Purposes and Types of Yoga

In my research about different types of yoga I have found five basic purposes for doing yoga.  I have also found over thirty different types of yoga.  Below is a list of the purposes of yoga and the types of yoga I found.  Meditation and Pranayama (breathing exercises) are also important yoga practices.  See also the sites below where I found this information.

Five Reasons for a Regular Yoga Practice: (in no particular order)

1. Stress release, better sleep  (yin, hatha are good for this purpose)

2. Better focus, concentration, energy (meditation and Pranayama are best, see below)

3. Pain Management, healing from an injury – (Iyengar)

4. Fitness, Weight loss – (ashtanga/power)

5. Sprituality, preparation for meditation – (yin, hatha)

Types of Yoga: (in no particular order)

The most popular types of yoga are Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Hot Yoga, Yin Yoga and Iyengar.  Over the years yoga has evolved and changed (in some good ways, and some not so good ways).  See my post on Yoga History.  Some of the many other names that have been given to types of yoga are found below, for interest’s sake.

Sattva, ISHTA, Integral, KaliRayTriYoga, Bikram/HotYoga, Hatha, Vinyasa/Power,

Kundalini, Ashtanga, whitelotus, Iyengar, Baptiste, Anusara, Restorative/Yin,

Svaroopa, Jivamukti, Prenatal, Kripalu, Sivananda, Viniyoga, Tantra, Ananda,

Bhakti, Jnana, Laya, Karma, Raja, Mantha, Moksha

For more information on these types of yoga see the websites below.

Some helpful sites about Yoga:

mindbodygreen

Gaiam

matsmatsmats

Health.com

Hellawella

DoYouYoga

Yoga.com

What is your favourite type of yoga and why?

Buying Cruelty-Free, Vegan, Socially Conscious and Environmental

Previously I have posted about the idea of a Yoga Lifestyle as well as my choice to be a Vegetarian as part of my lifestyle.  I would like to share another part of my lifestyle that has come about as a result of being a vegetarian and believing in the Yoga Lifestyle; using cruelty-free, vegan, environmental and socially conscious products as much as possible.

First let me explain what each of these mean.

Cruelty-free –  cosmetic products that do not test on animals; including make-up, lotions, shampoo, conditioners, soaps, cleansers, deodorants, toothpastes, etc.

Vegan – products (as above) that do not use any ingredients that come from animals; such as gelatin or glycerin and also includes leather

Environmental – products that do not harm the environment (the use of or the production/packaging of the product)

Socially conscious – products that are not made in factories that use/support forced or child labour.

I began researching and purchasing products adhering to these principles about five years ago.  I have since learned a great deal and found many companies and products that I love.  It isn’t as difficult as you might think to support these principles.  And I believe that the more we, as consumers, buy according to these principles, the more demand there will be for companies to adhere to these principles.  If we can reduce suffering of any kind, why wouldn’t we?

Unfortunately, I still have some leather furniture in my home, that was purchased before I began buying vegan.  I still own some leather shoes and boots.  I have not gone so far as to get rid of these items.  But I do the best I can with my new purchases.

Also, I have found it difficult to buy clothing that is socially conscious.  There are a few sites online.  And occasionally I will find clothing in a local store that is tagged saying it is made in Canada, or is socially conscious.

Some of the products that I have fallen in love with can be found below.  Some of these can be found at grocery stores or Old Fashioned Foods.  Some can be found at hair salons.  And others have to be ordered over the internet.  Other products can be made at home with basic ingredients from your fridge or pantry.  Generally, if a product is organic, it is usually vegan as well in my experience.  Some of these products are very reasonably priced and others are more expensive.  I believe living this way can be achieved even on a meager budget.  All of these products are beneficial to the skin and overall health, as opposed to toxic, harmful ingredients in other products.

Many of them make products for men, women and children.

Pacifica – cosmetics and cleansers

Neuma – hair products

Desert Essence – hair products, lotions, soaps, toothpastes

Kiss My Face – hair products, lotions, soaps

Gardener’s Dream – face and body wash and lotions

 

These pictures are my own.

I would encourage anyone to try these products and others like them and increase the demand for companies to be more socially conscious, environmental and kind.

You can also look for these symbols when you shop.

Leaping bunny  

Vegan Symbols 

And read more at these sites:

list of vegan beauty products

Another helpful list

I would love to hear from others about your experiences!

On Being a Vegetarian

I have been meaning to post about being a vegetarian for a while.  So here it is.

People often ask why I made the choice to be a vegetarian.  There are five reasons.

First, I have never really liked the taste of meat very much anyway.  I remember my parents having to force me to eat it as a kid.

Secondly, the decision happened as a result of my daughter.  She was six when she learned where meat comes from.  She was very upset and said she would not eat meat anymore.  My husband and I decided not to make too big a deal of it and we let her stop eating meat.  We thought she would change her mind and go back to eating meat in a couple weeks.  We should have known what a determined young person she is.  She has not had a bite of meat since.  At the time, we did some research about vegetarianism and learned about other sources of protein.  I learned how to feed her and soon realized that this was something I wanted to do also.

The third reason is that I am an animal lover.  I do not feel right about killing animals or having someone else do it for my food.  Honestly, I do not judge anyone who eats meat, just as I hope they will not judge me.  It is a personal decision.

Another reason I choose this lifestyle is that I have learned that meat production is extremely detrimental to the environment.

Lastly, I have found that I feel better when I don’t eat meat.  I have read that your body uses a great deal of energy to digest meat and it is actually quite hard on your body (especially red meat).

As I was considering whether or not to become a vegetarian, I watched the video Earthlings.  That cinched it for me.  It is a very difficult video to watch.  However, it is extremely informative.

Vegetarianism also fits with the Yoga Lifestyle I have referred to in previous posts.

I believe that being a vegetarian is much easier now than it would have been twenty years ago.  There are so many options.  Most restaurants have vegetarian menu choices and vegetarian items can be easily found in grocery stores.

The main protein sources in my diet are beans, quinoa, nuts, seeds and green, leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale.  I really do not like the taste of soy so I avoid it.  I have found many delicious recipes on Pinterest. There is always an alternate way to make anything so I never have to miss my favourite foods. For example, I used to love ginger chicken.  So I found a recipe to make it using cauliflour.  You might think it sounds crazy – but it is delicious!

I would recommend a vegetarian lifestyle to anyone.  The next step for me is veganism!

Now, eat your veggies! And feel free to comment!

 

Yoga History 101

 

I love history and am fascinated by the story of Yoga.  Historians are not exactly sure when yoga began. It dates back to between 5 000 and  10 000 years ago, possibly beginning in the Indus-Sarasvati (or Indus Valley) civilization,
(near what is now Islamabad, Pakistan) in Northern India. The Indus Valley is one of the oldest known civilizations and is considered by some as one of the “Cradles of civilization”.  Yoga was first mentioned in the Rigveda and the Upanishads, early sacred Hindu texts, used by spiritual Hindu leaders of that time.

Yoga is thought to have developed over a period of six historical eras: pre-vedic India, the Vedic Period, the Pre-Classical era, the Classical era, the Middle Ages, and Modern History.

I’m always amazed at how one thing leads to another – in life in general, and certainly in a Google Search or any research! Since I began to learn about the history of yoga, one thing has indeed led to another. During my research I also discovered 30 different types of yoga.  Additionally, I was intrigued by the fact that yoga is more than exercise, but can and should be considered a lifestyle.  This wasn’t new information, but simply confirmed for me how important it is to remember this.  I will continue my research and share what I have learned in the future.  Until then, Namaste, my friends.