Yoga – Relaxation and Toning – What more could you want?

Yoga PoseQuite a number of people believe that fulfilment and inner peace can only come from outside sources, but this is not entirely true. That empty feeling and deep longing can be fulfilled through the aid of workouts such as yoga. Thus, rather than looking for something that is beyond, it is sometimes more helpful to settle for that which is within in order to attain that heightened state of calmness.

This kind of calmness is essentially what helps rid the mind of disturbing thoughts, and subsequently enables an individual to focus their energy on more positive things. In practicing yoga, one is able to experience heightened joy, power and positivity.

Types of yoga

There are numerous types of yoga, but before you settle on any it’s best that you do some research so that you are able to determine which will work for you. Here are four popular types that you could consider:

1.    Hatha Yoga – This is a type of yoga that focuses more on meditation and breathing techniques and is quite a good for beginners.

2.    Vinyasa Yoga –  is also another type which is very much like Hatha, only that it entails learning how to synchronize movements and breathing, with a focus on 12 specific poses. Vinyasa is one type of yoga that is important in building lean muscle.

3.    Bikram Yoga – is a category of yoga that has to be practiced in a room with high temperatures, which may be anything between 95-100 degrees. Bikram incorporates 26 poses that facilitate sweating and muscle tightening. This option can work well for beginners as well as those who have been practicing yoga for a while.

4.    Iyengar Yoga – on the other hand involves all the eight elements connected to Ashtanga. It primarily focuses on getting the body aligned. It makes use of blankets, straps, and blocks all of which are intended to strengthen the body.

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Benefits of yoga

Practicing yoga comes with so many health benefits. The pose and breathing techniques involved in the workouts help improve the relaxation and the flexibility of the body. Here are some of the other advantages of yoga:

  • It helps reduce stress and also keeps the mind calm.
  • If you are experiencing back pain, yoga may just help relieve it
  • If you wish to give the whole body a workout, then yoga makes the perfect choice because the workout involves just about every joint and muscle.
  • It helps get the blood oxygenated thus making the body more energetic.
  • Unlike some sports and workout that can only be executed by persons with less body weight, yoga is a workout that can be performed by anyone.
  • You experience more joy, creativity, and optimism, and additionally connect with your purpose for life.
  • With regard to mental benefits, you will be able to manage stress better, have improved memory and also experience enhanced concentration levels.
  • Yoga involves a lot of stretching, thus as you do this, it keeps the spine, arms and legs in shape – it greatly enhances overall flexibility.

Yoga poses

The yoga poses are also known as the yoga asanas, and while some postures help in getting the body relaxed, others contribute to stress relief. There are many yoga poses and it is therefore up to an individual to figure out what is suitable for them. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Trikonasana: This is the triangle pose where you have to stand straight and keep your feet apart and then bend sideways, while resting your hand either on the floor or your ankle.
  • Konasana: Here you have to bend sideways with your palms together; you have to take deep breaths while you perform the move.
  • Badhakonasana: This pose is also referred to as the butterfly pose. The name is obtained from the look obtained by the posture. For this pose, one has to sit with both feet together and placed close to the groin. The soles have to touch and then you have to hold them in your hands for the posture to be attained.
  • Virabhadrasana: This posture is quite graceful and it makes one encounter more grace in practicing yoga. To achieve the pose, the legs have to be straight and wide apart and then the arms should be lifted sideways.

However, even in practicing yoga, it’s critical to do the exercises with care because making the wrong move may come with some unwanted consequences. For instance during pregnancy, if you aim to start out on the yoga work outs, it is important that you get in touch with your healthcare provider so you are sure to perform the exercises safely. While there are some poses that can be performed by pregnant women, there are also those, which should be avoided.

In addition, the practice should not be employed as a substitute for medical care. As much as it provides the body with some exceptional benefits, it cannot be used as a treatment for any illness. Thus, if you are taking any medication, you can only employ the workout as a means to keeping fit, and not to recovery.

Moreover, it is advisable that you do not stretch yourself too much-there are so many poses in yoga, and while some are easy to execute, others are quite demanding. Therefore, before carrying out the exercises it's best that you know your limit, so you work within them. This ensures that you adhere to overall safety during the exercise sessions.

Do not be too hard on yourself when attending yoga classes; it is good idea to keep in mind that the class is not a competition. Someone may be able to perform some demanding stretches, but just because you cannot do the same shouldn’t be cause for worry. If you are a beginner, you should focus on maintaining your balance before trying to do the excessive stretches.

When attending yoga classes, you should expect to also obtain instructions concerning proper breathing, chanting and meditation, all of which will be given by the class instructor. The amount involved will however be largely dependent on the specialization of the instructor with regard to the yoga style.

Yoga can be practised at home using books, DVD's and some equipment. Take a look here for pricing, reviews and products

To see Yoga for Weight Loss in action, have a look at this video

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