Namaste. Celebrating National Yoga Month

Namaste.

This is a phrase used in yoga practices to honor the spark inside each of us,and is typically spoken as a salutation at the end of a yoga practice or class.  Determined by the Department of Health and Human Services, September is National Yoga Month, which makes it a great time to explain the benefits, types, and opportunities to practice yoga in everyday life.

Yoga itself is based on three main principles: exercise, meditation and breathing.  Since the body is our primary instrument for working and living in this world, yoga allows us to treat our bodies with care and respect while learning their vast capabilities.  Regular practice of the three aspects involved with yoga produces both a clear mind and a capable body.  Health benefits of yoga include (but are definitely not limited to), preventing anxiety, warding off back pain and improving heart health.

In honor of National Yoga Month, Huffington Post gives us seven ways to celebrate yoga in an unconventional way.  Whether you’ve become a bit bored in the studio, or you’re feeling up to trying a totally new form of yoga, these opportunities are perfect:

  1. Anti-gravity yoga: Traditional yoga poses mixed with suspended acrobatics (think Cirque de Solei).
  2. Tantrum yoga: An outlet with yelling, dancing, and traditional yoga poses (for your inner-, grumpy child).
  3. Wheelchair yoga: Represents yoga’s versatility with traditional poses adapted for those in wheelchairs.
  4. Harmonica yoga: Yoga for the mind and body (Raja yoga) that focuses on the control of your breath.
  5. Laughter yoga: Designed to be silly, this form of yoga focuses more on the social and the mind aspects of yoga.
  6. Karaoke yoga: Focuses on breathing with song and workout with longer exhales.
  7. Yoga raves: Music, meditation, and movement in a club-like (drug free) atmosphere (Don’t forget your glow sticks)!

As a regular yoga enthusiast, the best studio I have ever practiced in is The Funky Buddha Yoga Hothouse in Grand Rapids (and soon expanding to Holland as well).  The Funky Buddha is a Bikram (read: hot, 95 degree) yoga studio.  The studio dedicates itself to community engagement through a variety of class options, free community classes in area parks, and stand-up paddleboard yoga classes in the summer.

Interested? In honor of National Yoga Month, get one free week of yoga at participating studios around the nation (many Michigan studios are participating).  Sign up for your free week here.

What’s your favorite aspect of yoga practice?

Photo credit: lululemon athletica

 

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