Namaste – “I bow to you.”
Yes, yoga routines can make your body truly beautiful, both inside and out.
There are a lot of different yoga routines, and the benefits of yoga are truly amazing. One of the main benefits of yoga is a sense of calmness and peacefulness that you get from the practice.
Okay, okay, maybe you are thinking I don’t want to meditate, I want to get fit. Well, if you don’t really care about the meditative part of yoga, maybe you will just get that sense of wellbeing and peacefulness knowing you can have a body that looks like Madonna’s!
That’s the beauty of regular yoga practice. It works your mind, your body, and your soul.
Some of the other Benefits of Yoga Routines are:
- It tones and strengthens all the muscles of your body
- It increases flexibility in the spine and in the joints
- It improves digestion
- It increases blood flow and circulation
- It helps with arthritis
- It improves your posture and balance
- It helps with stress
- It helps with concentration
- It improves your sleep
- It makes you feel more aware of your surroundings
- It helps you deal with others more effectively
- It improves your sex life
When you hear the term “Hatha Yoga” it really encompasses all types of yoga routines. Hatha Yoga is the physical practice of yoga. So Ashtanga is really Hatha yoga, and Iyengar, Bikram, etc., they all incorporate similar poses. But in the Western world, typically when you hear Hatha Yoga it is usually a class of a variety of poses that most people can do when they sign up for a yoga class. It will usually incorporate a variety of poses, sun salutations, down dogs, and may by varied throughout each class depending on who is teaching. In other forms of Yoga, like Ashtanga or Bikram yoga, the routines NEVER change. They are sequenced for a series of poses, and each time you take a class, no matter where the sequence will be the same. These workouts are also pretty intense.
These are the types of yoga routines taught in a most gyms and yoga studios. In Vinyasa Flow yoga you “flow” from one position to the next moving through the breath. There can be a huge variety of poses depending on the class, the teacher, and the level. However, it is usually a vigorous type of yoga because you are constantly moving from one pose to the next, so it requires stamina, and it is also a cardio workout. You will work hard, and you will sweat and get strong.
When I started my serious yoga practice years ago, I went to Ashtanga Yoga. In Ashtanga yoga, you synchronize the breath with a progressive series of movements. This creates an internal heat and in turn sweating that detoxifies the body. It’s a serious workout, and you get a strong body and long lean muscles. There is also a great sense of well-being that comes from a regular Ashtanga practice, not to mention and a tremendous sense of power and accomplishment that comes from being able to do a headstand.
Iyengar yoga was developed B.K.S. Iyengar and is a form of yoga know for its use of props to help you get deeper into poses or just assist you in poses that you are trying to learn to do. This form of yoga pays great attention to proper alignment in the postures. It also emphasizes strength, stamina, flexibility, balance and concentration.
Then there are the hard-core heat-lovers who flock to Bikram yoga. I have practiced Bikram yoga for many years, and it’s one of my favorite types of yoga. If you like to sweat, it’s the class for you. It’s an intense practice which consists of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises. It always takes 90 minutes, and it is always done in the same order. It is practiced in a room that is heated to about 105 degrees. The routine is specific so if you want variety you will not get it here, but you will get strong, you will be dripping soaking wet, and you will detoxify and cleanse your body.
Try Some Yoga Today!
No matter what type of yoga you decide to try, you will definitely notice a benefit to you body and your mind. It is a great type of exercise to add to your running or cardio routine. Try adding one yoga class a week, and you will notice a great improvement in your strength, flexibility, and sense of well-being. Namaste!
“In fitness and in health….”