Stretch Your Workout
Those of you who have been exercising for some time probably know the importance of stretching, and incorporating yoga into your fitness plan is a great way to stretch out your muscles and boost flexibility. What’s more, this ancient tradition also relaxes the mind and body, making it a perfect stress reliever. And with millions of Americans rolling out their yoga mats in studios and living rooms all across the country, there has never been a better time to try this time-honored practice.
What is Yoga?
More than just a passive practice of relaxation, yoga is an active art form that stimulates the body, mind, and spirit, bringing overall balance to your life. The best part is that many people can practice yoga and benefit from its teachings.
Most yoga practices are generally a fusion of physical postures called “asanas” and breathing exercises called “pranayama”. “Yoga” means “to join or yoke together,” as it unites all three parts of the body. Yoga takes a great deal of concentration, balance, and strength. But no worries – you don’t need to have all the poses mastered before you attend a class. When it comes to yoga, consistency is key. With regular practice, you will be able to sink deeper into your poses and hold them for longer. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you’ll be able to push yourself further with countless modifications to challenge your mind and body.
In this fast-paced world, it’s nice to know there is a way to get away and take some time to focus on yourself.
Yoga helps to build strength and flexibility, and increases coordination, balance, agility, posture, and stamina. Yoga can also improve circulation and digestion.
Yoga may help reduce stress and tension, increase overall focus and concentration, and improve your mind/body connection.
Yoga will build awareness of the body, self, and others.
Types of Yoga
There are over 27 different forms of yoga, but the Ashtanga and Bikram forms are most aerobic in nature and therefore help with shaping a great body.
This form of yoga is also referred to as “power yoga.” It consists of a flowing sequence of postures that together form a challenging routine. The purpose of Ashtanga is to create heat with an emphasis on strength, flexibility, and stamina.
Also referred to as “hot yoga,” Bikram is a form of yoga performed in a room heated to 100°F, on average, to warm up the whole body. This form typically consists of a sequence of about 26 poses.
In this fast-paced world, it’s nice to know there is a way to get away and take some time to focus on yourself. Yoga is a time for self-reflection and a chance for the body to unwind and allow you to become more balanced. So if you haven’t already tried yoga, now’s your chance to take up this beneficial form of exercise.
To find a yoga class near you, check out the yoga directory.