Yoga is an ancient philosophy and exercise system that has evolved over thousands of years in India. In the Upanisads, ancient Indian scriptures, it is said: "This human body is the vehicle of the soul and the human senses are at first like wild animals, they must be bundled and controlled, so that the human being with his vehicle can come to self-realization." That the Indian term "yoga" is closely related to the German term "yoke" is therefore not surprising. Through English colonial officials, the yoga philosophy came to Europe, they first made known in England and later in the rest of Europe. Yoga is a generic term for a whole bundle of yoga practices, methods and techniques that have one common goal: the liberation of man from suffering (duhka).
The most well-known part of yoga is Hatha Yoga. It includes body-oriented practices such as yoga postures, so-called asanas, breathing exercises (pranayama) and deep relaxation techniques. Advice for a healthy lifestyle and vegetarian whole nutrition are also found in this yoga form.
The asanas, the yoga postures, gently develop muscle strength, flexibility and body awareness. The quiet holding of the various positions to blocked life energy to be flowed again, inner healing powers activated and the internal organs are better supplied with blood.
The breathing exercises, which are also part of the Hatha Yoga, however, can help the practitioners to return to a natural breathing. The background to this is the fact that many people breathe too shallowly due to stress, tension and incorrect posture and in doing so take up too little oxygen. Through these breathing exercises but also stage fright, unjustified fears and irritability should be overcome.
Deep relaxation is another important part of hatha yoga. Complete relaxation does not come by itself. Through Hatha Yoga relaxation can be learned patiently and systematically. Relaxation not only restores mental strength and peace, but also reduces stress hormones, strengthens the immune system and promotes healing processes.
Yoga is not the same as yoga
In addition to Hatha Yoga, there are a number of other types of Yoga, including the more spiritual Raja Yoga and the more emotional Bhakti Yoga, but also yoga forms, such as the spiritual Jnana Yoga or Karma Yoga, the yoga of social responsibility.
- Raja Yoga includes mental training and meditation techniques.
- Bhakti Yoga is the part of yoga that teaches the devotion and love of God.
- Jnana Yoga belongs to the more philosophical part of yoga, which explains karma and incarnation and offers meditation techniques for finding the truth in oneself.
- Karma Yoga is the yoga of action. It teaches destiny as an opportunity to understand and helps to transcend the boundaries of one's ego and to feel at one with all beings.
- Other forms of yoga are: Kundalini Yoga, Hormone Yoga (also: Hormonyoga), Marma Yoga or Kriya Yoga
Yoga is offered at most adult education centers and many adult education institutions.