Yoga is becoming one of the popular activities around the world. Even many kids learn and practice yoga. Kids who do yoga can learn to tune into their body’s sensations, then use their breathing and movement to deal with the discomfort before they lose control. Today, yoga studios are filled with kids in yoga pants.
According to a national survey conducted by Yoga Journal and the Yoga Alliance, the number of people practicing yoga in the United States grew more than 50 percent from 2012 to 2016. More than 14 percent of American adults practice yoga, according to a new study released by the CDC that analyzed data from 2017. It’s an impressive number, right? A vast number of people have at least tried doing it.
Yoga is a trendy exercise, but how much do you know about yoga? Take a moment to ensure you’re updated on these mind-blowing yoga facts. You might be astonished at what you learn!
Curious About the Origin and History of Yoga?
It is estimated that nearly 36 million Americans now practice yoga and tens of thousands of yoga studios in the U.S. Yoga. It is becoming more and more widespread around the world. But do you know the origin and history of this 5000-year-old practice? Dip into the origin and history of yoga with us.
What is yoga? What is the actual meaning of yoga?
Before we dip into the meaning of yoga, do you know what yoga is? The word yoga originated from the Sanskrit word Yuj which means ‘to join’ or ‘to unite’. The union mentioned is that of your mind with your body. You integrate with your surroundings and nature. And, ultimately, your individual consciousness with universal consciousness.
What is the Origin of yoga?
Yoga is obviously an ever-evolving practice that has taken our modern world by storm. But, do you know what is the origin of yoga? Where does it stem from? And why was it created? Let’s discover with us.
Yoga is so old that no one knows exactly when it started. First handwritten Yoga manuscripts are found on fragile and easily damaged palm leaves. Most scholars believe that Yoga has existed for about 5000 years, and some others believe that the practice of Yoga existed 10,000 years ago.
Yoga practices were developed by the Indus-Sarasvati civilization of northern India and began in the context of the master-disciple relationship. Yogis have practiced in ascetic conditions, seeking to control the body, reduce desire – one of the obstacles to attaining enlightenment.
And finally, some yogis began to see that the body is not an obstacle to reaching cosmic harmony, it is the means. From there, they create practical exercises to balance and stimulate the body.
Since then, Yoga was born for the purpose of balancing body and wisdom. Its original name was Tantra Yoga.
Is yoga a religion?
No, yoga is not a religion. But it is connected to religion, and originates historically from Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism.
When is yoga celebrated?
Nowadays, there are a lot of extraneous holidays that many of us seem to ignore like National Ice Cream Day. The exception to that rule is International Yoga Day.
The International Yoga Day is celebrated every year on June 21 across the globe. It was recognized for the first time in 2015. The United Nations General Assembly proposed on December 11 and established June 21 as “International Yoga Day.” The date was selected for the occasion as it is the longest day when the sun is out compared to every other day of the year.
What Are The Benefits Of Yoga?
If you’re a passionate yogi, you’ve probably realized some yoga benefits—maybe you’re sleeping better, focusing well, or getting fewer colds, or just feeling more relaxed, happier, and at ease. Regular practice brings all kinds of mental and physical health advantages. Some, like improved flexibility, are obviously evident. Here are the benefits of yoga to explain why so many people find yoga so addictive.
Yoga enhances flexibility and balance
Increasing flexibility is one of the most recognizable benefits of yoga. It may be difficult when you first bend to touch your toes when you first practice yoga, but after a while, you will notice significant changes. Your body will gradually relax and you will be able to do things that previously seemed impossible. As the body becomes more resilient, joint pain and muscle aches will also disappear. Over time, you can gain flexibility in your hamstrings, back, shoulders, and hips.
Yoga can ease arthritis symptoms
The movements necessary for yoga are low-impact, permitting you to use your joints without hurting them. Yoga also helps reinforce the muscles around joints, reducing their load. People with arthritis often see a marked enhancement in their pain and mobility with constant gentle yoga practice.
