal health. Avoiding foods that are too stimulating, choosing foods that keep the mind calm and make the mind sharp is inevitable for ideal health.

  • Smoking, alcohol, and meat are forbidden in yoga?

There is no ban on Yoga. The yoga student will consciously discover his own truth, what is good for his body and mind, and leave the damaging elements over time.

  • What is Yoga’s session time? How many times should it be done per week?

Classical Yoga classes take about 1.5 hours. Initially, it is recommended to do it once a week with a trainer, it is useful to do your own work 6 days a week between 3 and 30 minutes. It is said to be healthy 2 times a day. Of course, the more disciplined and organized we do, the healthier it will be for us. As long as we have time for ourselves every day.

  • One day a week with the instructor, the other days you propose to do Yoga alone. What is the best time to do Yoga at home?

The early morning hours and the hours before going to bed are the most suitable hours. Our body is closed in the morning, our mind is open. In the evening, our body is open and our mind is closed. It is very special to be aware of and experience them. Of course, if you have quiet hours where you can be alone during the day, it can be an alternative.

  • What should I look out for in my yoga place?

Make you in a quiet and secluded place where nothing can disturb you as much as possible. If it is an open space, it must be a place free from cold and wind. If working indoors, make sure there is adequate ventilation.

  • Is courtesy important in the studio?

In Eastern teachings and in many teachings, it is said that respect for the teacher has an important place. Likewise, it is important for the individual to respect himself and those around him.

  • What can I bring to the lecture studio?

There are usually mats in the centers, you can only bring your cover with you. Apart from this, it is not recommended to bring distractions such as mobile phones, water, etc. to the studio.

  • Can Yoga be learned with books and CDs?

It is essential to work with the instructor to learn Yoga in real terms. Yoga is not just a physical exercise, it also has a dimension of well-being, mental and emotionality. It is impossible to learn these dimensions from an external source.

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Savaş Ateş

I like meditation and yoga. I read a lot of books about them. I applied them in my daily life. I want to write about my experiences.

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