Yoga is different from aerobics and weight training because it is considered a low impact form of exercise. The practice originates in India and is used to promote awareness of the body through a series of stretches and poses. Yoga has become a popular way to help tone the body, lengthen skeletal muscles, and reduce stress.
The most important aspect of yoga is the poses. These are stretches that are held for a few seconds or more. There are hundreds of poses that can be
used during a session. Popular poses include:
• Downward dog
• Child’s pose
• Warrior pose
Many people feel intimidated when they first try yoga. Because mastering the poses is essential to getting all the benefits that come from yoga, you will have to perform each pose as they are taught to you. It is through the poses that you will be stretch various muscles in your body. Deep stretches can help tone your body and improve your posture.
Those who are under a lot of stress or those who want to improve their flexibility will benefit from yoga. While poses each have their own names, they fall into two categories: standing poses and sitting poses. Both can be used to increase flexibility, tone muscles, and reduce stress. You can learn yoga by taking classes at a yoga studio or from a CD.
Yoga classes are available for beginners and advanced participants. If you
don’t know much about yoga, then you should take a class in order to learn
the poses and how to do them properly.
Most yoga classes are small. After instructors demonstrate a pose, the class
will imitate it. Instructors will go around the class to help those who need
help. After a few months, you should be able to execute poses and benefit
from the stretches.
While classes are beneficial in teaching you the basics of yoga, you are forced to follow the series that the instructor creates. For those who are familiar with yoga, many want to stay home and create their own series of poses.
If you don’t think you are ready for a class, of you are familiar with some of the common yoga poses, buying a CD is a good way to stretch at home. There are CD’s on the market that has beginner, intermediate, and advanced poses. Once you learn some of these poses, you can create your own series.
USING YOGA FOR MEDITATION
In addition to increasing your flexibility, yoga can also reduce stress, both
physically and emotionally. Sitting poses are used more often for reducing stress because you can meditate easily. Those who practice yoga begin with sitting poses, add standing poses, and then return to sitting poses. Meditating requires silence or soft music. You should give yourself enough time to practice yoga as getting your body to unwind can take more than 30 minutes. Reducing stress is important for anyone who has a busy schedule. If you work in an office or if you are on your feet all day, relaxing with yoga in the evening can help restore and refresh your body, mind, and soul.
PROS AND CONS OF YOGA
Even though yoga is a relaxing form of exercise, it is not for everyone. If you cannot devote time to learn the poses and perform them correctly, you will not receive all the benefits yoga has to offer.
– Pros –
• Easier on the body than other fitness programs
• Requires use of body and mind
• Reduces stress which can help prevent illness
• Poses can be done anywhere
• Poses range from beginner to advanced
• Increases flexibility and muscle tone
– Cons –
• Must be able to dedicate time to poses
• Many people need to take a class in order to learn poses
• Should be done while pregnant or recovering from an injury
• Poses should be executed perfectly in order to have full effect If you are looking for a low impact fitness program, you should give yoga a try. Many people say that they feel more relaxed, sleep better at night, and have more energy during the day. Other low impact fitness programs that resemble yoga include:
Since many cities and towns have yoga studios, you should visit one to see what the classes are like and if they have any openings that will fit your schedule.
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