Yoga benefits heart health
Yoga promotes blood circulation. When doing yoga regularly, blood circulation to the limbs will increase. Yoga has the effect of accelerating the heart rate just like when you do aerobic exercise. Studies show that yoga helps deliver more oxygen to cells, thus improving cardiovascular health and condition.
Yoga relaxes you, to help you sleep better
Are you facing so much anxiety that it’s keeping you awake at night? Studies have shown that practicing daily yoga can reduce insomnia, improve sleep quality, improve spiritual well-being, as well as mood and fatigue. Yoga is becoming frequently popular as an adjunct therapy to enhance the quality of life for many individuals. (1) (2)
Yoga brings more energy and brighter spirits
Studies have shown that the lack of oxygen to the brain can negatively impact people’s moods. Yoga can help increase endorphins, increase blood circulation, and improve mood.
Dorena Rode, a physiologist at UC Davis, has found help in yoga to improve her own mental health: “Yoga helps me overcome addiction, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.” (3 )
Yoga helps you manage stress and anxiety
Physical activity is great for reducing stress, and this is especially true of yoga. Because of the necessary focus, your everyday troubles, both large and small, seem to vanish by the time you are on a mat. This gives you much-needed rest from the stressors, as well as helps you see your problem.
Yoga build muscle strength
Many yoga poses require you to bear body weight in new ways, consisting of balancing on one leg (like a tree pose) or supporting yourself with your arms (like for a dog facing down). Holding these postures for a few breaths will help build muscle strength.
Yoga support your immune system
Yoga assists lower the levels of stress hormones in your body and calm the nervous system. A recent study showed that practicing yoga regularly reduces chronic inflammation in the body by decreasing the level of pro-inflammatory markers, such as cytokines.
Yoga helps you improve breathing
Most of us take shallow breaths and don’t think much about how we breathe. The breathing exercise in yoga called pranayama focuses attention on the breath and teaches us how to breathe deeper, which benefits the whole body. Controlling your breathing enhances lung function.
Nasal breathing during yoga helps filter the air, warms the air, moistens it, and removes dirt or impurities you don’t want to get into your lungs. Some types of breath even calm the nervous system, which has physical and mental advantages on and off the mat.
So, with all these above benefits, do you know why is yoga so expensive and why so many people are obsessed with yoga?
What Are Common Yoga Symbols and Their Meanings?
If you’re planning to practice yoga, you might notice that a few symbols pop up again and again: the Om symbol, a chakra chart, a lotus flower. Are you curious about the meaning of the yoga symbols? So, what do they represent? Here’s an overview of the meanings of common yoga symbols to give you insight into the practice:
Om is a sacred sound commonly referred to as the sound of the universe. The sounds and vibrations created while chanting can calm your mind and central nervous system and create feelings of peace, tranquility, and unity and will align your mind, body, and soul.
Do you know the Hari Om meaning? Hari Om is a common Sanskrit mantra that is supposed to remove all suffering and connect practitioners with the universal mind. Hari refers to “the remover” or means “the one who takes away”. Combining Hari with Om’s powerful sonic vibrations is said to be able to eliminate sin, bad karma, and suffering.
This particular flower grows from dark, muddy waters and blossoms into a beautiful and alluring flower. As a symbol, this represents the human journey of rising above any unfavorable or unfortunate circumstances and into a self-aware and self-conscious, and spiritually enlightened human being. It’s a symbol of light and emergence from darkness.
Although there are many different interpretations of the meaning of the Hamsa symbol, most of them believe that this symbol brings happiness, health, wealth, and fertility to the owner because Hamsa helps protect people from evil and negativity.
The image of Buddha is one of the most familiar symbols in the yoga world. Siddhartha Gautama, who would become known as the Buddha, and since Buddhism has grown, his image has been used to symbolize enlightenment, oneness, and peace.
In Sanskrit, mandala means circle of Muslims. In Buddhism and Hinduism, the circle is a wonderful symbol, with no starting point or ending point. These complex designs represent the world as well as the spiritual journey through this life.
Chakras are points along the spinal column, starting at the base of the spine and reaching the crown of the skull, they are supposed to be spots that energy flows through. The chakras represent the 7 energies in our body. Yoga practitioners believe that if all these 7 energies are in perfect harmony, they will be at peace, mentally, intellectually, and physically.
