What Is Gentle Yoga?

Yoga has fast become one of the world’s most popular forms of exercise, meditation, and mindfulness practice in the world.

Not only is it great for building up your strength, stamina, discipline, and so many other physical attributes, but it’s one of the best ways to build discipline, focus, and overall mental strength.

What Is Gentle Yoga?

However, it’s also a pretty intimidating practice to get into. Not only is it an incredibly old form of exercise and art (as far back as the first millennium BCE according to some scholars), but the sheer number of styles and techniques that can be learned.

Many of which are very intimidating for someone who has just started in this field.

So, where is a person supposed to start practicing yoga?

Well, if you’re confused, and not sure where to start, we would probably point you toward gentle yoga.

‘What’s gentle yoga?’, you may ask. Well, we’re glad that you asked, because we have the perfect guide for you on the topic.

Not only will we show you what exactly gentle yoga is and its origins, but we’ll also outline some of the benefits it can have when practiced right, as well as some basic gentle yoga techniques that you can try out for yourself!

It’s a dense topic, so let’s get started!

The Basics Of Gentle Yoga

So, let’s start at the beginning of the question: What exactly is gentle yoga?

Well, it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like. A much gentler form of traditional Hatha yoga, with positions, poses, and routines that are far less extreme than the more famous examples 

Gentle yoga has its origins in the mid to late 20th century when Sri T. Krishnamacharya (arguably the founder of modern-day yoga as we understand it today) developed a style of yoga practice that married the older, more spiritual roots of yoga (more on that shortly) with the more modern application of the sequences that have become famous today.

Hatha Yoga & Its Origins

Hatha Yoga, the root of gentle and modern yoga, is not just a physical exercise system, but a fully-fledged philosophical and spiritual practice that is still practiced across the world to this day.

While we don’t know exactly when Hatha yoga was first practiced, we do know that the earliest text that we still have access to references yoga practices and philosophy as far back as the 4th century BCE, and suggests an even older tradition that was previously spread and taught orally.

While there are plenty of people who primarily use yoga as a form of physical exercise, it’s still very easy to see how many of the sequences and poses that are used in modern yoga still connect to their roots.

What Is Gentle Yoga?

Benefits Of Gentle Yoga

So, now that we have the historical groundwork and explanation covered, you’ll probably want to know about some of the benefits that gentle yoga can have for you.

Well, one of the main draws to gentle yoga that people will be able to appreciate is the clarity of mind that it can help you achieve.

Not only will you be able to focus more when incorporating gentle yoga into your care routine, but you’ll find it easier to enter states of deep calm and tranquility.

This makes it an incredibly helpful tool for people with high anxiety, who may need some method of venting their otherwise difficult-to-focus thoughts into a single practice.

Plus, gentle yoga is a perfect way of decompressing after a long day, whether that was a day at work, a tough test at school or college, or even an intense workout or training session. 

Going from something labor-intensive to an activity that is calming and… well gentle, like gentle yoga, is a great way to let those negative or pent-up energies and emotions out, before enjoying the rest of your day.

Plus, gentle yoga has all the benefits that you would expect in a physical activity like this, such as increased dexterity and flexibility, without the need to sweat buckets to do it in the first place!

Who Benefits From Gentle Yoga?

Well, the answer for this one at this point should be pretty simple: Pretty much everyone!

As we’ve hopefully made clear, tons of different people have found the effects of gentle yoga to be incredibly helpful for them.

You have the people that want an easy and accessible way to learn yoga techniques, as well as the people that are looking to vent, decompress, or focus their emotions.

It’s also a fantastic practice for people who have limited mobility, strength, or strength issues, making it possible for even more people to practice yoga. And who doesn’t want to help spread how great yoga is for people?

And, of course, it’s for people that want to try something new!

Gentle Yoga Stretches & Practices

So, hopefully, by now, you’ll be considering giving a gentle yoga class near you a try.

In the meantime, while you’re searching for a class that you can attend, why not try out some of these gentle yoga poses for yourself? While not exhaustive, these should help demonstrate what gentle yoga is about!

Child’s Pose

Perhaps one of the first yoga poses that anyone should learn, the child’s pose isn’t just a great gentle yoga pose but is also foundational to a better understanding of yoga as a whole.

The child’s pose is a great position for people who are looking to get into a mindful state, as well as a resting point between different poses.

High Lunge

Outside of the child’s pose, this is a stance that we would encourage pretty much everyone to try out.

Needing one knee in front of the other can be as extreme or gentle as a person wants, making it a great way to start a sequence or yoga session.

Final Notes

So, as you can see, gentle yoga is a style of yoga that is made to be accessible to everyone who wants to try it, whether they are young or old, able-bodied or not, and so on.

The only question we have now, is when are you going to your first gentle yoga session?

Laura Simmons
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