This is a short quiz to see if the ideas you have about Yoga are correct. Yoga is a very broad description that takes in a number of different types and styles so the questions and the explanations given for the answers are equally broad.
Question One: What is Yoga?
a/ An Exercise Program.
b/ A Meditation Program.
c/ A Healing Program.
d/ All of the above.
If you answered (D) then you get a tick. Well done. Yoga can be any of these things and often is all of them at once. At it's simplest level it is an exercise program which, when practised regularly will increase strength and flexibility in the body. Because of the speed that positions are changed and the emphasis on static exercise many Yoga classes put an emphasis on breathing and directing energy and thought to different parts of the body. This aspect of Yoga is where it most closely resembles a Meditation program, though exactly what meditation means in each person's individual case is going to be different depending on him or her. Finally, Yoga is most definitely a form of healing. It allows the increased flow of blood, which carries oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body, greatly accelerating the healing rate. The stretching actions are also good for healing tissue injuries providing they are done to the right depth. Overextending can lead to re-damaging an injury, so it's important to know your limits. Yoga can also be a fantastic pre-emptive healing strategy and this is why Prenatal yoga classes are so popular. They prepare a women's body for childbirth and because of the strengthening of the specific muscles women who undergo prenatal Yoga find it much easier to recover and get back into shape after a birth.
Questions Two: Yoga Exercises are________?
d/ All of the above.
Yoga is usually a static exercise regime so (C) is your answer here. However an argument can be made for (B) because the movements between exercises are also part of the Yoga equation. Often an exercise will involve a long slow stretch, gradually pushing a little further, but ultimately the stretch needs to be held for a certain amount of time to gain it's full benefit. Fast exercise programs are all about getting the heart and blood pumping, whereas Yoga is about releasing blockages and getting the blood flowing to all parts of the body. This difference is quite important and a key element in the success and popularity of Yoga.
Question Three: Do You Have to Do Yoga In Classes?
The answer is no (B) - of course you don't. Yoga is something that can be a fantastic group activity, but it doesn't need to be. You are quite capable of doing Yoga sitting in your bedroom and no-one will ever know. Other people go to the part to do Yoga in the sun with some friends. Others will do Yoga in an airport between stopovers. How and where you do Yoga is up to you. What's fantastic is you don't need much room, and all it takes is a little time to work through your routine. Also, if no-one sees you doing it, nobody is going to know, unlike going for a run you won't be panting like a dog or sweating like a big at the end of a session.