What is Yoga?
Is one of the oldest teachings about harmony in the body, mind and spirit. It's a state/practice where those three aspects come together. When the ease comes, the feeling of unity and blissfulness follows. Yoga has different techniques which help you come to this state, those techniques are: body positions (asana), controlled breathing (pranajama), meditation (dhyana), singing, reading of ancient writings ... They all have the same purpose - to free oneself from distractions (negative thinking, disease ...) and find inner peace or samadhi - spiritual state of consciousness.
Yoga is much more than just a workout.
How to Yoga?
Yoga doesn't need much equipment. You need comfortable clothes without trainers, yoga/exercise mat, elastic band and a block or a pillow for beginners.
Benefits of Yoga
Yoga provides overall body health and well being. As any other practice, yoga is great for conditioning, balance, flexibility, helps you sculpt the body and is great for losing or maintaining weight. Yoga is bodyweight exercise and you're using your own weight to move from posture to posture and in certain poses, you're lifting every pound (I've noticed how quick triceps got defined from practicing chaturangas).
Yoga improves your posture and strengthens back muscles. It also helps to open hip flexors, calm muscle pain and reduces joint pain in general (I've noticed that myself). Just 15 minute back stretching or hip flexor opening yoga practice can do wonders.
Yoga leads into inner peace and balance in life. Like meditation, yoga is spiritual experience connecting with one's true self - the Soul, which leads into calmness and improves life in every aspect. Yoga provides space for spiritual growth.
Another great benefit is that it reduces stress and helps to cure diseases caused by stress. It also slows down ageing and relieves ageing problems (you can also do face yoga, which is great for erasing lines, wrinkles and helps to maintain a young looking skin). Plus, yogis are known to be happier :).
Another benefits are better sleep (I think that is common with any other workout regime), more focus in life in every aspect, helps you fight food cravings and encourages you to make better eating choices ... Overall, yoga provides better life and many yogis say that yoga is a way of life, not just a workout :).
I could go on and on about yoga. I do practice yoga, but I don't say I'm any good at it. But I can assure you that is challenging, you will probably have muscle pain the next day and I also is a nice change from regular HIITs I usually do.
Do you practive Yoga? Or have you ever tried it?