Yoga benefits more than just your body – it also benefits your mind, your heart, and your soul.
The health benefits of yoga are numerous and well-documented, but you may not be familiar with all of them. Yoga health benefits include not only a stronger and more fit body, but did you know that yoga for back pain and yoga for sciatica has been clinically proven to reduce chronic back pain? Fibromyalgia and yoga…yoga and arthritis…yoga for diabetes…the benefits of yoga for health are truly endless.
What about yoga for obesity – can it help extremely overweight people become more fit? Absolutely. Yoga is a perfect addition to a workout program for anyone who is overweight or obese, as it helps to calm the mind and strengthen the body in a very gentle manner.
What Is Yoga?
If you’re not familiar with yoga, you may be wondering, “Exactly what is yoga?” Maybe you have a vague understanding of what yoga is, but you’d like a clear yoga definition. Dictionary.com defines yoga as “…a series of postures and breathing exercises practiced to achieve control of the body and mind.” Essentially, yoga is a series of postures that strengthen, tone and stretch your body. Focused breathing techniques that lead to an almost meditative state are also part of yoga.
What Is The Difference Between Yoga And Pilates?
Pilates is an exercise system that was developed in the early twentieth century by Joseph Pilates. He developed this system of controlled movements that emanate from a strong core as a way to strengthen his own body. While he developed most of the Pilates movements using a mat, he also used numerous machines and apparatus to assist in the movements.
What Are The Different Types Of Yoga?
There are a number of different types of yoga. The six main branches of yoga are hatha yoga, bhakti yoga, raja yoga, jnana yoga, karma yoga, and tantra yoga. Hatha yoga is the form of yoga that you will most likely find being taught at yoga studios and in yoga classes in the U.S.
Bikram yoga, or hot yoga, is derived from traditional yoga but is practiced in a hot room – hence the term “hot yoga.” If you’re feeling really adventurous, you could even try a hot nude yoga class! Ashtanga yoga is a vigorous type of yoga, almost an athletic type of yoga. Iyengar yoga is based on hatha yoga but differs in that this form of yoga makes use of yoga props – things such as yoga straps, yoga balls, yoga bolsters, and yoga foam blocks.
There are some rather unusual and unique yoga types, most notably hand yoga and laughing yoga. Hand yoga, or mudras, involves a series of hand movements that are thought to help rid the body of certain diseases and ailments. It’s a great form of yoga if you want to do yoga at your desk when you’re working. Laughing yoga combines self-induced laughter with yoga breathing to relieve stress, lower blood pressure, and boost the immune system.
Most studios teach a form of hatha yoga – they may or may not use yoga props, and they may offer hot yoga. Your best bet is to try a few different classes at a few different studios and see which form of yoga is right for you.
What Is Yoga Breathing?
One of the five principles of yoga is yoga breathing, or pranayama. Pranayama means “control of breath.” Pranayama yoga involves a series of controlled breathing exercises. The yoga benefits of this controlled breathing are thought to help clarify the body and the mind.
Can I Do Yoga At Home?
Of course you can! While it might be a good idea to go to a few classes to get some expert coaching and advice, you can get a yoga book or a yoga exercise video and work out right in your own living room.
Tips On How To Do Yoga
If you’re ready to give yoga a try and start enjoying all the yoga benefits it has to offer, start with some beginner yoga poses and some basic yoga poses. You may want to look at some pictures of yoga postures, or buy a book on yoga, or find some printable yoga exercises on the internet. You may also want to start with some seated yoga poses, and progress to standing yoga poses.
As you improve and get stronger, you may want to progress to more advanced yoga positions and put a number of these yoga poses, or yoga asanas, into yoga routines. Be sure to include some yoga stretches before and after your yoga workout.
If your kids want to join you in your yoga exploration, there are number of yoga poses for kids that they will enjoy. And yoga for seniors is a great way for the elders in your life to stay strong and limber.
Where To Find Free Yoga Stuff
If you don’t want to spend a lot of money until you are sure that yoga is right for you, but you’re really interested in yoga, free online classes might be the way to go. Free online yoga classes are available at a number of different sites. There are also a number of sources for free yoga music. Yoga podcasts are a great way to get a continuous supply of new yoga moves and yoga music.
What Else Do I Need To Start Practicing Yoga?
You really don’t need any special equipment to start practicing yoga. But if you find that you really enjoy yoga and plan to practice it on a regular basis, there are a few items that will make your yoga workouts more enjoyable.
Yoga mats, sometimes called yoga sticky mats, helps to keep you from slipping and sliding as you practice your poses. There are all kinds of yoga mats available, so which one is the best yoga mat for you? It depends on what your needs are and how much you want to spend. Browse around on the internet to find one that you really like.
Instead of getting a yoga mat, you might want to invest in some yoga socks or yoga shoes. Thin and flexible, and often with a somewhat sticky bottom, they provide traction in the same manner as a yoga sticky mat does. And some yoga athletic clothing – usually form-fitting pants and tops that don’t flop around as you work out – can be a great investment as well.