Here at Balance Holidays, it may go without saying that we enjoy a spot of yoga! The refreshing sensation of bending, stretching and breathing to connect our minds with our bodies fills us with joy. We know that we are not alone, and in years gone by, many of you will have tried or thought about trying yoga. It’s no surprise, yogis as well as researchers from Healthline agree on the health benefits of yoga, and many who take it up accept yoga into their being. While popular in the modern western world, the origins of yoga stem from ancient Indian tradition and remain to this day a sacred practice for many religions. It is essential to respect, and many people believe that a more profound understanding is the key to unlocking their full potential. So, whether you’re newly arrived in the world of yoga, or are a long-serving devotee, we have compiled seven facts as a way to help you achieve a more sophisticated knowledge.lady doing yoga in a forest

All Original Yoga Writings Were in Sanskrit

The word ‘yoga’ can translate differently, usually translated as ‘to yoke’ or ‘to join’; the word yoga can also mean ‘union’ or ‘method and technique’.
The word ‘guru’ can translate to ‘weighty, heavy’ or ‘of much account’. The term is used in yoga to describe the one with the most knowledge, who is ready to share and teach.

Yoga is Not Just Stretching

Yoga is described as an entire system, and it includes breathing techniques, self-awareness, sound vibration and meditation. Some yoga experts and teachers will recommend all these things to enable appreciation and full understanding.

Yoga is For Everyone

Whatever your size, gender or race, the respectful practice of yoga is for everyone.

group of happy ladies

There is No One Style

Traditionally, various styles of yoga exist such as tantra, Anusara and Hatha. While the fundamentals stay the same, each differs in its focus. For example, Anusara emphasises alignment of the heart, body and mind whereas vinyasa focuses on movement-intensive, fluid pose sequences.
Many modern styles of yoga have transpired in its popularity, with laughter yoga, paddleboard yoga and dog yoga among them.

Namaste Means ‘I Bow to You’

Traditionally displayed at the beginning and end of a class by putting both palms together, closing your eyes and bowing your head. The gesture is to acknowledge one soul to another, the traditional belief being there is a divine spark within each of us, located in the heart chakra.

lotus flowers on a pond

Chanting OM Acknowledges Our Connection With the Universe

Again, traditionally found at the beginning and the end of a yoga session, om is a mantra. The letters that you sound during this chant are actually A, U, M and the idea is, chanting these letters causes a vibration similar to that of the universe and all of nature. The idea behind this chant is to tune into its rhythmic frequency to align with nature.

For Every 30 Minutes of Yoga Practice, You Must Allow Five Minutes of Savasana

Savasana, also known as the corpse pose, should be practised at the end of every yoga session. While it may look easy, lying flat on your back with your arms and legs touching the floor, some may consider it to be a vital and tricky pose. The true nature of savasana is total relaxation.

We hope you have discovered something new and exciting reading our journal. Yoga is a complex and universally adored practice, and even the most experienced of gurus and professionals continue to learn and grow. Our yoga retreat holidayscan be a marvellous opportunity to discover more about yoga, and its teachings in a tranquil and decadent environment.