If you have attended a yoga or meditation class, you might hear it at the beginning and/or end of the class. It does mean ” I bow to you,”. It symbolizes gratitude, connection, and respect towards each other. But in India, it simply means “hello” or “welcome.”
Yin & Yang
Yin and yang symbolize masculinity and femininity, light and shadow, and the law of polarity. It dates back to before the third century BC. in China, and the idea of opposing forces has resounded in many cultures and schools of thought ever since. Finally, yin and yang represent the inherent balance and harmony of nature.
Ganesh is a Hindu god who is always depicted with the head of an elephant. He is famous for representing prosperity, fortune, success, happiness, and good fortune while removing both spiritual and material obstacles. The different parts of Ganesh also have symbolic meaning.
This sacred number represents integrity, spiritual perfection, and represents the foundation of all creation. The number 108 is also important in traditional forms of yoga as well as in ancient science and architecture. Traditionally, malas, or wreath of prayer beads, is in the form of a chain of 108 beads (plus one for the “guru”, around which another 108 spins like planets around the sun). A mala is used for counting when you repeat a mantra – like a Catholic rosary.
New To Yoga? What Are Basic Yoga Poses To Get Started?
Yoga has been known as a health enhancement therapy and supportive treatment for a variety of diseases for all ages regardless of gender, physical condition. If you are new to the relaxation yoga provides, here are basic yoga poses that you need to grasp. Because they’re a stepping stone for you to go deeper and get many benefits from yoga practice.
Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
This is considered the most basic yoga pose and is the foundation before starting other exercises. Regularly applying this pose will help you feel steady, calm, and steady. When it comes to the health benefits, mountain pose also supports improving physique, reducing sciatica, and toning muscles in the buttock.
From mountain pose, you can also practice its variations such as upward salute, upward tree, and extended mountain poses to reap all the health benefits.
Downward-Facing Dog Pose (Adho mukha svanasana)
This pose is said to strengthen the upper body, relax and ensure the muscles in the shoulders, arms, abdomen, and back are tone while stretching the hamstrings, calves, and arches of your feet. It can also help ease back pain.
Plank Pose (Dandasana)
Considered one of the best moves for core strength, Plank Pose strengthens your abdominal muscles and promotes stability.
Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana)
This pose is a great stance to stretch the muscles along the waist area, widen the lungs, strengthen the legs, and help promote balance. But it can be challenging for those with tight muscles. It can help improve mobility in the hips and neck. It is also an exercise that brings inspiration to himself during practice.
After the Triangle pose, you can practice the Reverse Triangle pose to enhance strengths, improve stability, balance, and spatial awareness.
Tree Pose (Vrksasana)
This is a great balance yoga posture for beginners to increase concentration and learn to breathe while standing upright. This pose also provides you the ability to keep your body balanced on one leg. In addition to helping enhance your balance, it can also strengthen your core, ankles, calves, thighs, and spine.
Child’s Pose (Balasana)
This relaxing pose helps let go and surrender. You can take advantage of this pose to relax and refocus before continuing to your next pose. It restores vitality physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Warrior I Pose (Virabhadrasana I)
This reaching up pose is essential for strength and stamina training in basic yoga. It helps you to expand your hips and thighs while strengthening the entire lower body.
The Warrior II Pose (Virabhadrasana II)
The Warrior II yoga pose is considered to be the most beautiful yoga posture, symbolizing the achievements of a mythical warrior. It strengthens your legs and ankles, opens your chest and shoulders, and helps calm and steady your mind.
Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
This one strengthens your lower back muscles, triceps, and chest. It also helps to make the spine flexible and one can do this pose by lying on the stomach and feet together on the floor.
This asana tightens the abdominal muscles and strengthens the shoulders and upper back. It also provides a sense of stability to the practitioner.
If you have a good grip on basic yoga poses, it’s great to try some advanced yoga poses. As the name suggests, advanced yoga poses are usually reserved for experienced yogis because they’re more challenging to do than your standard poses like sun salutations or mountain trees. Try some advanced yoga poses step by steps such as triangle pose, headstand, crow pose, wheel pose, merman pose, and more.
