22 Apr '22
Introduction To Yoga
YOGA FOR EVERYONE
If you’re new to yoga, or a seasoned yogi looking to return to a beginner’s mind, this article is for you...
Yoga is not only a set of poses and breathing exercises; it is a way of thinking, being, and believing. Yoga is not about a destination; it is in the finding of yourself. Yoga goes deep into your heart and mind through the movement of your body to peel back layers of yourself that keep you feeling stuck, small, or anxious.
Yes, your body will change, you might experience feeling stronger, more toned, with better posture, and deeper flexibility. But you will also be shedding old versions of yourself, shedding old thought patterns, old wounds, and old hurts. You will create space within your physical and energetic bodies, and tune into a higher vibration of spirit.
"Yoga is about harmonizing oneself with the universe. It is the technology of aligning individual geometry with the cosmic, to achieve the highest level of perception and harmony.” – B.K.S Iyengar
UNITY OF MIND, BODY, AND SPIRIT
The word 'Yoga' is derived from the Sanskrit root 'Yuj', meaning 'to join' or 'to yoke' or 'to unite'
Yoga is the joining together of mind, body and spirit the art of matching breath to movement. Through this, the practice of yoga leads to the union of the individual consciousness and the Universal consciousness. The aim of a yogic practice is self-realization, and each yogi can practice some of the foundational beliefs of the practice.
- Start with Acceptance
- Release Expectations
- Notice Your Breathing
- Get Comfortable in Stillness
- Adopt a Beginners Mind
- Be Committed to the Moment
MENTAL HYGIENE FOR CLASS
No matter how many times you’ve been to a yoga class, practice showing up with a beginner's mind. Every class we are different; our stress levels, muscle soreness, mental fatigue, hydration, diet, sleep can differ every single class, So if you find yourself getting stuck on being perfect, focus on letting go of your self-judgment and walk into each class with an open mind.
Any time you are trying something new—movement-related or not—there can be judgment and expectation. Try to let go of said judgment and expectation before you unfold your mat. Yoga is not about doing the sequence perfectly, but rather is a beautiful opportunity to connect to your body and breath in a collaborative space. Practice giving yourself the chance to be vulnerable and open yourself up to being present with the exact person of yourself that has shown up on your mat. Not who you were a month ago, a year ago, and not who you will be in the future. Yoga is about being rooted into the present moment.
STYLES OF YOGA
1.) VINYASA YOGA
Vinyasa means “to place in a special way”, and vinyasa is all about flowing through postures. Known to be the most athletic yoga style, Vinyasa comes from the yoga style of Ashtanga. In a Vinyasa class, it’s all about rhythmic movements timed with the breath, bringing together a dance of inhales and exhales. Poses are often held for a shorter amount of time, and class structures are based on alignment and flow. Each vinyasa class can have its own unique choreography depending on the teacher and the studio.
FAVORITE VINYASA POSE:
Downward facing dog – this is your new home. It might not feel like it at first, but downward dog is a resting position. It helps to rest the spine, activate the core, strengthen the hamstrings, and reset the gut. Anytime you have your hips above you head, you are sending a new flush of oxygenated blood through your body.
2.) HATHA YOGA
Hatha is a general term in Sanskrit that means physical postures. This physical-based yoga practice is the most common form of yoga and is a great place for beginners to start at.
3.) ASHTANGA YOGA
In Sankrit, Ashtanga means Eight Limb path, which represents the eight main aspects of yoga. The eight limbs of yoga are yama (abstinences), niyama (observances), asana (yoga postures), pranayama (breath control), pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (absorption). Ashtanga is not just about dogma; it has a very demanding physical practice that starts with the sun salutations followed by various floor positions.
4.) HOT YOGA
An incredible form of yoga for deep detoxing, hot yoga features a sequence of poses in a sauna-like room, anywhere from 98 to 109 degrees. The goal of hot yoga is to place the body in a state of full detox while moving the body with intention and alignment. Hot yoga is a great practice for people with injuries as the heat helps to relax muscles, joints, and ligaments to help get more blood flow into otherwise stiff injuries.
