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How to Choose a Yoga Style for Lifelong Benefit

How to Choose a Yoga Style for Lifelong Benefit
How to Choose a Yoga Style for Lifelong Benefit

Yoga is an ancient technique for the body, mind and soul. Do you have injuries in any of these parts? Yoga can be the remedy you’ve been missing for years.

Yoga can heal and transform the injured parts of you, whether it’s muscle stiffness, back problems, mental chaos or any other disease. Once you can give it a try, its miraculous effects on all aspects of your daily life will hook you. Many people pay attention only to material things and eventually lose track of their actual state of well-being and health. With yoga, you will be able to recognize the patterns that block your mind and the force of old habits that keep you stuck.

What is Yoga?

The term “yoga” comes from the Sanskrit word “yuj”—meaning “to unite or integrate”. The purpose of yoga is to create a union of personal consciousness and what is known as ‘universal consciousness.’

Types of Yoga

The type of yoga practice you pick will depend on your personality and unique tastes. Your intuition will be an excellent guide in leading you to the best yoga style for you. Many U.S. studios that offer yoga classes focus only on the physical aspect of it. It is usually known as Hatha yoga. It helps to release the muscles and brain tension and prepare you for meditation. You can also try Karma yoga, Raja yoga, Bhakti yoga, Jnana yoga or different variations of these branches of yoga practice.

What Is the Best Yoga Practice for You?

People who choose Karma yoga believe that they create a future free from negativity and selfishness by engaging in selfless action. The practice of Karma yoga can sharpen reasoning and increase one’s intuitive awareness.

Raja yoga primarily focuses on self-control of the mind. If your house is messy and your head is full of chaotic ideas, you may begin doing something and never finish it. It is procrastination, and Raja yoga can help with centering and focus.

Bhakti yoga represents the path of love and devotion. For people who work in competitive environments and, for whatever reason, may experience too much aggression, hatred, or envy, this yoga practice can be a great source of balancing and creating positive feelings.

Jnana yoga, or the ‘path of knowledge’, concentrates on wisdom and intellect. The main question to focus on is “Who am I?” Jnana yoga is good for deeply intellectual people who enjoy philosophy and want to discover their mission in life.

What is my mission in life? What are my talents? How can I live in harmony? How can I deal with my fears? How can I experience love? These are the questions people have asked themselves for centuries. If you are open to change, you can use your intuition to find a yoga style that can best help you answer those questions and transform and heal yourself to live life to its fullest and most joyful potential.

The Many Faces of Yoga

The Many Faces of Yoga
The Many Faces of Yoga

Which Style of Yoga is Best for You?

Taking the mystery out of the numerous types of yoga practice

With so many sorts of yoga out there, it can be a little intimidating when you start your practice. Yoga is not just about physical movement; it can also be very spiritual. Here’s the rundown on a few different styles so you can find the one best suited to you.


Hatha Yoga encompasses many different styles of physical yoga. It involves poses, called asanas, breathing and stretching. Here are three of the most famous forms of Hatha Yoga.

  • Ashtanga-Ashtanga is a vigorous yoga that is intense and fast-paced. There is continuous movement between poses. Power Yoga is based on Ashtanga.
  • Asura is a modern form of Hatha yoga with an underlying philosophy that emphasizes the importance of self-love, positivity, and the goodness found in all things.
  • Moksha-Moksha Yoga is performed in a heated room. The participant goes through a series of poses to help strengthen and detoxify the body. It is said to have many health gains, such as improved digestion and reduction of muscle pain.

The following styles represent the four pillars of yoga and are taken from the sacred scriptures of Hinduism.

Tantra Yoga

It is a spiritual form of yoga that uses astrology, numerology, and other sciences to examine better the universe’s nature from the individual’s point of view.

  • Kundalini-This practice releases Kundalini energy (found at the base of the spine). It is done through rapid and repetitive poses, chanting and intense breathing exercises.