How often should you do yoga?
While not having a certain amount of yoga proven to be the best, consistency (whether once a week or five times a week) will help you improve your practice and reap its benefits. The most significant thing is to listen to your body. Don’t overdo it if you feel muscle aches or pains.
Amazing Yoga Statistics & Yoga Facts You Should Know
If you want to learn interesting things about yoga, look no further. We’ve rounded the most amazing and fantastic yoga statistics and yoga facts from different parts of the world. So, turn on some calming music, drink a warm cup of tea, and take a deep breath, as shocking yoga facts and yoga statistics will persuade you to start the practice today.
- It is estimated that about 36 million Americans practice yoga.
- The amount of US “yogis” has risen by over 50% in 4 years.
- It was predicted that over 55 million people would practice yoga by 2020.
- Women account for 72% of yoga practitioners.
- 14 million people practicing yoga are over the age of 50.
- About 44% of yoga practitioners do yoga 2–3 times a week.
- 89% of yoga practitioners in the US do yoga an average of 1-5 hours per day.
- A large number of yoga practitioners (94%) do yoga due to wellness-related reasons.
- 59% of US yoga practitioners believe that doing yoga can help them sleep well.
- Every year, Americans invest $16 billion in yoga classes, gear, apparel, and accessories.
- The global yoga industry made $37.46 billion in 2019.
- Yoga worsened 21% of existing injuries.
- Yoga has a lower risk of injuries compared to other physical activities.
- An average yoga practitioner pays almost $90 a month on yoga.
- In Japan, the growth rate of yoga was 413% in the last five years.
- 56% of US yogis are beginners.
- According to a study on yoga statistics in India from 2017, more than half of 200 million yoga practitioners are of Indian origin.
- Tao Porchon-Lynch was the world’s oldest yoga teacher.
- 1 in 12 kids had practiced yoga within the past 12 months when surveyed.
- 65% of US yogis do yoga at home.
- 54% of US yogis practice yoga since it helps them release stress.
- It is estimated that 300 million people practice yoga across the globe.
- 40% of yoga practitioners in the US eat healthily due to yoga.
- Yoga causes musculoskeletal pain in 10 percent of individuals who’ve attempted yoga.
- Yoga statistics also show that 28% of yoga practitioners in the US are men.
What Are Popular Styles of Yoga?
There are a wide variety of different types of yoga out there, whether you want a more physically demanding class or an easy, relaxing, meditative class.
With each style slightly different from the others, you’ll find variations depending on the teacher. It’s a great idea to try out a few styles and teachers before choosing your favorite one will improve your overall yoga experience and challenge you to break out of your comfort zone.
When you’re trying to determine which types of yoga is the best for you, keep in mind that there is no right or incorrect one— just one that might not be right for you at this time.
Here are main types of yoga:
Hatha yoga derives its name from the Sanskrit words meaning sun and moon, and it is designed to balance opposing forces. Most of the types of yoga that most people practice today are classified as hatha yoga. The main feature of this type is the focus on the physical connection and the breathing technique to bring peace to mind and body. In fact, ashtanga, vinyasa, Iyengar, and power yoga are also seen as hatha yoga, but the speed of traditional hatha yoga is slower.
Iyengar yoga is a type of hatha yoga developed by B.K.S. Iyengar, who developed his classic, alignment-based practice in India. This type of yoga focuses on accuracy, consistency, and detailed movements. During the exercise, you will hold the same pose for a long time or sometimes combine it with support equipment such as straps, blocks, bolsters, chairs, walls, and benches.
Kundalini is a type of yoga where you must combine mental and activity equally. That means you have to do the poses at the same time with breathing techniques, meditation, and chanting to increase the vitality of your body. This style is all about liberating the kundalini energy in your body said to be trapped, or curled up, in the lower spine.
Ashtanga yoga in Sanskrit means “Eight Limb path.” Ashtanga is a set of powerful yoga poses focused on unifying breathing with rapid movements, cleansing and circulating blood, relieving stress, and enhancing vitality.
