Gentle Yoga

(June 30, 2010)

What is gentle yoga?


What is gentle yoga? Gentle yoga is a yoga style which as its name suggests, is very gentle in its approach and therefore, not as strenuous as the other practiced forms of yoga. Gentle yoga, because of its innate gentle nature, is perfect for those who cannot meet the demands of physically straining exercises. A form of hatha yoga, gentle yoga is perfect for the elderly and women who are pregnant. Practitioners who are in poor physical condition or those who are simply looking for a more relaxed and laid back workout prefer gentle yoga over any other yoga form. This form of yoga is also preferred by practitioners who may have been practicing yoga for some time, but do not have the flexibility to continue towards more advanced levels of yoga styles.
A typical gentle yoga session consists of slight modifications of the standard poses of hatha yoga. In a lot of poses, the only modification made is that the practitioner is not forced to go as deeply into the pose as required by the standard yoga session. The ultimate aim of this kind of practice is to make sure that the practitioner does not experience any discomfort while performing the pose. For instance, when performing the warrior pose, the gentle yoga practitioner does not have to bend to a complete 90 degree angle, therefore saving the thighs and the hamstrings from the extra strain. This also makes the pose much easier to perform.
There may be some poses which require extreme forms of modification. Such modifications make them more appropriate for a practitioner whose physical abilities might limit them from practicing the difficult poses. While in some poses, there is only a lowering of the intensity of the practice, there are also others where the practitioner performs a complete variation of the described pose.
In addition to making modifications in the poses and lowering the intensity of the practice, in gentle yoga, the pace of the performance of the poses is also much slower. The practitioners are given time to perform the poses so that they are comfortable. Due to this, gentle yoga seldom ever uses any vinyasa techniques. The motions of the body are not completely synchronized with the breath in gentle yoga because that would make it a more sustained physical workout. The body is also given adequate time to recover between two poses. This can make a regular session of gentle yoga longer than the average session.

Submitted by A on June 30, 2010 at 09:16

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