Yoga 101: Everything You Should Know About It

Yoga 101: Everything You Should Know About It

Yoga is a form of exercise that focuses on breathing to increase physical and mental well-being. It includes a series of movements, breathing exercises and meditation designed to reduce stress, stay healthy, increase strength and flexibility. Its purpose is to provide awareness and harmony in mind and body. It is a practice, an ancient tradition, provides many mental and physical benefits. It strengthens the muscles, supports the respiratory system and heart health, helps addiction treatment, reduces stress, anxiety, depression and chronic pain, improves sleep patterns, improves quality of life. It is practiced in many ways in many countries, is considered as a complementary and alternative medicine type in the West as a holistic approach.

What is yoga?

It is an exercise method that combines physical postures, controlled breathing and meditation. yoga, which almost anyone can do, is one of holistic health approaches. yoga, which combines physical and mental disciplines, like osteopathy, which focuses on the body’s ability to heal itself, is based on similar principles for staying healthy.

yoga, which is a set of exercises that can apply many techniques together for a healthy and high quality life, is an inner focus directed on awareness of self, breath and energy.

The history of yoga

It is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘yuji’ which means ‘unity’. The beginning of yoga, which is thought to be as old as human history, is uncertain, but early archaeological evidence (stone and clay tablets containing yoga poses) in India is dated to 3000 BC. The history of It is divided into 4 periods in many sources:

Vedic period: The first Hindu records are the period when Vedas were written (700-1100 BC). Farewell means information. Vedalar, which is the oldest teachings of yoga, consists of 4 books: Rig, Sama, Yacur, Atharva; they contain hymns and poems that praise high power.
The pre-classical period: The sacred texts mentioning that everything in the universe is interconnected is the period when the Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita were created. Upanishads contain more than 200 teachings of priests. Bhagavad Gita is about the conversation between God and man. The texts, which are seen as the end and complement of the Vedas, it aimed to help them determine their actions through yoga-meditation and eliminate ego.

Yoga movements are beneficial for the muscular and skeletal system.

Classical period: It is the period when Patanjali created the yoga Sutras. Classical yoga (Raja) is defined in these texts. The first authoritative text on yoga philosophy and practice is accepted, it includes 196 sutras. In the texts that talk about ethical principles for a meaningful life, eight paths to awareness and enlightenment are outlined. These principles are known as the 8 ways of Patanjali:

8 steps of yoga

Patch; what a person should avoid
Niama; they will be applied to strengthen the will
Asana; movements that make the body flexible, strong, balanced
Pranayama; exercise of breathing and energy techniques
Pratyahara; directing the senses from the outside world to the inner world
Dharana; concentration applications
Dhyana; positive thinking and meditation
Samadhi; comprehension of the whole, the stage of enlightenment

Post-classical period: It covers many different schools that emerged after Patanjali. Introduced to the West in the early 19th century, yoga spread all over the world with the help of Krishna and his students.

Is yoga a philosophy or belief?

According to many sources, It is not a religion or belief system; A philosophy that emerged thousands of years ago is an applied art of living with a scientific background. The person who applies this philosophy is called Yogi.

There is no leader or worship of God in the yoga system that has been practiced before religions; class, belief, race, gender, non-cultural and spiritual system open to all humanity. It does not promise a reward or punishment; There is no mandatory rite and practice, it is an individual study. It is also a belief in philosophy

What does Guru mean?

Guru means ‘teacher’, ‘master’ in Sanskrit. In Brahmatic education, it is the person who educates young people from high caste, believed to be at the highest point of spiritual power. Guru is the ultimate spiritual teacher who will guide you on your chosen path.

Types of yoga

There are many types of yoga; Most yoga types practiced in yoga centers today are derived from Classical yoga defined in yoga Sutras. None of them are superior to others. Their applications and techniques are different, but their goals are the same; relaxing the mind, strengthening the body and mind. One should choose the appropriate type by trying. The main components of all yoga classes; Stop poses (asanas), breathing (pranayama), meditation (dhyana).

schools and types

Karma yoga: It is the yoga of the movement. The purpose of the person is not to expect a response from the actions he has done, to get rid of the ego, to reach spiritual freedom.
Bhakti yoga: Love yoga; It is the unconditional, unconditional path dedicated to the source of creation. It focuses on one’s self rather than physical movements, mostly meditative.

Raja yoga: Ashtanga is known as kings’ yoga or knowledge yoga. It represents 8 ways of yoga. It is a complete system that covers all ethical, mental and spiritual teachings. It is believed that consciousness will rise to higher levels when the mind is brought under control.

Tantra yoga: It is the activation of all energies in the body in balance. It is believed that enlightenment will come with the expansion of consciousness, the dissolution of mind, and the understanding of the reason for the existence of man.

Hatha yoga: Hatha, the physical type of yoga, is one of the most popular styles; its purpose is to increase the capacity of the physical body. ‘Ha’ sun is composed of the words ‘tha’ moon. It expresses the unity of opposing but complementary trends in the body-mind, it means balancing the poles.