Vinyasa yoga is also named “flow yoga” or “vinyasa flow”. It is an especially common style that combines movement and breath, forming a series of gentle transitions. Each movement will be rhythmically combined with each inhalation and exhalation. Many types of yoga can also be viewed as vinyasa flows such as ashtanga, power yoga, and prana.
This style dates back to the early 70s of the last century and was initiated by Mr. Bikram Choudhury, a yoga master in America. The basic feature of Bikram yoga is the practice in a sauna-like room with temperatures up to 105 degrees with 40% humidity.
This is a slow-paced style of yoga developed by Mr. Paulie Zink, yoga teacher and martial arts expert. This style is designed to improve circulation in the joints and enhance flexibility. Yin can also be a meditative yoga exercise that supports you to find inner peace.
If you come across a restorative yoga class, you might think people are napping on their mats. This style uses props to support the body. The aim is to fully relax in the poses, held for at least five minutes but usually longer. This means that you can only do a few poses in the classroom and it is perfectly acceptable to fall asleep in the meantime. Restorative yoga also supports cleaning and freeing your mind.
Yoga can be a great exercise for expectant moms. It usually focuses on relieving pain related to pregnancy, such as hip pain or low back pain. Prenatal yoga helps to reduce stress, exercise, and self-care in one session and breathing exercises can be helpful during labor and delivery. In addition, it also helps babies receive more nutrients and oxygen to grow and develop in the best environment.
Anusara is a modern version of hatha yoga, closely resembling vinyasa in that it focuses more on alignment, but more on the mind-body-heart connection. It was established by John Friend, who created a unique system called the Universal Principles of Alignment.
This style focuses mainly on calming body, mind, and spirit, awakening your inner energy of wisdom and will, allowing you to feel things in life in a way. Be thorough and clear, and find your own purpose in life. Jivamukti Yoga emphasizes breathing, meditation, and chanting. If you start this style then simply prepare yourself mentally to overcome the challenges that Jivamukti will bring to you.
What Are Gifts That Yoga Lovers Actually Want?
Do you have a friend or relative who loves yoga? If you have someone in your life who is obsessed with yoga, you know how their practice is a significant part of their lifestyle. Make the yogi in your life feel extra special and impress them this year by treating them to some of the best gifts for yoga lovers. As you may know, any yoga has basic and essential tools such as a mat, a block, belt, towel, or strap.
So, we’ve rounded up the best gifts that are a step above the basic props needed. Whether it’s for Christmas, birthday, or other gift-giving events roll around, these gifts are awesome, creative, and helpful presents to help them fuel their practice and use all years.
It can be tricky for you to choose gifts for yoga lovers if you’re not a yogi yourself. So, look no further as these gifts will delight colleagues, family members, or even co-workers who always begin their days with a few Sun Salutations.
These gifts are great for any yoga level and age from newbies to seasoned yogis or yoga instructors. All are practical and hilarious presents. These gifts vary in price range, so you’ll find the perfect present for your loved ones. Check them out–maybe they’ll make you interested in some yoga poses yourself.
Yoga has long been considered the practice and fitness method everyone should do – athletes, dancers, and anyone experiencing stress. Practicing yoga offers a wide variety of benefits—it can enhance mobility, boost mental health, and even relieve symptoms of heart disease. And when it comes to equipment, the right clothing can make your practice even more better and amazing ( think funny yoga shirts, leggings that stay in place through every movement, or a yoga mat that embraces each pose).
In addition to yoga exercise, a healthy diet plays an important role in creating balance and strength in the body. It’s highly recommended that you should eat fresh, healing, and grounding foods. You can follow the yoga diet as it’s a highly energizing diet and creates a calmer and peaceful mind. Combining a yoga diet and exercise plan to achieve your exercise goals.
If you are a newbie and hesitant to go to the yoga studio, you can practice at home. There are plenty of teachers and classes like yoga journal: complete home practice at your fingertips, and it’s also pretty cheap.
Hopefully, this article helps you have a deeper understanding of yoga and helps you make a decision if you are wondering whether to practice yoga or not.