Yoga has been derived and brought into practice, inspired by some of the most fascinating pages of history. The history of yoga has been embedded and enriched in many cultures, beliefs, and traditions, all across the globe.
Yoga offers many different schools, each with its own intentions and motives, tailored to suit the client’s specific needs and requirements.
Different people have different reasons to approach yoga. Some do it in order to transform their bodies into a better, healthier version, some do it to build their mental and psychological capabilities, while some consider it as a means of food for the soul. For each set of requirements, different types and styles of yoga exist, catering to a specific demand.
However, the beauty of holistic yoga is that it a combination of all the different styles of yoga practices, in order to help the person reach their optimal levels of health, mind, and spiritual well-being.
It is a well-built, systematic form of yoga that consists of all major schools of yoga, different practices, asanas, postures, meditation, breathing exercises, and more.
The term holistic in itself means that looking at the bigger picture and having an approach towards something that brings about positive changes and affects the whole of it, rather than focusing on just a certain part of it that demands attention.
Holistic yoga can be easily adapted to one’s daily routine and lifestyle. They are designed in a manner that can be comfortably and effortlessly be incorporated into one’s lifestyle. Holistic yoga comprises of breathing exercises, known as pranayama, a deep relaxation session through restorative yoga and savasana, a variety of yoga postures, known as asanas, and a well-balanced diet that leads to heightened awareness and spiritual development.
Importance of Breathing Exercises (Pranayama) in Holistic Yoga
Each yoga asana in holistic yoga is complemented with a breathing exercise, which helps the mind in various ways. The mind enters into a long phase of clarity, which helps in improving the concentration, focusing capability, memory retention, and various other factors by a drastic margin.
Holistic yoga is a great medium to get rid of thoughts and spirits that make the person feel dejected and remorse. Yoga is not just a way to boost up the mind of a person, but it also helps in eliminating the risk of chronic mental diseases such as anxiety, depression, tension, stress, and more.
Breathing is a powerful tool for the healing of the body and because of this reason, practices like pranayama, which is based around breathing techniques, has proven to be highly beneficial in regulating one’s life. Pranayama mostly comprises of deep breathing exercises along with a couple of extensive inhaling and exhaling techniques.
A combination of belly breathing along with pranayama acts as a channel for a proper massage of the vital organs of the body. The heart rate is regulated and people with high blood pressure problems attain stability.
A pranayama is a form of exercise that is suitable for both who are deprived of energy and have no will for any form of locomotion, as well as people who are over-burdened with emotions, are constantly on the verge of being hyperactive and are could do with a little calmness and tranquility in their life.
Some other benefits of pranayama include strengthening of the immune system, works as a catalyst for losing weight effectively and quickly, make the respiratory system stronger, control mood imbalances and mental dysfunctions, and help in improving the quality of sleep.
Few of the important form of pranayama are as follows:
Importance of Savasana in Holistic Yoga
Savasana, also known as the Corpse pose is considered as the final asanas and preferably held, right at the end of a yoga session. The fact that it brings total relaxation to the mind, the body, and the spiritual trait of the person, make it one of the most invigorating yet challenging asanas.
Even though the asana in itself doesn’t look as complicated and tortuous, and is just a meager sleeping pose to be precise, the goal of the savasana poses in to keep the mind active and be fully conscious of the smallest of atom in the human body, while being at a complete state of rest.
For effective results, a savasana pose should be held for 15 to 20 minutes wherein the eyes are completely shut, the breathing cycle is natural and organic, the body is in a neutral position, and the flow of energy in the body is channeled in an upward movement while getting rid of any futile and musty thoughts.
It is a very challenging and difficult pose to hold because the practitioner has to devoid itself from getting distracted by even the slightest of interruption or hindrance both physically and mentally. One has to be fully conscious and stay away from any unrelated thought entering into their minds. Complete surrender of thoughts should be maintained.
Some of the holistic benefits of savasana are as follows:
- It is a great balancer of the parasympathetic nervous system while restoring all the essential systems of the body.
- It makes the person more self-aware and encourages them to self-introspect by creating an awareness of their current state.
- The mind is finally put into a state of complete tranquility, free from any mental discrepancies.
- It helps in the physiological development of the body.
Benefits of Holistic Yoga – Meditation
One very crucial reason behind the sustainability of holistic yoga from centuries is the fact that it encourages the spiritual development of the practitioner through the path of meditation. It unifies the person to themselves as well as to their surroundings through constant nourishing and development of the spiritual attributes of the person.
It dwells the mind and the body into a state of stillness which is difficult to achieve in the current fast-paced life, but is equally important and has many beneficial attributes. Meditation gives birth to ideas of self-love, and self-realization produces an anchor for the mind.
Meditation adds more hours to one’s day. It acts as a trail to make the practitioner appreciate life a little more, love themselves a little more, become more aware of their surrounding, and promotes mental clarity and an increase in the standard of living.
From a reduction in anxiety attacks to a stronger immune system, a will to co-exist happily, a calm and composed mind, an increase in attention span, a deeper connection between the mind and the soul, improved metabolism, source of incredible amounts of energy, intuitive development, the sharpness of the mind and the senses, self harmony and personal transformation for the good are some of the many benefits reaped through meditation.
Yoga Asanas in Holistic Yoga
Holistic yoga is probably the only form of yoga where factors like past experience, endurance, flexibility rate of the body, and more, do not matter. Age, gender, height, weight, and other physical factors are totally irrelevant.
In holistic yoga, the asanas are incorporated into the routines in such an optimal way where it can be easily adapted according to one’s individual needs. It is a complete package that is bound to give positive results to improve the overall health of the body.
Yoga asanas help in correcting the posture of a person. When one looks good, they feel good. When they start feeling good, they start reflecting that into their work and daily routine. Maintaining posture is incredibly important in the long run. It directly affects the spinal cord, which, if harmed, leads to various life-long problems and dysfunctions such as sciatica pain, constant back pain, case of slipped disc, and other occupational injuries.
The best part about Holistic yoga is that it is for everyone. No matter how sluggish and stagnant one feels, or how overwhelmed with energy one is, holistic yoga can be easily approached and inculcated into the daily routine. Irrespective of what intention and reason one gets into the practice of holistic yoga, the whole experience of holistic yoga can be easily adapted and mended in ways that suit one’s requirements.
A professional yogi or an amateur with absolutely no history of yoga, both can equally enjoy and take advantage of this versatile form of yoga that fosters wellness, self-awareness, nourishment of the body, peace of mind, clarity of thought, furtherance of physical health, the connection of the mind and the soul, and the development of the practitioner in their totality.
It is always considered best to make constant changes and subsequent progressions in the daily routines so that the benefits of holistic yoga can be thoroughly enjoyed and fully reaped. Holistic yoga doesn’t create any barriers of age, gender, flexibility, experience, or any other factor. It is all about the determination with which one enters into it, how much dedication is put into it, and how much effort one is willing to show.