Therapeutic yoga: It is the application of yoga postures to the treatment of health problems. yoga therapy is performed to reduce structural, physiological, emotional-spiritual pain.

What to do before starting yoga..

Dawn and twilight are considered the best times of the day so that you can fill your body with a special energy such as sunrise-sunset. If this is impossible, find the best time for yourself; You can start the day by filling your body with positive energy in the morning or in the evening to relax after a stressful day.
Find a place where you will not be disturbed; You can apply it anywhere you can move comfortably, with a flat surface indoors or outdoors.
Do not eat or drink during yoga so as not to lose your concentration. Drink water before or after the session so as not to be dehydrated.
Your clothes should not restrict your movements; wear comfortable, thin clothing.
Your feet should be bare or you can use non-slip socks.
You can use yoga mat, blanket or non-slip cover to make it easy and safe to work on.
If you want, you can play relaxing music in the background.

How is yoga done?

The sessions typically take 45-90 minutes. Since it is an individual application, it can be changed to meet the needs and goals. Working as often as possible in the beginning enables quick adaptation. During practice, the aim is to physically challenge yourself and your focus is your breath. yoga studios usually do not have a mirror; one focuses his attention on relaxation, breath, abilities of the body and now.

It starts with breathing exercises: Start breathing through the nose with the mouth closed. Get rid of tension, stress, negative thoughts. Relax, concentrate on your breathing, feel the relaxing and energizing air as it flows slowly through your body.
Then continue with physical exercises: listen to your body, show respect, let it guide you.
The last stage is the relaxation phase called deep rest: you can go to relaxation or meditation.

What are Yoga practice methods?


Breathing techniques, one of the cornerstones of yoga, focus on the controlled extension of breathing.

Sit in a comfortable position on the floor.
Put the back of your wrists on your knees.
Close your eyes.
Exhale completely.
Breathe in slowly, deeply through the nose.
Slowly exhale with closed mouth.
Repeat twelve laps.


By focusing on muscles and nerves, it helps produce a balanced energy that is vital for the function of the immune system. The purpose of the person who focuses on mind-body awareness is to discover how far a pose can go and to discover its limits.


With correct repetitions, they are expressions that can achieve the focus of the mind by taking control of the mind. It is thought to help establish relationships with universal consciousness. The movement of the mouth, tongue and lips can stimulate the meridians in the brain and remove vibrations that can help the endocrine system.


They are hand gestures that develop a certain state of mind. There are hundreds of mudra; It can stimulate different body and mind areas when applied asana, pranayama and during meditation.

What to consider when doing yoga?

  • Diseases and pregnant women should consult a doctor before starting yoga.
  • Poses should be applied in a manner that will not harm the body.
  • Never force a move. yoga exercises unconsciously affect health negatively.
  • Muscles become stiff in the morning or in cold weather. Be sure to start each session with warm-up movements.
  • Make sure that the place where you are going to do It is ventilated and at a suitable temperature. Air-conditioned rooms are not recommended; When the environment is cold, the body hardens, the muscles flex hard.
  • Never practice yoga right after eating. Wait 2-3 hours after eating heavily, 1 hour after snacks.
The benefits of yoga

The physical benefits

  • Reduces inflammation, lowers blood sugar: Research shows that yoga reduces inflammation in the body and can help prevent diseases such as diabetes and cancer. Lowers blood sugar and LDL cholesterol, increases HDL cholesterol.
  • Protects heart health: By lowering blood pressure with a healthy lifestyle, it can reduce risk factors for chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease.
  • Improves quality of life in patients with cancer: Research shows that it can be used as an adjunctive therapy in patients with cancer; While it can reduce the symptoms of chemotherapy such as nausea and vomiting, it can help increase mental well-being. In our country, free yoga exercises are performed for patients undergoing cancer treatment in some hospitals.
  • Muscle reduces joint pain: By increasing muscle strength, it can alleviate carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, waist, back, and headaches. Studies have shown that yoga practitioners use less painkillers.
  • Improves sleep quality: Poor sleep quality has been associated with many diseases. yoga can help improve sleep quality due to its effects on melatonin.
  • Improves respiratory functions: The lung contains many breathing exercises that can help improve respiratory function in asthma patients.
  • Relieves migraine: Studies show that it can stimulate the vagus nerve, which is thought to be effective in migraine, and decrease its density and frequency.
  • It strengthens bones, increases flexibility and balance: It helps build and maintain muscle mass, protects it from diseases such as osteoporosis, increases fitness and strength. It helps to improve balance and coordination in older adults.
  • Protects the spine: Poor posture can cause muscle, joint problems.
  • It increases blood flow: Twist poses are thought to separate dirty blood from internal organs and allow oxygenated blood to flow after the twist is released.
  • Strengthens immunity: When muscles are stretched, organs move, lymphatic drainage increases. yoga helps the lymphatic system fight infection, destroy cancerous cells, and remove toxins.
  • Calms allergies: Om-like vibrations removed during the mantra facilitate excretion in the sinuses. Kriya cleaning practices from yoga elements include everything from fast breathing exercises to cleaning the intestines. The Jala neti technique, which involves washing nasal passages with brine, removes pollen and viruses.
The mental benefits
  • Reduces stress: The stress hormone reduces the level of cortisol, alleviating stress, anxiety and anxiety. It slows down the mental cycles of frustration, regret, anger and fear that can cause stress, and gives peace of mind.
  • It combats depression: Research, meditation and breathing practices can help improve a person’s mental health; depression has shown that it can reduce symptoms of anxiety.
  • It allows you to focus: Research has shown that regular yoga practice improves coordination, response time, memory.
  • It protects your nervous system: It increases body awareness, relaxes the mind, creates mental clarity and calmness. It calms the nervous system by increasing feelings of compassion and commitment.
  • Your self-esteem increases: If you practice yoga with a positive approach, you may feel that you are valuable, feelings of empathy, forgiveness, and part of something great.
  • It creates awareness, gives internal strength: You realize that you have a controlled diet without difficulty, exercise more, stop smoking after unsuccessful attempts.
  • It supports the development of children: It helps the development of senses, body coordination and concentrations.