5.) YIN YOGA
Yin yoga is a slow-paces style of yoga that focuses on stretching, flexibility, and seated postures that are held for longer periods of time then vinyasa or ashtanga. It is one of the more meditative yogic styles as it focuses on the breath and quieting the mind. Yin yoga is amazing for beginners, pregnant women, and people who have injuries. Restorative yoga and yoga nidra (conscious sleep) fall under the umbrella of yin yoga, which are all immensely relaxing for the spirit, mind, and body. Many of the postures in Yin and Restorative yoga are modified or use props like yoga pillows and bolsters for extra support.
FEELING INSPIRED TO STAY ZEN OFF YOUR YOGA MAT?
We’ve compiled our favorite books to go deeper (or just start) your yoga practice.
- Light on Yoga – B.K.S Iyengar
- Perfectly Imperfect – Baron Baptiste
- Eastern Body, Western Mind by Anodea Judith
- Autobiography of a Yogi – Yogananda
- The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
YOGA BUT MAKE IT FASHION
Yoga is about embodiment, and the way in which you feel on your mat is a big part of the journey. The founders of Onzie created our first ever line after being in hot yoga classes and seeing that people didn’t have great options for something supportive and well made and also was able to support them during movement through the heat. Here’s some of our staff picks for what to wear during your yoga class.
HOT YOGA: Our first ever Biker Babe leotard was created to move with intention through a heated class.
RESTORATIVE/YIN: Throw on our Long Leotard for a seamless silhouette during more sitting and laying down postures.
ASHTANGA: Comfort is key during long holds in your Ashtanga class. Grab our super soft and fluid Selenite Set to flow with intention during your long Ashtanga posture holds.
A YOGI'S GUIDE TO NUTRITION
The key word in yoga is balance. And the same goes for always eating mindfully but especially while practicing yoga.
Before you practice, you want to aim for snacks that are easy to digest and help keep you staying light during your practice. Meals with simple carbs with small amounts of protein, fiber, and fiber for staying power and energy are perfect snacks. Gluten free toast with avocado, apples with almond butter, and cucumber with hummus are all amazing snacks. Avoid spicy foods and foods that digest slowly, so that all your body’s energy is being used for the practice and not on digestion.
Try and avoid eating 2 hours before a class, as this aids in digestion, especially hot yoga and vinyasa classes. Some people do one and a half hours before a class, so it’s up to you to experiment with your body and find what works best for you! Drink lots of water, especially with pink salts to restore your body after you sweat.
Aim to eat whole foods that help to re-fuel your mind and body. Especially if you’ve done a vigorous yoga class like hot yoga, try to refuel your body with a meal that has a 3-to-1 ration of carbs to proteins. This ratio is ideal for repairing muscle tissues and restoring depleted energy level. Try a snack of a quinoa and blackened tempeh veggie bowl, a Greek yogurt berry smoothie, or grilled shrimp tacos with avocado and chickpea tortillas.
PEACE, LOVE, ONZIE
As a yoga apparel brand, our job is to clothe your body, but really its to support your spirit. Onzie was created by a mother and a daughter, both drawn to yoga to heal, to go deeper within themselves, and to awaken their sacred feminine energy. It is this same foundational energy that is rooted in the spirit of the practice that fuels the ethos of our brand. Our mother and daughter team have never lost sight of their practice, even after over a decade of Onzie. Each morning, they go to an early yoga class before the sun rises, to commune with their energy and their spirit. This is what we call sacred divine business…a company that is run by women who live, breathe, and move with the intention of their yogic practice. That is how we keep our authentic voice alive, by always returning to our breath.
You will see…yoga is not just on your mat. The real yoga happens when leave the class…yoga happens in the way we face ourselves, in the way we communicate with others, in the way we connect with the world.