Yoga has been rising in popularity over recent years, and it's easy to see why. With a focus on breath, movement and mindfulness, yoga is the complete embodiment of health, fitness and wellness in one beautiful class.
Yoga poses demand both physical and mental effort as you concentrate on activating different muscles and holding poses, while keep your breath steady. And at the end of every practice, you get to bathe in the glow of Savasana - usually 5-10 minutes of guided meditation where you can relax after moving your body.
Here are five reasons why we think you should try yoga.
1. There are different types of yoga
Just like workouts, there are multiple types of yoga classes, with the most widely practiced being hatha (a slow flow of poses), vinyasa (often referred to as a power flow), and yin yoga (long held poses to stretch and work fascia).
Each offers something different depending on what you are looking for on any given day.
2. Flowing yoga is a workout too
Yoga classes that have a flowing sequence - like hatha and vinyasa, moving from one pose into another and another - create the ideal opportunity for a lower impact workout. And yes, you can get very sweaty in a yoga class. Even though poses like downward facing dog may look easy, once you've been hanging out there for a few seconds, you're going to start to feel it.
One of the many aspects of yoga is to create stress in the muscles - just like a workout - and this results in increased strength. We suggest hatha/vinyasa for more of a full body workout, and yin for deep stretching and relaxation.
3. Yoga has many health benefits
Yoga can assist you to align, strengthen and promote flexibility in the body. Yoga benefits range from physical flexibility, strength and fitness, to more profound physical benefits including active relaxation of heart rate, and blood pressure, as well as the cognitive benefits of mindfulness and mental resilience.
4. Yin yoga stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system
The autonomic nervous stem has two opposite states: the parasympathetic (rest) and the sympathetic (stress). We spend so much of our existence in the modern world exposed to and engaging in sympathetic stimulus. Too much elevation of the stress system is not good for our health; we become run down and unwell.
Yin yoga stimulates the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system, steering our body to rest, digest, sleep and rebalance. The parasympathetic state is a healing and recovery state that we all need to boost immunity and overall health and wellbeing.
5. An opportunity to breathe
As mentioned above, yoga encourages you to move your body slowly and mindfully, while also bringing awareness to the breath. Focusing on the breath can work to calm the mind and stimulate the PSNS for rest. And this goes for all forms of yoga, not just yin yoga.
Want to find out more about yoga? Fill out the form below and we'll get in touch, or check out your club's timetable here.