Mantra Yoga

This style of yoga involves chanting sounds, words, or vibrations. It is to clear the mind so that you may transcend the world into a higher form of consciousness.

Karma Yoga

Loosely translated, it reads “Union through action”. Karma yoga follows the philosophy that a person should act and think according to his or her duties (dharma) without considering self in order to attain love of God (bhakti). It is outlined in one of the sacred texts of Hinduism.


Raja yoga is known as the path of meditation. There are eight clearly defined aspects that one must follow to achieve liberation. These include self-restraint and religious study.


This spiritual practice is known as the path of devotion. The devotee will offer prayers, meditate and perform services for and for God (bhakti)


Jnana yoga is the path of wisdom or knowledge. Devotees of this path must understand the difference between the body and the soul and follow four strict ways to salvation.

Yoga for Inflexible People

Yoga for Inflexible People
Yoga for Inflexible People

With the right teacher or class, the willingness to make modifications, and the right attitude, the “inflexible” yoga student can thrive.

The right teacher or class will depend upon, among other things, the student’s reasons for beginning a yoga practice.

The “inflexible” student who begins a yoga practice to lose weight may feel frustrated by the pace of a beginner/gentle class, regardless of the teacher’s talents. With a different objective in mind—say, stress reduction—the same student may find the tempo of a beginner or gentle session very gratifying.

Both students must do an honest and realistic assessment of their individual needs and skills and then seek out the appropriate instructor and class.

The Right Yoga Teacher for Inflexible People

That said, for the stiff, brand new yoga student, some instructors can provide more assistance than others by providing a safe space for all students, regardless of experience level. Such a teacher is knowledgeable about anatomy, posture modifications, and yoga props and teaches a class to foster non-competitiveness and self-care.

This teacher helps students cultivate the essential attitude of self-acceptance and steady, gradual “practice,”

A perspective allows all students to listen to their bodies and work where they are without pushing to the point of injury or obsessing over their inability to look just like the teacher or other students.

The following modifications could be practiced in a yoga class or at home. They involve the use of yoga blocks found in many fitness settings and blankets, which are common in yoga studios.

Yoga Modifications for Tight Hamstrings

Sit on a rolled mat, folded blanket or yoga bolster in seated forward bends. It changes the angle of the hips, takes the pressure off of the hamstrings, and allows the lower back to lengthen, which can be crucial in avoiding injury to this area.

Use a yoga block in standing bends. Students with tight hamstrings often complain that their arms are too short to reach the floor. A block bridges the space between the hand and the floor, providing support and assisting the learner in deepening the stretch without succumbing to the urge to grope for the floor, a habit that can lead to injury and, in some cases, can allow the student to prevent stretching the tight muscle.

Yoga Modifications for Tight Shoulders

Use a yoga strap or bring a gym towel to class. For students who cannot yet reach hand to hand behind their back, for example, a belt or towel offers an otherwise inaccessible stretch.

Yoga Modifications for Tight Hips

Raise the hips by sitting on a square or folded blanket in seated cross-leg postures. Many yoga classes begin with breath instruction and “centering,” which is often done in a seated, cross-leg posture that can cause significant pain and frustration to students with stiff hips. Sitting on a block or folded blanket relieves pressure on the hips and lower back and lets the spine rise more quickly.

Other Yoga Anatomy Lessons

Before attending yoga class, a novice yoga student may have just a hazy notion of the location of the hamstrings. During a yoga class, this will quickly change. A good teacher can help the student avoid an adversarial relationship with these “new” muscles and develop a sense of curiosity.

However, cultivating this mindset is ultimately up to the student, and this aspect of yoga practice is not always straightforward. However, the rewards for this “attitudinal” work extend far beyond flexible muscles into a more profound, freer experience of living off the mat.

How to Choose a Yoga Class ?

How to Choose a Yoga Class ?
How to Choose a Yoga Class ?

New yoga students may not be aware that there are many types/styles of modern yoga and considerable differences among teachers.

