What is common between Yoga, Milk and Honey?
We all know that Yoga knows no boundaries and is practiced all over the world. However when I came to know that Israel, the land of milk and honey, as it is called in scriptures, is big on Yoga, I was quite surprised. The traditional practice of yoga has seen numerous variations. Sometime back I had written about Yoga in Israel and had promised to write about the various types of Yoga in practice there, in addition to the classic form.
While Yoga in India is peaceful, quiet and serious, it’s more fun in the west. In India sometimes the teacher doesn’t even speak a word!
Let us see what types of Yoga are popular in western world and how they are different from Eastern Yoga. A comparison between the two schools of Yoga, the Eastern where it originated and Western where it gained commercial success.
Air or flying Yoga : In addition to the flexibility of the body, it improves the concentration. Normally two practitioners are required. One lies down with legs stretched upwards, while the other lies on the up stretched foot of the first and both hold each others hands. It improves attentiveness to the spoken words, nudges of the feet and hands and also ensures you build trust in your partner.
Aqua Yoga: The practitioners say that water yoga therapy improves strength and flexibility including breathing power because of the very resistance of water to our movements and respiration. In addition the motion in water is pure poetry. In some forms the air yoga performed in a pool.
Music Yoga: Yoga performed to an accompaniment of music is the key point here. The instruments are carefully chosen and may include string instruments, flutes, bowls (jal tarang) which produce soothing sounds.
Dance Yoga : Flowing movements from one asana to another done in a group looks so beautiful and seems like watching a ballet. It is almost like a dance with synchronized movements and breath modulation.
Shadow Yoga: This is based on Ha-Tha Yoga. It says the body consists of several coverings or shadows and this involves with dissolving these shadows. Standing, Pumping, Sitting, Weighing, Lying (face-down, face-up, on sides), Forwards, Sideways (lateral), Backwards, Inversion, Spiral, Turning-Twisting are used extensively.
Self Love: The focus, in this form is, help connect with your inner self and understand your body. This essentially based on flowing movements of Vinyasa integrated with meditation and some of the other forms. They say “come with an open mind and leave with an open heart”.
From improving your immune system and flexibility to strengthening your core, different schools of yoga help you lead a healthier life. With number of forms now popular, the task of picking what suits you can be difficult. While all styles are based on the same basic principles, each has a particular focus.
Are you a practitioner of Yoga? How do you find it different from what you practice?
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