With the current craze for Greek-style yogurt, we figured sooner or later people would search for Greek-style yoga. But regardless of how you arrived here – whether by accident, out of curiosity, or some other route – we don’t want to waste this funny play on words and learning opportunity.
After all, there actually is such a thing as Greek-style yoga, though few of us realize this at first. But it’s there right in front of us, even as most of us don’t make the connection – though maybe more of us will once folks read and share this post.
The yoga of the Greeks? You’ve probably heard of it already. It’s called calisthenics, a word created from the Greek roots kalos, which means beautiful, and sthenos, meaning strength.
Though calisthenics is a modern word and fitness practice, it has its roots firmly in the athletics of ancient Greece, making it a rough contemporary of other forms of yoga. And like traditional yoga, when calisthenics is practiced regularly and attentively, it does indeed help to make us stronger and more beautiful, on the outside and on the inside too.
Because of the many health and fitness benefits of calisthenics, HumanaNatura encourages its regular practice as part of our Personal Health Program. The image above is a photo-sized copy of our calisthenics workout poster. The poster summarizes HumanaNatura’s multilevel calisthenics exercises and is available free for personal and non-profit use, along with our step-by-step calisthenics guide, at guide and poster download.
If you are a dedicated practitioner of traditional yoga, you may think the link between eastern yoga and modern calisthenics is, well, a stretch. But we would respond by highlighting that both disciplines use our body to condition itself, both are lifelong practices, and both require only a modest amount of space and no equipment. We would also point out that yoga postures and calisthenics exercises are easily and happily combined, underscoring their natural similarities and potentially offering health benefits that may be superior to either discipline on its own.
In fact, with the goal of superior health in mind, HumanaNatura’s innovative approach to calisthenics uses several exercises taken directly from modern Iyengar yoga (click here for a larger copy of our workout poster and see if you can spot the yoga moves). HumanaNatura also recommends the common yoga practice of supine relaxation after each workout. And just like others forms of yoga, HumanaNatura’s approach to calisthenics naturally promotes flexibility, physical strength, mental acuity, and emotional balance.
But even with these similarities, there is at least one important distinction between traditional and Greek-style yoga that is worth spotlighting. This involves the very different time commitments required by each discipline, a difference that ultimately reflects the ratio or amount of resistance conditioning in each approach.
In practice, yoga sessions generally emphasize static stretching and can easily last an hour or more. By contrast, effective calisthenics workouts can be completed in under 15 minutes and even advanced-level workouts normally take less than 30 minutes. As suggested, this is because of calisthenics’ greater focus on resistance exercises, in both their dynamic or moving and isometric or static forms.
This important difference underscores the fact that well-structured calisthenics routines are not only an effective health and fitness promotion tool, they are also an extremely efficient one too. And this explains why HumanaNatura advocates the practice of calisthenics as strongly as we do.
We hope you will take this perhaps unexpected discussion of “Greek-style yoga” as an opportunity to learn more about HumanaNatura calisthenics and our larger focus on progressive natural life and health, whether you found us by accident or more purposefully.
In the meantime, we will wish you new health and well-being – whatever your style!
Tell others about HumanaNatura…promote new life and health!