Is Yoga for You?
More and more people are looking into the growing world of yoga. However, a wide range of classes and unknown benefits can keep one from venturing into new areas. Whether it is Hatha or Vinyasa, Iyengar or Ashtanga, Bikram or Hot, the majority of yoga classes will provide the same type of results. It is worth looking into the various options though for personal comfort, but knowing the general benefits should be enough to open the door.
Yoga can often be overlooked as a workout given the keywords of “meditation” and “serenity” that tend to surround it. First timers will feel all that, but also a number of physical strains. Hot yoga will force greater sweat, but all types will place a new weight on stretching and utilization of new muscles. A range of different positions increase overall flexibility and provide a workout different from the typical free weights. Those looking for a complement to their typical exercise routine may find yoga as a favorable option as it often works parts of the body that are overlooked otherwise.
The best advertised benefit from yoga is the internal/mental relaxation that it provides. Many turn to cardio or weights to alleviate stress and “sweat” it out, but yoga provides a calmer approach that is repeatable outside the studio. Practicers learn the right breathing techniques and mindset needed to separate from everyday anxiety. Different classes will place changing emphasis on body alignment, breathing, movement, etc. but the overall effect follows a singular trend.
At-home yoga provides an additional benefit to that of the standard classes. Working through the different poses are proven to help adults fall asleep more quickly which in turn often leads to better sleep. The light workouts done at home can help alleviate any stress built through the day.
Brief Looks at Different Types
Ashtanga – Consistent routines and the same pattern provide an environment separate from the outside world.
Bikram – Similar to Ashtanga in that it follows a set sequence, but is placed into a heated room. Favorable for starters as it sticks to the guidelines.
Hatha – Arguably the most mentally driven approach. It follows a slow pace and places a greater emphasis on breathing and not moving too quickly.
Iyengar – Textbook poses guarantee the right actions for any level. Often favors those looking to improve joint health and overall flexibility given the attention to detail.
Vinyasa – Breaks from the traditional yoga image with continuous movement. Tends to attract stamina exercisers.