Everything you need to know about Yoga!
Our fitness team is here to tell you more about the benefits of Yoga for your mind and body, whether you’re looking to learn about Yoga poses or to join your first Yoga class.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices that originated in ancient India. It is essentially a spiritual discipline based on an extremely subtle science, which focuses on bringing harmony between mind and body.
The word Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit root “Yuj”, meaning “to join” or “to yoke” or “to unite”.
What are the benefits of Yoga?
There are many benefits of Yoga, including:
- Improved strength, balance, and flexibility – Slow movements and deep breathing increase blood flow and warm up muscles while holding a pose can build strength. Eg Tree Pose
- Helps with back pain relief. Eg Cat-Cow pose
- Can ease arthritis symptoms by easing some discomfort of tender and swollen joints
- Benefits heart health – Yoga practice helps to reduce stress levels Eg Downward Dog Pose
- Relaxes you, to help you sleep better – Bedtime Yoga routines have been found to help the body find the correct mindset in readiness to sleep
- Yoga means more energy and lighter moods – boast of alertness and enthusiasm and fewer negative feelings
- Helps manage stress – According to the National Institutes of Health, scientific evidence shows that Yoga supports stress management, mental health, and mindfulness
- Numerous studies show Yoga’s benefits in arthritis, osteopenia, balances issues, women’s health, chronic pain, and other specialties
Each pose has its own health benefits, namely the downward dog pose, which is a great exercise to do first thing in the morning to stimulate the heart, lungs, and bowels. It rejuvenates the lymphatic system and improves flexibility, especially of the lower back.
The cobra pose helps to improve posture and is good for the back and reproductive organs, also giving a sense of calm and self-confidence.
When several poses are put together, they are referred to as a sequence, the most familiar one is Sun salutation/Salute to the sun.
Types of Yoga around the world
There are a number of types and styles of Yoga practiced around the world, including:
Hatha Yoga – Most common form, which combines Yoga poses with breathing techniques
Power or Sun Power Yoga – Physically demanding, focusing on the flow of energy through the body focused on building strength
Zen Yoga – blend of Yoga and Zen practices to help increase flexibility, improve the flow of breathing, and open joints
Raja Yoga – Focused on Yoga of the mind and body through the blended practice of meditation with Hatha Yoga
Bikram Yoga – 26 postures performed in an interior heated room 40 deg°C
Yoga is suitable for all ages and abilities, however, there are also specialist classes such as:
Chair Yoga – For those who may find it difficult to move to the floor adapting the poses in seated positions.
Pre-and post-natal Yoga – For these women, poses are adapted to be safe for the pre-and post-natal women.