How to Choose a Yoga Class

Admittedly, choosing a yoga class or teacher based on style is a luxury for many people. The cost of specialized courses, often offered in studio settings, can add up quickly.

When cost is an issue, factors such as work/school schedule, family obligations, and gym membership may drive the early choices of a yoga student. Although this is reality, a student using only these factors may attend a class that does not suit him or her and leave the experience thinking that yoga is not a “good fit.”

It is unfortunate because yoga might be just what this student needs to address chronic issues such as back pain or stress – issues that research shows yoga can effectively manage.

There are many ways to practice yoga; through persistence and an honest evaluation of the physical condition, personal preferences, and desired outcome, a “right class” is to be found.

“Physical Condition” Questions for Yoga Beginners

Should I consult my physician before trying a class? Pregnancy is one example of a good reason to consult a physician before attending a yoga class. Yoga often involves deep twisting, inversions, and standing, wide-leg postures, which may not be appropriate for specific stages of pregnancy.

Do I have physical issues that might need special consideration and a well-trained teacher? Injuries, high blood pressure, balance issues, and pregnancy are just a few to consider. Not all yoga teachers will know how to address all of these issues, so it’s essential to be informed.

“Personal Preference” Questions for a New Yoga Student

Do I want a fast-moving class, as in an Ashtanga, Vinyasa, or Power Yoga class? Or would I prefer to take some time in each posture, as in a Yin Yoga, Viniyoga or Iyengar Yoga class? Different teachers will pace a course differently, depending upon their preferences and training.

What kind of teaching style or teacher do I want? Do I want someone who teaches like a personal trainer—a pusher? Or do I want a gentler approach? Teachers are people, too. Some personalities will not suit all students.

How much guidance do I want? Are alignment principles vital to me, as in Iyengar Yoga, or would I prefer to have a teacher who simply leads through demonstration? Some teachers will tell students exactly where to put their arms; some won’t.

“Desired Outcome” Questions for a Yoga Beginner

Do I want to relax? And if so, what kind of teacher/atmosphere will best facilitate this? A gym? A community center? A church? All of these places are becoming typical venues for yoga.

Do I want to sweat? Many students imagine that yoga is always a slow, relaxing experience. It is a big misconception. Some yoga classes are designed to provide an intense, detoxifying sweat. For examples of this, see Bikram Yoga, Hot Yoga, Power Yoga, and Ashtanga Yoga.

How To Get Answers to These Questions

In a fitness setting, the management or other gym members often have a decent idea about teacher differences such as experience level, training, style and personality. An enthusiastic yoga teacher might also be willing to talk before or after a class.

On the other hand, studios are usually part of a very competitive market and will be prepared to answer questions and give descriptions of their classes and teachers.

Finally, YogaJournal.Com is a reputable site with unmatched content and video tutorials featuring leading yoga teachers from around the country. However, going to a class – knowing that there are other options out there if the course isn’t “right” – is the best way to begin choosing a style.

Which Yoga Style Is Best For Me?

Which Yoga Style Is Best For Me?
Which Yoga Style Is Best For Me?

There are several styles of yoga on offer in the West these days. While no one type is better than the others, there may be a style that best suits you.

People practice yoga to increase flexibility or strength, improve posture, or assist in injury recovery. For others, yoga is a complementary practice to sporting endeavors. Still, more people gravitate towards yoga to escape the frantic pace of life – to relax and re-focus.

With many different styles of yoga, and people seeking many other things from their yoga practice, knowing where to begin may be difficult. Additionally, it does not help that the titles of yoga styles are often in Sanskrit, the yoga tradition’s language.

This is a concise overview of a handful of the yoga styles accessible today.

Hatha Yoga

Pronounced “hah-ta” and directly translated as “sun-moon,” hatha yoga aims to balance the body. Hatha yoga is a broad word that refers to various practices—all forms of yoga that include physical postures, breathing techniques (pranayama), and often meditation.

Generally, courses labelled “Hatha yoga” are very mild. They will assist you in developing flexibility and strength gradually and will encourage a sense of relaxation.

