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The History of Yoga: A Philosophical Journey over Two Millennium

May 1, 2018

When you hear yoga described as an ancient art, it is no exaggeration. The first mentions of yoga were way back around 500 BC. That is more than 2,500 years ago, which is a staggering amount of time. Over this time, yoga has changed a lot. It has been refined and repurposed over the years, to become what you are familiar with today.

The Beginning

Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism were the main groups that had texts that described early yoga practices. At this point in time, yoga was mostly a philosophy practice, and it was divided into two bodies of thought. There was yoga that believed in a personal god and an atheist yoga. After that distinction, there was very little distinction between them. Both of these schools of yoga were heavily used to find oneself, and to modify a person’s consciousness. People practice yoga during that time to find inner peace, build mental discipline, and solve the nature of the world. It was very spiritual and introspective.

The Middle Ages

Between 500 and 1500 AD, many different types of yoga emerged. This fractioned yoga into a number of different types of practices. Hatha yoga began in this era, centered in Buddhist texts. Hatha was where the now popular full body poses originated. Bhakti was developed over this time period as well. It was a Hindu concept, and it focused on the idea of having a personal deity. Yoga was popular through a number of different regions during this time. The regions would adapt their yoga practice to fit with the spirituality, philosophy, and traditions of the area. This was a time of great change for yoga, as it changed and transformed new thoughts came from it.

The Current Day

The western world began to embrace yoga in the 19th century. It has certainly been westernized over the last 50 years or so. Most of the population of the western world associates yoga with poses and exercise. The philosophical aspect is occasionally lost in this adaptation for the western world. Many yoga enthusiasts are trying to bring this spirituality and philosophy back to the front of yoga. The effort to move yoga back into a journey of the mind, as much as it is a journey of the body, has been largely successful. Yoga is turning back into the lifestyle that it is intended, bringing many different types of people together in a unification of movement.

The idea of yoga has been around for a long time. In this time yoga has brought spirituality and mindfulness to millions of people. The practices of yoga have fractured, recombined, and found new purposes over these centuries. The introduction of yoga to the western world caused some shift in the balance between mind and body. However, enthusiasts of the practice have been working hard in providing education to the masses. Their work of bringing mindfulness and personal reflection back has been remarkably positive, with many people using yoga to enhance their mind, as well as their bodies. If you would like to learn more, check out this video. Thanks for reading!

Effects of Yoga on Pregnant Women 

August 3, 2017

When pregnant, women normally have a lot of fatigue, back pains and sometimes mood swings. Owing to the fact that they are carrying around a baby, practicing Yoga can be difficult. However there are exercises that pregnant women can do to improve their wellbeing as well as the wellbeing of their unborn babies. All you need to do is to know the positions to practice so as to be sure it is safe for you and your baby. The amniotic fluid acts as a shock absorber but when you do vigorous activities, you could end up hurting your baby. Yoga exercises are the simplest kind of exercises that pregnant women can do without getting any injury or harm to their babies.

It Improves Circulation to the Placenta 

There is a term called placental insufficiency. This is when the placenta cannot carry enough nutrients to the baby. A lot of factors can cause this condition but when you do Yoga, you can make the placental blood flow sufficient for the baby. Yoga exercises are also known to increase immunity which further prevents your unborn baby from catching infections. Since Yoga enhances placental blood flow and improves the immunity of the mother, it promotes safe and healthy intrauterine growth of the fetus. Doing yoga exercises from early pregnancy helps you to achieve good maternal health until you reach your deliver time.

Good Descent of the Baby 

When you are approaching your delivery time, the baby must descend from the upper abdominal region to the pelvic region. The presenting part is supposed to be the head. In some cases, babies refuse to rotate and as a result they stay in a transverse position. This makes delivery difficult for the woman. To avoid this, practicing yoga daily can help your baby to present itself appropriately. You will not have to push for long when your delivery time comes. Do the Yoga twice a week and you will have higher chances of delivering safely and easily.

Increase in Blood Production

When you are pregnant, your plasma levels increase in the body. Your red blood cells become insufficient and you can end up becoming anemic. When you practice yoga every day, your red blood cell production is going to be enhanced and you will have enough red blood cells. This will help you make it through your pregnancy without fatigue, tiredness or any kind of condition in your body. Red blood cells are needed by your fetus so they should be in high amounts for you to make it to your delivery time in good health.

The bottom line is that yoga exercises make pregnant women healthy throughout their gestational period. Caution should be taken when doing the exercises to avoid hurting the baby inside. Make sure that you do only exercises that are lower in intensity as you risk bleeding. Intense exercises can escalate early labor especially when carried out after 34 weeks of pregnancy. Practicing three sessions of Yoga per week is enough to enhance good maternal health.

After your baby is born, you may be in need of high waisted workout clothes for women. The high waist will help shape your tummy back to proper form. I have found that these are a great balance of price and quality. Namaste.