Updated: Aug 14
By: Heather Gruber, EIM Master Personal Trainer
You’ve heard of yoga, but like many, you don’t know exactly what it is or how it can benefit you. As a part of a regular exercise routine, yoga can bring inner peace, emotional stability and physical health to the body. I like to think of yoga as a support system to the body - a support system that can bring physical and mental health and happiness. Yes, Yoga is Exercise, But It’s So Much More Yoga combines specific poses, breathing techniques and meditation for a full body and mind workout. The benefits of yoga are wide-ranging. Physically, yoga can build muscle and help keep joints healthy while also improving posture and balance. Mentally, yoga can be very beneficial as well. Relaxation is built into every session with a focus on breathing and meditation. When you move better, you improve other aspects of life as well. According to the American Osteopathic Association, incorporating yoga into a regular exercise routine can help in several areas:
Increase muscle strength and tone
Improved breathing patterns
Maintaining a balanced metabolism
Improved cardiovascular health
Decrease blood pressure
Increase protection from future injury
Getting Started with Yoga: Here’s How
The best way to learn yoga is by doing it. You don’t have to devote a full hour every day to practicing yoga. You can do amazing things for your body and mind in a simple 15-20 minute session.
Some parts will come more naturally than others, but one of the great benefits of yoga is that simple modifications can be made to accommodate anybody.
Historically, there are several different types of yoga, each with its own focus, and generally, a beginner yoga class will feature a mixture of several different styles. After a few classes, you'll get a feel for your preferences.
Here’s a glimpse at a few different types of yoga:
Hatha: You might have heard this term as a general term for yoga practice. Hatha is a broad term and generally refers broadly to breathing and posture. Poses are held at leng
Vinyasa: This style of yoga is also called “flow'', and gets its name from the fluidity of going from posture to posture. Vinyasa places an emphasis on breath and movement through moving from pose-pose.
Ashtanga: This style of yoga is one of the most challenging and emphasizes a particular catalog of poses.
Anusara: If you’re looking to develop your meditation practices, anusara yoga might be the right fit for you.
Iyengar: This style of yoga focuses particularly on posture and body alignment. Users may use blocks, bands or other devices to achieve proper alignment.
Gentle/Restorative: If your focus is on relaxing, improving breathing and stretching, gentle or restorative yoga may be a great choice.
Prenatal: Yoga during pregnancy can be very beneficial. Prenatal yoga can also help women get prepared for childbirth by focusing on improving breathing.
Hot Yoga: One of the newer styles of yoga focuses on doing yoga in a hot room. Many find it easier to warm up muscles in a hot environment.