The four styles of yoga listed below fall into the broad category of hatha yoga but can be more physically demanding than traditional Hatha classes.

Iyengar Yoga is

Pioneered by BKS Iyengar (known by his students as “Guruji”), “Iyengar yoga” focuses primarily on physical postures (asanas).

Iyengar yoga is differentiated by the extremely close attention paid to alignment and props, which have been instrumental in making yoga accessible to stiffer Western bodies. According to the official Iyengar yoga website, “the use of Guruji-designed props such as wooden devices, belts, and ropes assists the practitioner in attaining perfection in any asana.”

Iyengar yoga can be physically demanding, but the slower pace and long holds of the asanas mean it is suitable for all students. Students with special requirements, such as injuries, may be given modifications and variants.

Ashtanga Yoga

Sri K Pattabhi Jois established Ashtanga Yoga. It is a dynamic, faster-paced style of yoga best suited to people who have a reasonable level of fitness or are hoping to increase their fitness. Be prepared to sweat!

Ashtanga yoga is divided into six set series of postures, and students are strongly encouraged to master each set before moving on to the following series. The degree of difficulty even in the Primary (or beginner) series means that only quite committed students move beyond this sequence.

Traditionally, Ashtanga is practiced ”Mysore style” (Mysore being Pattabhi Jois’Jois’ home city). That is, pupils go through the sequence at their own rate. Teachers move around the room to assist where necessary. It requires the students to be familiar with the series.

Additionally, most Ashtanga studios provide “guided” sessions in which the instructor guides students through the sequence.

Vinyasa Yoga (Flow Yoga)

Vinyasa is a beautiful, flowing form of yoga in which the breath guides the transitions between asanas. It can vary in intensity; some Vinyasa classes are fast-paced and sweaty, others are a little more down-tempo.

Not connected to a single lineage, vinyasa teachers draw from different styles to create fluid sequences that will change from class to class.

Smooth, steady movement during the transitions between asanas is as essential as alignment in each asana. If you like an unexpected practice and enjoy movement, Vinyasa is definitely for you.

Bikram Yoga (Hot Yoga)

Bikram Yoga, founded by Bikram Choudhury, consists of a set sequence of 26 asanas that are practiced in each class. Classes begin and end with breathing exercises.

The most distinctive feature of Bikram yoga is the heat: Bikram studios are heated to around 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Bring a towel and a bottle of water with you, and dress appropriately for the heat.

Other Styles of Yoga

Styles of yoga that have a focus other than the physical include:

Raja Yoga (primarily concerned with meditation).

  • The Yoga of Karma (the yoga of action or selfless service)
  • Bhakti Yoga (the yoga of devotion).

Matching Yoga Class Styles with Personality and Health Goals

Matching Yoga Class Styles with Personality and Health Goals
Matching Yoga Class Styles with Personality and Health Goals

There are so many different styles of yoga; it’s hard to look at a studio’s class schedule and know what’s suitable for any one student. Here’s a short guide.

Look for yoga classes that are both challenging and enjoyable. It is best to take various styles to experience all the benefits of regular yoga practice, such as increased strength and stamina, reduced stress, and improved organ function.

When exploring the many styles of yoga that are offered in today’s studios, people often find that some styles complement their personalities and fitness goals. In contrast, others supplement aspects of “the self” that are diminished or lacking.

Use the list below to find the yoga that fits the kind of yogi one is, or the potential yogi one aspires to be.

Hot, Vinyasa, and Power Yoga Classes are for the “Active” Yogi

For those with an athletic mindset and those with a passion for physical fitness, look for these styles of classes on your local studios’ schedules. These styles of yoga have benefits for weight loss, muscle toning, and improved cardiovascular health.

Caution should be exercised for beginning students. It is recommended that new students take “Hatha Yoga” classes or “Level One” classes to become familiar with yoga terminology and proper alignment in poses before moving into fast-paced courses.

