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Native to northern India, yoga goes back to ancient times and is one of six orthodox schools of Indian philosophy that form the pillars of Hinduism.
The exact dates, however, are a cause for debate among archaeologists in India. Yoga philosophy was standardised somewhere between the 2nd century B.C. and the 5th century A.D.
Yoga is a discipline centred around ascetic living, mindfulness meditation (dharana), and physical exercise that works to refocus individuals’ physical, emotional and spiritual beings. The practice of yoga is thus a lot broader than the actual breathing exercises (pranayama) in and of themselves; it’s a whole philosophy of mind, body and spirit that’s aimed at finding one’s vital energy.
Choosing a yoga instructor via Superprof can offer many benefits, like mastering the different yoga postures (or asanas), improving your self-awareness and stress management, understanding and differentiating between the different chakras, strengthening and gently stretching your muscles, etc.
Taking up yoga in London is an excellent and productive initiative for good physical and mental health.
Yoga and wellness are closely correlated to each other, since yoga engages all of the body’s muscles, from the face down to the abs and hamstrings and all the way to the calves. It constitutes a thorough physical activity that works the brain.
Before getting into the heart of the matter, let’s clarify some important details.
Yoga in the western world essentially consists of a type of gentle gym called “hatha yoga”. But, in reality, hatha yoga actually consists of a series of abrupt and intense poses, reserved for the most advanced yoga practitioners!
Any yoga instructor will tell you that reducing yoga to just hatha yoga is very simplistic. It would mean hiding the impact of Gingko yoga, ayurveda medicine and Ayurvedic massages in medical procedures, reducing them to mere drug solutions.
There are many different styles of yoga out there, each related to different metabolisms:
We could list countless others, but you’ll see that every yoga instructor, every yoga studio, and even the British Wheel of Yoga teaches their own specialty.
A person’s aspirations and pressure points are by nature different from one person to the next. This is the reason why yoga is aimed at everybody, each different “way of enlightenment” being unique to each individual.
Yoga classes are open to all and closely resemble meditation sessions (dharana) and mindfulness training (the one taught by Siddhartha Gautama), where you can pair the art of letting go with exercise to strengthen your core.
Living in London and in Greater London can be relatively stressful. It’s all work, work, work, cars honking, physical inactivity, juggling a high cost of living with unemployment and job insecurity, the population density, the drabness, etc. All factors that are likely to infringe on your sense of well-being.
Do you long to get in shape and find that inner peace? Hinduism and Buddhism aim to apply a certain ascetic rigorism to help fight stress and to free yourself from addictions and emotional disturbances.
However, there’s no need to meditate every morning in order to do yoga. Private introduction to yoga classes will help you stretch your body through stretching and flexibility exercises.
Postural techniques in yoga aim to improve your physical condition and increase your body’s flexibility, in order to tone your muscles, from your spine to your toes.
It is, of course, possible to practice yoga at home, by learning the first yoga pose for beginners: the sun salutation.
In addition, yoga has numerous benefits. Regularly practicing yoga can:
However, while doing yoga at home can certainly enhance your yoga sessions, it’s important to be careful of the different movements you carry out, from a posture point of view.
Hold in your stomach, pull your abs in and breathe out to avoid arching and damaging your back muscles. Also, it’s important to maintain your head perfectly aligned with your spine, in a stretching position.
Yoga exercises can be combined with spiritual and philosophical research. Certain instructors will even make you recite the mantras.
How else is an intense sports training workout good for your body?
You can also work on your cardio by practising dynamic yoga. This type of yoga is different from hatha yoga, for example, because it’s centred around a sequence of more fluid and fortifying movements, with more athletic poses.
Dynamic yoga groups together:
On top of being an introduction to Indian culture and philosophy, practicing the Yoga Sutras (a collection of texts detailing the theory and the practice of yoga) is good for you on many levels, from both a physical and a physiological point of view.
Enough to help you stay zen and find your happy place in the face of the mad morning rush and the blaring of horns that awaits you on Kensington High St. during your morning commute!
With a personal yoga instructor on Superprof, no need to pay membership dues or a monthly subscription like you do at traditional yoga studios.
Superprof is a yoga platform for all. Classes target anyone and everyone eager to practice yoga, even if you have no previous experience.
Prenatal and postnatal yoga classes, which are ideal for pregnant women, guided relaxation yoga sessions, dynamic yoga, vinyasa yoga, etc. can all be part of your curriculum, building on the method of Tibetan yoga (Kerala), from Southern India.
You’ll even be able to picture yourself at a yoga retreat in an Ashram in Southeastern India, only that you’ll actually be at home, in the UK.
Poses, relaxation, meditation, breathing, fitness… these are many of the keywords we thing of when we think of yoga, which is aimed at balancing, relaxing and calming the body, keeping your blood flowing and improving your concentration.
This is precisely the goal that yoga instructors give themselves: giving yoga classes to re-energise, to calm daily disruptions and to help purify the spirit.
As it’s a milder form of exercise, and because it’s tied to a philosophy of the mind promoting nonviolence, yoga also aims to promote the values of tolerance, kindness, and mutual respect.
Without necessarily having to be a religious person, you can still borrow the ancient anti-stress techniques from Buddhism and Hinduism to help you heal.
From a physical point of view, this type of gentle gym is comprehensive for the body. The different poses, which may seem unusual for a beginner, improve your flexibility, your inner strength, your physical endurance and your motor skills.
Exercising makes you feel good. And, like any other physical activity, your hatha yoga classes will be preceded by a warm-up, followed by a sequence of poses respecting your spinal alignment and making sure you adopt a good breathing technique.
To get there, your private lessons will be a lot more efficient than group classes, even if the group is small.
Because your expert yoga instructor will be better able to catch a bad pose and immediately help you correct it.
Yoga is an increasingly popular practice in the UK, bringing in about £812 a year, along with pilates. Yoga was also one of the most searched-for words on Google in 2016.
All the more reason to get started!
In London, over 20 yoga instructors are listed on the Superprof platform, all with very diverse profiles.
Before contacting a private tutor, focus on your personal goals to determine which type of yoga you’d like to practice.
Some of our tutors are native to India or Tibet, and have been trained by the best yogis out there. But, do not be intimidated; yoga and meditation, relaxation and breathing classes are adapted to all levels and all audiences, no matter what your goals are.
You can find two types of yoga instructors among our tutors in London: those who have done their training in an Ashram and in various schools around India, Nepal or Tibet, and those who have obtained their certification in the UK.
A first test lesson is often offered for free by the instructor, both to discover and initiate yourself into the practice of yoga and to determine whether or not the instructor’s programme suits your wants and needs.
Even if there is no commitment, better keep to weekly lessons if you want to progress well and move quickly from a beginner to an intermediate level of yoga. And why not, eventually, even become a yoga instructor yourself!
Price-wise, rates go from £15 to £80 an hour, with an average price of £40 for an hour of class. This gap is justified by the diverse level of experience and practice our instructors have, just as the varied course offering provided.
Another fundamental aspect of the teacher-student relationship in private lessons, besides the experience, the cost, and the geographic area (Wembley, Wimbledon, London centre, etc.) where the private lesson takes place, is the affinity between both.
Yoga is a spiritual and emotional practice, so it’s important to choose an instructor who will guide you through the different poses and exercises, but who will provide you with the space to grow and develop a connection with your own body and spirit. And it’s also important that they don’t judge you!
If the relationship isn’t working, definitely change your tutor! You’ll find that you’ll make progress a lot faster.
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