The lexicon of muscle-building, and training - Part 55

Hatha yoga is an umbrella term for physical yoga, which emphasizes postures that develop suppleness, and yield health benefits. It also uses other physical practices including breath control, and possibly gestures and cleansing practices, according to the particular style. Hatha yoga styles include Ashtanga, Bikram, Iyengar, Kripalu, Satyananda, and Sivananda.

Yoga is a school of philosophy and holistic health — not religion — that originated in India over 5,000 years ago. It prescribes a course of physical and mental disciplines for attaining liberation from the material world and union of the self with the Supreme Being or ultimate principle. Hatha yoga, or asana, is one of the eight branches of yoga. The branches vary in the relative attention they give to physical and non-physical practices.

Westerners usually practice yoga techniques, especially postures, divorced from yoga's traditional background. Yoga postures can maintain and even restore one's physical health, but the full power of yoga is much greater.

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Stuart McRobert

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About the author

I was born in 1958 in Stockton-on-Tees, England. I started resistance training at age 14, when I got a set of chest expanders. In 1973 I started weight training, in a gym at a local community center. That became the focus of my life until, in 1978, I went to college in Liverpool, England, where my single-minded dedication to bodybuilding continued. This included working out at a bodybuilding gym where one of Europe's leading physiques trained. We often worked out at the same time.

This man helped me to learn a major lesson. He was on bodybuilding drugs and, generally, was a genetic phenomenon for bodybuilding. But I had better calf development even though I was drug-free and had been training for far fewer years. He even asked me for advice on how he could improve his calves. The explanation for the difference in our calf development was solely in our heredity. I had better genetics for calf development, but he was much better off in all other bodyparts. I trained my calves like I trained my arms, chest, and shoulders, but my calves were much more responsive than those other muscle groups.

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