“Hot” and “Power” classes, depending on the studio, may involve poses held for an extended period and are therefore ideal for the beginning practitioner. However, expect most “Vinyasa” classes to include transitions from pose to pose that move quickly and with the breath.

Yin and Hatha Yoga Classes are for the “Super-Chill” Yogi

For those looking to release tension, meditate, or gain insight into the body and mind, these styles of classes are slow and mindful. Focus is on the breath in the instruction, and poses are held for several minutes.

In “Yin” classes, the poses are passive (held without muscular activity), while “Hatha” classes engage the muscles and emphasize proper alignment. Both styles are slow and encourage a relaxed and open attitude in the poses.

Ashtanga, Bikram, and Iyengar Yoga Classes are for the “Disciplined” Yogi

These styles of yoga are best for people who desire a structured system of yoga. When using a set series of asanas and precise criteria for alignment, a student may focus the mind and body on achieving a specific pose. This kind of concentration devoted to the present moment can liberate the mind from the thoughts that cause anxiety, worry, and fear.

Certain styles of yoga are based on a set series of poses, such as Ashtanga and Bikram Yoga. Ashtanga Yoga, popularized by Pattabi Jois in Mysore, India, has a set series for the beginning and closing poses for every practice with different series of poses for beginners, intermediate, and advanced practitioners in between. The emphasis is on personal development and progression that evolves with the poses.

Bikram yoga is a series of poses that are always the same. The sequence was created by Bikram Choudhury for Western practitioners and is done in a hot room in a specific order for a set amount of time. The physical benefits of the practice are impressive and include weight loss and dramatic increases in strength and stamina, and a decrease in blood pressure and heart rate. Though some might find the repetitive nature of the practice monotonous, others find it soothing and meditative.

B.K.S. Iyengar’s style of yoga is not necessarily physically challenging, though it can be. This practice focuses on maintaining proper alignment in every detail of the body using props, variations, walls, and equipment if necessary to achieve the anatomically correct pose. It can be a mentally exhausting form of yoga as so much analysis of the body’s positioning is actively going on during the practice. It can be a fun challenge for some and an annoyance for others. The theory of this style, as developed by B.K.S. Iyengar, keeps the mind so actively engaged in the present moment that it cannot drift into its usual sea of chatter.

Anusara and Kundalini Classes Inspire the “Spiritual” Yogi

John Friend’s style of yoga, Anusara Yoga, is intellectual and academic but very heart-centered and spiritually based. For those looking for a spirit of community in yoga classes and a practice that will emphasize inner peace and joy, Anusara is an excellent path to follow.

For beginners curious about the energetic effects of yoga, the philosophical mysteries of the science of yoga, and the power of the breath (pranayama), Kundalini Yoga is a fun place to learn about yoga. Its practitioners are often adventurous people who believe strongly in the ability of the body to be self-healing.

Restorative and Specialized Classes Benefit the “Therapeutic” Yogi

Restorative yoga is just that; the poses are gentle and designed to restore balance in the body and revitalize aspects of the body, both physical and mental, that are overworked, injured, or strained. It is not a “workout”, and these classes should not be taken with that expectation. These classes are intended to empower students to self-soothe and self-treat.

Specialized classes such as “Yoga for Athletes,” “Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga,” or yoga offered for students with particular ailments such as cancer, address specific issues through asanas, pranayama, visualization, and relaxation exercises. It is an opportunity for students to learn what is appropriate for them given any special conditions. They may take this information with them to their homes and further yoga sessions.

Remember that everyone has many aspects to their physical, mental, and spiritual beings, so a variety of yoga is appropriate for everyone.

The Best Type of Yoga for You

The Best Type of Yoga for You
The Best Type of Yoga for You

Decide on the yoga class that best suits your needs. A summary of the main styles paired with personality types and hints on how to get the most out of yoga.

Interested in starting yoga? You may be wondering which type of yoga is best for you or how you can obtain the most benefits from yoga. The style of yoga that suits you will depend on a few factors: your personality type, the instructor and class location.

