The ancient practice of yoga is thought to have originated around 600 B.C.E (nearly 2615 years ago!). A subject rife with entertaining facts & an illuminating history, here are five delightful facts to share with your fellow yogis.
1. You have a dominant nostril
The specific practice of nostril breathing is called Swara Yoga, which claims that when one nostril is dominant, the opposite side of your brain is also dominant. While nostril dominance naturally switches every two and a half hours, you can also switch nostrils with concentration & practice. According to Swara Yoga, breathing with the right nostril will create a more energetic state of mind, while breathing with the left will have a relaxing effect.
2. Henry David Thoreau was one of the first western yoga practitioners.
It is believed that Thoreau began his practice during his time of self-isolation at Walden Pond, after becoming enamored with “solitude and the meditative life in general.” It is likely he first came across yoga through his friend Ralph Waldo Emerson, who had the Hindu text, Manusmirti, in his library.
3. Your organs get droopy, but inversions can fix that.
It is well-known that as we age, gravity takes its toll on the human body, mostly commonly recognized as sagging skin. However, this is not isolated to our outward appearances; over time our internal organs also shift downwards. A regular inversions practice combats the effects of gravity, and can help return your organs to their original positions.
4. Kino MacGregor is the youngest woman ever to be certified to teach Ashtanga Yoga by its founder Sri K. Pattabhi Jois.
At the age of 29, after seven years of consistently traveling to Mysore, India, Kino was certified by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois to teach Ashtanga Yoga. A notoriously difficult certification to attain, it can only be awarded by the Shri K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute – as no other Ashtanga teacher trainings are approved by the institute anywhere else in the world. Go ahead and experience the wisdom of Kino in her video below!
5. Lotus pose is meant to resemble the perfect symmetry of a lotus flower.
The symmetry of lotus positions your spine in perfect vertical alignment, while the soles of your feet face upwards to avoid “draining energy” down into the earth. For these reasons, Lotus is the Asana of choice for meditation.
This article was originally published by our writer on Yoga.com