Yoga has spiritual Asian roots. It’s a practice that quiets the mind and allows us to connect with our body and inner voice. In the last decades, it has travelled from Asia to the Western world and embraced many forms and perspectives. For some people, it’s still a spiritual and mindfulness practice. For others, it’s some sort of sport meant to tone and stretch the muscles and give you the satisfaction of a headstand. Still, for most people, yoga is a way to discover themselves, their bodies, and their natural connection with the world.
Connect with yourself: Practice what suits you
There’re many types of yoga and choosing the best one for you depends on your purpose, state of mind, and personality. Despite the fact that some of them are very physical (such as Ashtanga or Power Yoga) you can still practice them in your own terms. A good teacher can help you through any practice by choosing and adapting poses for you. Here are some examples of yoga practices:
- Ashtanga – It’s athletic and combines strength and flexibility poses. Ashtanga follows a fixed series of poses (asanas) and can be guided or done in your own rhythm with a teacher’s supervision (Mysore). It also uses a special type of breathing and each move matches an inhale or an exhale.
- Vinyasa – Although Vinyasa uses almost the same asanas as Ashtanga, it’s more relaxed and doesn’t follow a strict series of moves. It’s dynamic and energizing, but it’s more like free-style than a traditional practice. It has many versions from power yoga (focused on strength poses) to hot yoga (practiced in rooms with high temperatures) and flow yoga (focus on connected moves and breathing).
- Hatha – Hatha is the parent of yoga styles. It’s the traditional way of mixing asanas and breathing exercises to calm the mind and prepare you for meditation and spiritual practices. It has a slower pace and allows more time for each move. It focuses on breathing, relaxing, and connecting with each part of your body. Hatha is a profound style.
- Yin yoga – This is another form of Hatha and uses the same asanas, but it focuses on working the deeper muscles and tissues. It’s probably the slowest type of yoga and a great practice for developing flexibility, patience, and stamina. Each pose is held for a long time, even minutes. It’s also a way of preparing the body and the mind for meditation.
Connect with nature: Practice yoga outdoors
Hawaii provides an amazing experience for yoga practitioners, beginners and experts. It allows you to connect with the environment by practicing outdoors, on the beach or on the grass. Even more, it offers the beauty of the ocean and opportunities for SUP yoga, which requires more balance and detachment. Breathing the clean and salty air will definitely lift your mood and allow you to rediscover the important. And what better way to start and end your Hawaiian day than practicing sun salutation?
While yoga is usually practiced in group it’s the most personal and touching type of physical exercise. It works your muscles and joints. Most of all, it works your consciousness and makes you present and awake.