Power Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, and Bikram Yoga Types

If you enjoy vigorous activity, are athletic, want a physical challenge, or like heating your body and sweating, then you’ll likely enjoy Power Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga or Bikram Yoga. These styles incorporate a flowing sequence of postures and specific breathing techniques which detoxify the body using heat and pressure. Due to the pace and structure of these classes, they are safest for those who have an established degree of body awareness and physical strength. They are not the best choice for beginners to yoga (unless it’s a class specifically aimed at beginners) or those with injuries.

Hatha Yoga, Kripalu Yoga, and Iyengar Yoga Types

If on the other side, you fancy a moderate pace, a gentler approach to activity, and you enjoy detailed information, then you will like Hatha, Kripalu or Iyengar Yoga. These classes are generally led slower, emphasizing alignment and customizing the practice to your individual needs. People with analytical minds rather than athletic ability tend to enjoy these styles.

Yoga Class Locations

The next question is where to practice yoga – at the yoga studio, a gym or a community center. Usually, the location of the class will dictate how often you attend, so the more convenient it is for you, the better. You may not find a perfectly suitable course or instructor right away but be persistent. After sampling a few different types of yoga, you will know what location works for you and which type of instruction helps you learn best.

Yoga Instructors

Great instructors teach in all different locations. However, as a general rule, the most experienced instructors will teach at a yoga studio or even have their own studio. Wherever you attend class, be sure to ask about the instructor’s training and background. Fitness instructors are given a certificate to teach yoga after taking only a one-weekend workshop in some areas. Still, in India, for example,

In the area where yoga originated, teacher training can take years. It’s worth it to shop around for a well-trained instructor and to whom you can relate.

Yoga Class and Personal Practice

Whichever style and at whatever location you choose to practice yoga, the benefits you experience are directly related to the frequency of practice. At first, you may find it difficult to find time to add a yoga practice to your day, but after a while, you will find that you look forward to it. A few minutes daily is preferable to just one long session per week.

Practicing on your own also allows you to set your own pace, repeat postures, and practice what your body needs that day. Just as a musician who practices her instrument every day becomes proficient, so you too will become adept at playing the device of your body with your breath the more you practice. If you need the group energy or go with a friend for motivation, honor that and do what you can. Be mindful of the time you are practicing without wishing it was longer/shorter/more complex/more accessible, and let it be good enough.

Trying Different Yoga Styles

Each type of yoga has its advantages, and you may find that after some time with one class, you want to experiment with others. It is natural, and you can learn a lot this way. Once you have found the type that suits your particular needs, it is best to work with one teacher and stay focused. Changing styles all the time is stimulating but can hamper your learning in specific ways. It isn’t easy to understand if you are always going to a different class with another teacher and trying different styles.

Using the musician analogy, if one day the musician played jazz, another day opera, another day rock and roll, one day in a concert hall and one day in a studio. One day with one teacher and another day with a new teacher and so on, it would take them several years to become proficient in any one style. Focusing on one type consistently with attention will yield more excellent results.

Finding the Yoga Type for You

If you’re an athletic type who wants a physical challenge, you will likely enjoy active yoga styles like Bikram’s Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga and Power Yoga. If you’re not particularly athletic and prefer a moderate approach, then you could try Kripalu Yoga, Hatha Yoga or Iyengar Yoga. By taking a class that easily fits into your current routine, you will increase the likelihood of attending class and obtaining more benefits.

The most qualified instructors can usually be found at yoga studios. Even if it’s short, a regular yoga session at home will yield more excellent than one or two lengthy sessions each week. It’s worthwhile to experiment with different styles and classes. Once you find the fit for your current needs, sticking to it will enable you to gain a depth of understanding which is invaluable. By following these tips, you will be well on your way to a fulfilling yoga experience, regardless of which yoga type you choose.

What to Expect from Beginner Yoga Sequences

What to Expect from Beginner Yoga Sequences
What to Expect from Beginner Yoga Sequences

Beginner Yoga sequences are made up of a few basic movements. Read on to get an introduction to this holistic practice.

