If I told you right now that you should start doing yoga, what excuse would you give me?
Most people say things like “Oh, well, I always wanted to get around to it, but I just don’t have the time.”
Or, “Sounds awesome, but I am not flexible enough for yoga.” Those of us who have never tried yoga have an intimidating image of it in our brains. You’re probably picturing a super complex and seemingly impossible image of a pose that only a veteran yogi can pull off, such as Pungu Mayurasana (or Wounded Peacock). Moves like this consist of balancing your whole body on one hand.
What if I told you that this is only one aspect of yoga?
What if I said that anyone can get up right now and start doing yoga?
Should Start Doing Yoga?
It doesn’t matter that you aren’t strong enough or flexible enough, you can do it. Whatever physical limitations you think you have, throw them out the window. This applies to your mental state, as well. Even if you are one of those people who can’t sit still for more than five minutes, you can still practice yoga and grow within it.
7 Different Yoga Styles
Yoga is so much more than just the ability to pull off complex physical poses. This is just a tiny fraction of what it is. Yoga is an ancient Indian knowledge of the human body. It is the ability to harmonize your body with your mind through a variety of breathing techniques, yoga postures, and meditation methods. There are many different styles of yoga that one can take part in. Some are more challenging than others, but no matter the physical or mental state that you are in there is sure to be a style perfect for you.
Choosing the right style is important. You should seek a yoga style which appeals to you and what you think you will be comfortable with. Here are 7 different styles we have come across that you might want to consider:
This style of yoga was created by John Friend and is meant to focus on the goodness and acceptance of the universe. It is more of a relaxed style where students are encouraged to express themselves through their poses.
This is a style which incorporates six vigorous pose sequences which are practiced in order as progress is made. It is designed to flow from one pose to another through interconnected inhales and exhales. This is a more challenging style.
Developed by Bikram Choudhury, this style of yoga has a series of twenty-six basic yoga postures which are performed twice in a room with increased temperature and humidity. This is a style that will leave you drenched in sweat at the end of each session.
This is one of the six original core branches of yoga. Essentially, all modern yoga styles can be put into this original branch of yoga. Most of the modern Hatha classes focus on the basics of yoga breathing exercises and physical postures.
Dubbed as the “furniture yoga” because of a frequent use of props, this style focuses on precise alignment during yoga poses. It is a purist yoga style founded by B.K.S. Iyengar. It is designed for all ages but by all means, should not be considered as easy. It can be rather challenging.
Another fantastic style of yoga, this one is known for having the idea of constant motion as the focal point. The fluid motion through poses is designed to unlock and tap into serpent energy stored in your body at the base of your spine.
This style is known as an unhurried yoga practice. It incorporates a five-point philosophy that believes breathing, proper relaxation, carefully chosen diet, plenty of exercise, and positive mindset are the key for a harmonic, healthy yogi lifestyle.
There are more yoga styles out there which we have not mentioned. The ones we did mention above should give you the right direction to head towards and later on you can look for something more specific if you determine the need to do so.
Why Should You Start Doing Yoga Today?
Now that you are aware of the different variations and styles of yoga, you must also know the benefits of yoga. Here are the 7 best reasons why you should start doing yoga today.
This is a really big reason for many people who undertake yoga practices. Improper control of stress can lead to even more stress and a disturbed mindset. Some people think that going to the gym and taking the frustrations out on a punching bag or something similar is a good way to de-stress, but there have been speculations that this causes more aggression in the long run and creates and even worse environment for you.
Yoga, on the other hand, is the perfect way to relax through meditations and proper breathing. It teaches you how to see everything in a bigger picture and see how all things are interconnected. This allows you to clear your mind and act accordingly rather than without any proper thought. Yoga’s ability to strengthen the way you think is absolutely phenomenal. Some even say it is unparalleled to anything else.
Increase Your Flexibility
Flexibility is very important for every person’s health. It has been said that flexibility is the third pillar of fitness. When you increase your flexibility you are stretching out the fibers in your muscles and over time you give your muscles more room to expand and grow. This process can help prevent injuries that may occur in your daily life.
Some muscles shorten over time if you don’t stretch them properly or do repetitive tasks without motion, such as sitting in front of a computer for a long amount of time. This causes the muscles to become less functional and thus more susceptible to injuring when sudden movements take place.
Yoga is one of the best ways to train your muscles to stretch and increase their flexibility. The physical motions required for the majority of the poses and the stances required for most yoga styles will keep your muscles stretched and improve your flexibility over time.
Build Stronger Muscles
Because of the variety of motions associated with certain yoga poses, you will end up increasing your muscle fibers. When you are at a gym working out and increasing your muscle mass, more often than not some muscles are ignored because it can be hard to target specific muscles through workout machines or exercises. This is where yoga comes in.
The range of motion necessary for some poses will have you working muscles you didn’t know existed in no time. Furthermore, some of these muscles are like building blocks for other muscle groups. They act as support for other bigger muscles on your body. By successfully training the previously inaccessible muscles you are increasing your total muscle mass capabilities.
Relieve Back Pain
One of the most common ailments of modern American society is chronic back pain. This is often caused by lifestyles in which we either stay still for too long, such as while sitting at a desk as an office manager, or overuse our back muscles, such as while working in construction or other heavy labor industries. Both extremes of this back pain spectrum are usually caused by the muscles in your back becoming stiff and sore. This can often be remedied by gentle stretches and contortions, like the ones you would perform when doing yoga. Yoga is one of the safest and most natural forms of relief available for those suffering from chronic back pain.
It has been proven that low-impact workouts can help to reduce chronic back pain, and yoga is one of the lowest impact workouts you could turn to! The types of low impact exercises yoga offers can help you to exercise your muscles in a way that is gentle and does not cause more pain or damage to the affected areas. If you work out too hard when you are experiencing back pain, you may end up causing more harm than good, or even injuring yourself.
Keeping your workouts low impact will give you the satisfaction of working out, but will also give you a temporary relief from your back pain. Try switching between different poses to add some variety. This will help you to stick with the workouts and keep you on track.
Because of the amount of detail that is paid to your body during yoga and even before each session starts, you will remember to honor your body’s needs and you will start to recognize particular limits that you might have every day. Developing this ability of deeper body understanding through yoga will give you the ability to prevent injuries by knowing when it is time to stop or when you have reached your limit during other exercises or daily strenuous activities. The increased flexibility you get from practicing yoga will help with injury prevention as well.
That’s right, yoga can help strengthen your sex life. According to some studies, yoga has been shown to greatly increase sexual experience for women by increasing the strength of their pelvic floor muscles. This results in greater lubrication and more powerful orgasms. For men, reducing anxiety and boosting confidence and body awareness are directly related to yoga. The speed up of hormone release and increased blood flow to the genitals can also be accredited to yoga practice.
No matter your age, weight, or gender, yoga can be a blessing in disguise. There is no reason to be intimidated by some of the more experienced yogis who seem like they have spent a lifetime at the gym. Yoga is about self-preservation and healing. It is about understanding your body and being able to control your mental and physical states. Why not give it a try? Trust us when we say that you will be doing yourself and your body a favor. Sign up for a class today and put yourself on a healthier path.