Benefits of Yoga
Yoga is calming, soothing and gentle, away of leaving the world behind and not just while you are in your yoga class, it becomes a way of life. There are many styles and you may need to try a few different styles to see which one suits you and your needs best. Most styles are based on the same physical postures, known as poses with their own unique emphasis.
Types of Yoga
Hatha Yoga is a gentle form that includes many of the physical kinds. It is slow paced and a great introduction to basic yoga poses.
Vinyasa a more vigorous style based around poses called Sun Salutations. Your movement is matched to your breathing.
Iyengar Yoga works on bodily alignment and practice holding poses over long periods opposed to moving quickly form pose to pose. Iyengar yoga also uses props such as blocks and straps to assist with bringing the body into alignment.
Hot Yoga or Bikram Yoga very popular in the present day. Hot yoga is practiced in 100 degree temperature – this assists with the loosening of tight muscles and also lots of sweating happening which is thought to be cleansing. Bikram Yoga has 26 poses but not all are used in each class.
There are still more and more types, the thing to remember is that all yoga is based around similar poses and breathing. It is recommended to try a few different styles of yoga classes and teachers to find the one that suits you.
- Flexibility is improved with the moving and stretching poses. With more flexibility throughout your body comes a greater range of movement to tight areas. With regular classes you can gain more flexibility through your hips, back and shoulders. Your hamstrings will improve over time as well
- Strength is increased (again over time with regular classes) with poses requiring you to balance of one leg or holding your body up with your arms. Keeping our strength up is an important issue as we age – this helps us avoid becoming fragile. Leading a more vigorous lifestyle
- Muscle tone goes hand in hand with your strength training. As you body becomes stronger you can expect increased muscle tone. Muscles being shaped into longer leaner looking muscles.
- Balance – a concern as people age and can make you unsure of your footing when walking even around a shopping centre or your own home. Similar poses used for flexibility also enhance your balance. As you become more advanced your balance will lead to inversion balancing and this helps to strengthen your core strength. With a strong tight core comes great balance.
- Breathing is something we simply do every minute of every day without so much as thought as to how or why we breathe. Most of us breathe through our mouths in short shallow breaths. The first thing you will be shown in a Yoga class is how to breath. The technique call Pranayama encourages you to focus on your breathing, taking deeper breaths which will benefit our mind, body and soul. Long breaths in through the nose and slow release out through the nose. This breathing technique can help calm and also clear nasal passages.
- Mental calmness, follows straight on from breathing. Asana (the practice of Yoga) is physical and intense concentration. The intense concentration on what you r body is doing can lead to a calmness of the mind. Yoga also brings to the class, mediation techniques, such as breathing, disengaging from your thoughts, being still, in the moment, closing out the world. Mediation skills can work for your mental well being outside of the Yoga class – in stressful situations, insomnia, childbirth, anxiety attacks.
- Stress, any sort of movement is a good stress release, sitting and thinking is not always a good choice.The movements in yoga are extremely good for stress relief, with the total concentration on what your body is doing, the movement itself seem to melt away the pressures from your day. In a yoga class one of the important lessons shown is to be in the moment, washing away the thoughts and fears that flooded your mind before you sat on your mat. Being in the moment (once you have mastered this technique) has a lasting effect by not dwelling on the past or worrying about future events. Reducing stress has far reaching health affects, not just reducing worry.
- Joint health is improved. Gentle yoga for people who suffer from joint inflammation and strains assists with the pain. Breathing techniques and mediation also included assists with pain management
- Pain prevention. The poses practiced such as flexibility and stretching help reduce the tightness most people carry around with them in the back, neck and shoulders. People who sit at computers all day, driving trucks, taxis or similar work styles often experience a lot of back pain. The long periods of very little movement is detrimental to good posture and this is where regular yoga class will give you so much more flexibility, movement and pain release
- Body awareness – how aware are you of your body and its capabilities or lack of With age, weight gain, eye sight or hearing diminishing, we become cautious or unsure in our day to day lives. Unusual movements, getting up and down even from a lounge can become hard. Yoga will heighten your awareness which in turn will improve your posture and greater self-confidence.
To really get the most out of your yoga stretches try combining yoga with regular massages. This will help further reduce stress, increase flexibility in your body, increase circulation and removal of toxins and generally increase your well being. Ripple is available for massages across Australia on 0438 567 906.