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January 24, 2020

How It Works

While there are many workout trends and buzz words Yoga has been around for more than 5,000 years and is continuously a fantastic workout that does more than burn calories and tone muscles. It's a total mind-body workout that combines strengthening and stretching with deep breathing and relaxation.

There are lots of different forms of yoga with some being fast-paced and intense and others gentle and relaxing. So there will definitely be a type of yoga that can benefit you and help you reach your particular goals.

Examples of different yoga forms include:

  • Hatha. The form most often associated with yoga, it combines a series of basic movements with breathing.
  • Vinyasa. A series of poses that flow smoothly into one another.
  • Power. A faster, higher-intensity practice that builds muscle.
  • Bikram. Also known as "hot yoga," it's a series of 26 challenging poses performed in a room heated to a high temperature.
  • Iyengar. A type of yoga that uses props like blocks, straps, and chairs to help you move your body into the proper alignment.

 

Intensity Level: Varies with Type

Yoga doesn’t have to be the back-breaking, painful positioning you’re imagining if you are not a hypermobile individual like the ones usually pictured on Instagram. The intensity of your yoga workout depends on which form of yoga you choose. Techniques like Hatha and Iyengar yoga are gentle and slow. Bikram and power yoga are faster and more challenging.

 

Areas It Targets

Core: There are yoga poses to target just about every core muscle. Want to tighten those love handles? Then prop yourself up on one arm and do a side plank. To really burn out the middle of your abs, you can do boat pose, in which you balance on your "seat bones" and hold your legs up in the air.

Arms: With yoga, you don't build arm strength with free weights or machines, but with the weight of your own body. Some poses, like the plank, spread your weight equally between your arms and legs. Others, like the crane and crow poses, challenge your arms even more by making them support your full body weight.

 

Legs: Yoga poses work on all sides of the legs, including your quadriceps, hips, and thighs.


Glutes: 
Yoga squats, bridges, and warrior poses involve deep knee bends, which give you more sculpted glutes.


Back: 
Moves like downward-facing dog, child's pose, and cat/cow give your back muscles a good stretch. It's no wonder that research finds yoga may be good for relieving a sore back.

What Type of Exercise is Yoga?

Flexibility: Yoga poses stretch your muscles and increase your range of motion. With regular practice, they'll improve your flexibility.

Aerobic: Yoga isn't considered aerobic exercise but the more athletic varieties, like power yoga, will make you sweat. And even though yoga is not aerobic, some research finds it can be just as good as aerobic exercise for improving health.

Strength: It takes a lot of strength to hold your body in a balanced pose. Regular practice will strengthen the muscles of your arms, back, legs, and core.

Sport: Yoga is not competitive. You can focus on your own practice and abilities with no need to compare yourself to other people in your class. Because of this, you’ll probably find that most people in your yoga class will be as helpful and welcoming as possible.

Low-Impact: Although yoga will give you a full-body workout, it won't put any impact on your joints. It is a great option for people with joint issues

What Else Should I Know?

Cost. The price of classes varies but it doesn’t have to be a bank-breaking option. If you’re looking for yoga to be a supplementary exercise routine to your normal workouts you can pick up a yoga mat relatively cheaply and practice for free at home. Much like conventional gyms, yoga classes will cost you various amounts of money if you get more into it.

Good for beginners? Yes. People of all ages and fitness levels can do the most basic yoga poses and stretches.

Outdoors. Yes. You can do yoga anywhere, indoors or out.

 

At home. Yes. All you need is enough space for your yoga mat.

Equipment required? No. You don't need any equipment because you'll rely on your own body weight for resistance. But you'll probably want to use a yoga mat to keep you from sliding around in standing poses, and to cushion you while in seated and lying positions. Other, optional equipment includes a yoga ball for balance, a yoga block or two, and straps to help you reach for your feet or link your hands behind your back.


All in all, yoga is a great tool for nearly everyone to use and is adaptable to whatever function you require it for and it is highly recommended by our coaching team.

 

 

 

 

Photo by Prasanth Inturi from Pexels


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