Beginner yoga classes can be pretty intimidating for those who are brand new to Yoga. Everything will feel very alien, and even the beginner yoga sequences can feel quite uncomfortable. Muscle groups, ligaments, and tendons are all tensed and released in several ways, activating the parasympathetic nervous system, improving the blood flow, and increasing flexibility. The benefits of Yoga are numerous and having a familiarity with a novice Yoga routine will be of considerable aid when attending one’s first class.

The Most Famous Beginner Yoga Sequence

As a beginner Ashtanga Yoga student, the “Sun Salutation” will be pervasive in all classes attended. This essential collection of Yoga postures allows the student to warm the body, clear the mind and prepare for more vigorous positions later in the level.

The “Sun Salutation” is comprised of twelve steps. First, the yogi will stand straight, then raise his or her hands toward the sky before bending over at the waist. One leg step back; a breath is taken, then the second, leaving a push-up position. The upper body is then pushed through the space between the hands and curled up before going back into the “Downward Dog” post. From there, the alternate foot is left-back while the front foot leads into a lunge. After another forward bend, the body lifts and curls backwards before returning to a regular standing posture. Excellent animation of a “Sun Salutation” can be found at ABC-Of-Yoga.

Important Information for the Beginner Bikram Yoga Student

Bikram Yoga can also be referred to as “Hot Yoga” and involves moving through positions in a heated room (95-105 degrees). Although Bikram’s Yoga is a specific class, many Yoga studios choose to run heated classes involving beginner Ashtanga Yoga (more vigorous) and beginner Hatha Yoga (more peaceful).

Whether one is looking for beginner’s Yoga classes or trying a new way to practice, hot yoga can be quite demanding on the body. Because of the heat, the body will sweat profusely, which is said to have a detoxifying effect. All of that water must originate someplace, so if moving through new student Yoga sequences in a heated studio, please be sure to drink lots of water before, during and after the class.

Mastering the Novice Yoga Routine

After only a few classes, the beginner will be familiar with both the way a Yoga class is run and the positions they will be moving through. The “Sun Salutation” collects a few of these positions and understanding them will help the beginner no end. Remember that if you are looking to enjoy Hot Yoga, be sure to hydrate!

Yoga, the Supreme Cocktail for Mind and Body

Yoga, the Supreme Cocktail for Mind and Body
Yoga, the Supreme Cocktail for Mind and Body

Advice for Beginners Considering Yoga as a Form of Exercise

Beginning yoga is an exciting and enormously rewarding step towards achieving harmony of both the body and the mind. Discover how to maintain a safe routine and sequence postures.

With its meanings originating from the Sanskrit language, Yoga has become a popular exercise regime because of its head to toe means of achieving fitness and its therapeutic effects that encompass both the mind and the body. When coupled with other practices such as meditation, Yoga has been praised as a path to a more alternative way of life. The training emphasizes the importance of balance and moderation in both mind and body, and the postures or asanas reflect this practice.

Perseverance is the Key

For any novice, the images of the magnificent yoga asanas and Sanskrit words such as chakra, prana, and pranayama may be intimidating. It is essential to realize that some yoga poses are not achievable immediately and take constant practice and dedication. Yoga is rapidly gaining popularity as a substitute for traditional workout regimens due to its many advantages, including greater endurance and energy levels, improved muscular tone, and an overall feeling of peace and well-being.

Safety First

The careless practice of Yoga may result in injury and discomfort. Some essential safety guidelines must be considered before commencing exercise:

  • Individuals with questionable fitness, medical disorders, illness, or pregnant women are advised to consult a medical practitioner before engaging in any form of exercise. It is required for every form of exercise and does not discriminate against Yoga.
  • Whether individual yoga exercises are done using an instructional DVD, book or online, specific warm-up exercises and the correct sequence of the movements to be done are always included and recommended.
  • On an empty stomach, Yoga should not be done. At least four hours should have elapsed after a substantial meal, whereas one hour is needed following a small meal or snack.
  • When trying yoga asanas, caution should be used to avoid forcing the body into the poses. At the prime sign of pain or struggle, the exercise must be discontinued. The human body is flexible, and with practice, it will bend into those impressive yoga asanas!

