Skip to main content

Cultivating Wellness In A Time Of Uncertainty By Discovering Yoga

Dec 02, 2020 07:07PM ● By By Susan Nye
The loss of routines, uncertainty, lack of control, and isolation are all triggers for stress. For both our physical and mental health, we must somehow find ways to manage that stress. Yoga is a great tool to do just that. Instead of going through the motions with your thoughts scattered in a thousand different directions, yoga invites you to focus inward on your breath, your body, the pose, and the moment.

By encouraging mindful movements, time on your mat allows you to take a well-deserved break from the lists, errands, and worries that fill the day. Yoga encourages you to slow down and leave the rest of the world behind while you concentrate and breathe through each pose. That mindfulness helps you manage stress and instills a sense of well-being. Studies have shown that regular yoga practitioners generally experience less anxiety and depression. Now learn some yoga terms.


Yoga Has Its Own Vocabulary

With its origins in India, Sanskrit is the language of yoga. Most instructors use a combination of English and Sanskrit when teaching. It doesn’t take long to recognize Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose), Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations), Vrksasana (Tree Pose), and more. A few key Sanskrit terms:

 

Asana

The word asana refers to the physical poses and postures practiced during yoga.

Pranayama

Pranayama refers to breathwork or breathing techniques. Prana translates roughly to life force and yama means to control.

Ujjayi

A form of pranayama, the ujjayi breath is commonly used throughout a class. Also called ocean sounding breath and warrior’s breath, it involves deep inhales and exhales through the nose.

Drishti

Drishti is a focused gaze that helps practitioners maintain balance and concentration.

Shavasana, also called Savasana

Translated as Corpse Pose, it is the final pose in most yoga classes. Shavasana provides restorative relaxation and helps reduce anxiety.

Namaste

Translating from Sanskrit, namaste means I bow to you. Typically said at the end of class, it is a respectful way for student and teacher to acknowledge their time together and on the mat.

An Ancient Tradition

Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years in India. It first became popular in the western world in the mid-20th century. While most poses are derived from hatha yoga, a number of different styles have developed.

Hatha Yoga

Hatha yoga gets its name from the Sanskrit words for sun and moon. Students move through poses to develop strength and flexibility, physical and mental energy.

Vinyasa Yoga

Vinyasa yoga links breath and movement in a continuous flow of poses. The flow can be slow, dynamic, or mindful.

Kripalu Yoga

Kripalu is a gentle hatha yoga practice that emphasizes meditation, physical healing, and spiritual transformation.

Ashtanga Yoga

A very physical, flow-style yoga, Ashtanga yoga consists of six series of specific poses.

Bikram Yoga

Also called hot yoga, Bikram classes are very physical and given in rooms set at 105° with 40 percent humidity. A set series of poses are performed in a specific order.

Yin Yoga

Practitioners slow down and hold poses in yin yoga. Beginners start at a minute per pose and work up to five minutes or more. Yin is designed to increase joint circulation and improve flexibility.

Restorative Yoga

Restorative yoga emphasizes alignment, rest, and healing. Practitioners use props for support while holding and relaxing into poses for at least five minutes.

Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini yoga challenges both mind and body with chanting, singing, meditation, and poses paired with breathwork.

 

Where to Practice:

Hogan Sports Center at Colby-Sawyer College in New London

(603) 526-3600

www.colby-sawyerathletics.com

 

Rainbow Connection Yoga in New London, Wilmot, and online

(818) 588-9227

[email protected]

www.rainbowconnectionyoga.com

 

Cow Face Yoga in New London

(603) 454-8539

[email protected]

www.cowfaceyoganh.com

 

Yoga Connection in Grantham and online

(603) 863-1798

[email protected]

www.yogaconnection.us

 

To continue reading this story please see page 89 in Image Magazine Winter 2020 digital edition.

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Image's free newsletter to catch every headline