Which diseases does yoga help?

Arthritis, osteoporosis, calcification
Eating, sleep disorders
Lung diseases
Asthma, allergies
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Type II diabetes

Yoga during pregnancy

When you have pain, when you are scared, the production of adrenaline increases, the hormone oxytocin, which helps birth, decreases. Regular yoga practice helps alleviate pain at birth by increasing oxytocin production. Breathing techniques increase the blood flow to the baby during pregnancy and keep you calm at the time of birth. By regulating the circulatory system, it reduces edema and prevents cramps.

It helps to bond with the baby, to pass the pregnancy easily, to control weight, and to provide flexibility for a comfortable birth. It is effective in recovery of the body and strengthening of the abdominal muscles after birth. You should definitely consult your doctor before starting yoga, which can be done from the 12th week of pregnancy until the last periods.

Yoga and MS (Multpl Sclerosis)

Multiple Sclerosis is a central nervous system disease that results from the disruption of the immune system. The most common symptoms experienced by patients are; fatigue, imbalance, muscle weakness. Studies have shown that practices in yoga increase the ability to move in MS patients. It also regulates blood circulation, reduces fatigue, strengthens muscles, helps the treatment by regulating the digestive and excretory system. Using oxygen comfortably and easily with breathing exercises reduces psychological stress as it reduces stress.

Yoga can reduce the negative effects of many diseases

Does yoga help to lose weight?

Careful eating is a concept that tells about being present while eating. yoga develops awareness to gain careful eating habits and helps maintain a balanced metabolism. Its practitioners are more compatible with their bodies; They are sensitive to feelings of hunger-saturation. Studies have shown that those who do yoga provide easier weight control than those who do not.

It helps to burn fat and lose weight by stimulating all the systems of the body, including the digestive system. When the physical work of It is combined with breathing exercises, more oxygen enters the body, and fat burning increases; It narrows the abdominal muscles and reduces the fat in the lumbar region.

Yoga and meditation difference

yoga is a whole, it can be yourself; meditation is also in this whole. Meditation is not religion or religious ritual like yoga. Meditation is a way of being alone with yourself, clearing the mind from confusion, simplifying, reaching peace. It is a powerful way to keep stress under control when practiced with meditation. The complementary relationship of meditation and yoga creates awareness, calms the mind, and helps to get rid of destructive emotions such as anger.

Pilates and yoga difference

It is not sports, but it contains sports; it is a journey of discovering yourself as a whole, a way of life. Pilates is an exercise program created from yoga postures; It is a set of exercises and physical health system developed to strengthen muscles, increase flexibility and general health.
The only thing used in It is your own body and breath; pilates offers many different equipment support.
In general, poses practiced in yoga are static and concentration oriented. In the pilaf, push-pull movements or balance movements are applied against a certain resistance.
In yoga, there is an alignment of chakras and anotomic alignment in pilates.

Who shouldn’t do yoga?

If you have any of the following conditions, consult a doctor before starting:

Slipped disc, herniated disc
Coagulation disorders
Eye disorders, including glaucoma
Severe osteoporosis, balance problems
Uncontrolled blood pressure
Problem pregnancy
Intestinal tuberculosis
Coronary artery disorders

Does yoga have any harm?

It rarely causes injuries; it may be caused by strain or overstretching. When done wrong, it can cause musculoskeletal pain, hernia-disc slippage, shoulder, wrist, elbow and hand injury. It is recommended to take lessons from a qualified yoga teacher, choose a class that suits your level. It can also trigger the disease in people with severe mental problems.

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