Are you looking for a different form of low-impact exercise to keep your mind and body healthy? September is National Yoga Month, so it might be a sign for you to give yoga a try.
Yoga combines physical activity, proper postures, breathing exercises, relaxation, and meditation into one activity. There are various types available, so you’ll definitely find a class that best suits your needs.
In this blog, we’ll talk about the benefits and types of yoga. We’ll also discuss why you should consider signing up for regular classes in a local yoga studio near you.
Health Benefits of Yoga
Yoga can be a supplementary exercise if you’re currently going through medical and surgical therapies. Below, we’ve listed some of its common health benefits.
Yoga helps with relaxation and stress management. Studies show that doing yoga reduces cortisol levels, a primary stress hormone. It conditions the areas most affected by stress: your body, mind, and breathing.
Apart from reducing cortisol in the body, yoga also increases an anti-inflammatory hormone called Adiponectin. Inflammation is a process where your body protects itself by removing damaged cells and toxic pathogens so it can heal better.
Helps with Chronic Back Pain
Yoga promotes flexibility and muscular strength. In fact, it is more effective in treating chronic back pain than conventional back function exercises. The various yoga poses help support your back and stabilize your spine.
Eases Arthritis Pain
Yoga can be a great way to keep an active lifestyle. Its slow and gentle movements are a low-impact exercise that improves joint function, especially for people with arthritis.
Manages Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms
Yoga helps you with your day-to-day functioning by improving balance and muscle alignment. It prevents common multiple sclerosis symptoms, such as loss of muscle function and incoordination.
Performing yoga is a good alternative to medications and pain killers for migraine treatment. Evidence shows that it can help reduce migraine frequency and intensity because it helps loosen tight areas in the neck and shoulders.
Protects Against Heart Disease
Regular yoga sessions offer plenty of benefits for your heart because it helps lower your heart rate, blood pressure, and cholesterol and glucose levels. In turn, it increases your circulation and reduces your risk of hypertension, stroke, and other heart diseases.
What are the Different Types of Yoga?
There are different types of yoga, ranging from active classes to easy and meditative sessions.
Know the basics of each type of yoga before you sign up. Check out the different kinds of yoga below and how they can be beneficial for you.
Vinyasa yoga is considered the most athletic type of yoga because it coordinates your breathing and movement as you seamlessly transition from one yoga pose to another. Its name translates to “place in a special way” and helps you become conscious of your every movement. This type of yoga is best described as slow, dynamic, and continuous.
Sign up for this class if: you don’t like sitting still and prefer to move around.
Hatha is considered an umbrella term for the more “physical” side of yoga. Hatha gets its name from the Sanskrit words for sun and moon, indicating the balance between two forces. You can achieve this sense of balance for your strength and flexibility, physical and mental energy, and breathing and body function through Hatha yoga.
Sign up for this class if: you are searching for a more gentle or balanced form of yoga.
Iyengar yoga is an alignment-based type of yoga. When you attend an Iyengar class, you can expect high levels of training and use of equipment, like chairs, walls, straps, and blocks. Using the equipment helps accommodate those with special needs, injuries, or structural imbalances.
Sign up for this class if: you prefer a more classical form of yoga or have physical limitations.
There are six specific yoga poses taught in increasing difficulty in Ashtanga yoga. If you practice this type of yoga, you can only advance to the next pose once you’ve mastered the current one. Even though it’s somewhat fast-paced, Ashtanga yoga still lets you move at your own pace.
Sign up for this class if: you like routines or a balance of physical and spiritual practice.
Yin yoga focuses on the lower part of your body, specifically the hips, lower back, and thighs. Unlike other types of yoga, it doesn’t focus on major muscle groups. Instead, it targets your body’s connective tissues. Like Iyengar, Yin yoga involves using props like blocks to help you relax and perform the poses better. However, it follows a slower pace where you hold the poses for several minutes.
Sign up for this class if: you seek a slower-paced session or need a good stretch after a strenuous workout.
Bikram yoga is not your regular type of yoga because it is typically done in sauna-like rooms. These spaces are often set at around 105° Fahrenheit with 40% humidity. Performing yoga in these conditions help improve your body’s circulation and aid in detoxification. Moreover, Bikram yoga follows 26 basic poses and two breathing exercises performed for about 90 minutes per class.
Sign up for this class if: you don’t mind a big sweat and want to perform more physical movements.
People in a restorative yoga class practice very limited movement because it involves holding the positions for at least five minutes. Restorative yoga focuses on slowing down, embracing the power of rest, and making the body more flexible through passive stretching.
Sign up for this class if: you want to relax or destress.
Yoga is a low-impact exercise for everyone, including moms-to-be! It eases discomfort often associated with pregnancy, such as lower back pain and sore hips. This type of yoga will help you perform breathing exercises that can come in handy during labor.
Even though prenatal yoga excludes poses that could be unsafe for a pregnant woman’s body, we still advise you to check in with your doctor before attending a yoga class.
Sign up for this class if: you are an expectant mother or a new mom easing back into exercise.
Find Your Place & Feel Your Peace with Yoga
Keep your mind and body healthy and sign up for yoga classes at a LifeTime club near you. We offer various options on how you can build and customize your membership.