Beginners Workouts

According to Richard Rosen, in his article in the online Yoga Journal called “Sequences for Beginners,” each school of Yoga, including Viniyoga, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and Iyengar, sequences their postures in different ways. He insists that despite the school of Yoga being practiced, the sequence need not be a linear step by rigid step procession but can be repeated and adjusted according to the exercise routine.

For a beginner who wants to practice Yoga at home but is not within the range of instructors conducting yoga classes, there is an abundance of printed and online material providing detailed information on beginner’s sequences and postures. Two of these online resources are:

  • www.yogajournal.com
  • www.abc-of-yoga.com

The benefits of Yoga are numerous; with the emphasis on achieving a balance between mind and body, the results could only be a toned body, a more positive outlook, and peace in an ever-changing, turbulent world.

Get Fit With Yoga Exercise

Get Fit With Yoga Exercise
Get Fit With Yoga Exercise

Learn the Health Benefits of Yoga and Get in Shape

Yoga has been a popular form of exercise among the health-conscientious for years. Regular yoga practice can build core strength, stamina and muscle flexibility.

Yoga originated over 5,000 years ago, and millions of people today benefit from daily yoga practice. Those who perform yoga exercises everyday experience improved muscle flexibility, core strength, stamina and vitality, along with improved emotional health. There are many resources possible for those interested in this beneficial daily practice.

Yoga For Muscle Flexibility

Many people are put off to the idea of yoga because they think they need a gymnast’s strength and a dancer’s flexibility to practice it. The truth is that it is never too late to increase one’s flexibility. Yoga’s repetition of stretches aids in the release of lactic acid that accumulates in the muscles and joints and causes discomfort and stiffness. As a consequence of continuing yoga activities, one develops a calm, flowing sensation. Many participants experience improved flexibility within weeks of beginning their yoga exercises.

Improved flexibility means several health benefits for those who achieve it. Flexibility reduces the risk of back problems, improves range of motion in the joints, provides better circulation and concentration, and relieves chronic pain.

Yoga for Core Strength

Dancers are often admired for their svelte physiques and impeccable posture. Similarly, consistent yoga practice may have the same effect. Most of the sitting and standing yoga poses and exercises build core strength, and a strong core means better posture awareness. With strong body and good abdominals, a person is more likely to sit and walk straight and tall. Good posture prevents back pain.

Certain yoga poses are more strenuous than others and were created by experts to help improve strength. Power Yoga Total Body Workout by Rodney Yee is one such instructional video that provides full strength and flexibility training for the whole body. Still, it is not for the yoga beginner. Luckily, Yee offers instructional videos for yoga practitioners of all levels: beginners to the avid, experienced practitioner. Local YMCAs also frequently provide yoga classes for those interested, who are more social.

Yoga for Heart Health

The deep breathing involved in yoga exercises has been proven to lower blood pressure and slow the heart rate. A slowed heart rate may help those suffering from hypertension, heart disease, or stroke. Yoga exercise has also been linked to a decrease in cholesterol levels and can boost the immune system.

Yoga For Emotional Health

The emotional effects of yoga are felt almost instantly. The tranquil environment and meditation induce a state of peace and help to alleviate tension and anxiety. The relaxation involved in doing yoga results in a decrease of catecholamines, which are hormones produced in response to stress. A reduction in these hormones creates a feeling of calm. Patients with depression have also found that this helps in treating their disease.

Daily yoga practice benefits millions of individuals and is very simple to begin. The purchase of a yoga mat is all that’s needed, though later, some increase the difficulty of their workouts by adding weights to the wrists and ankles. Find a local class, purchase an instructional video, and begin reaping the many benefits of daily yoga exercise.