This beginners guide to yoga, will take you through what is yoga and the different styles. What can you expect in a beginners class.
A beginners class is slower paced than other classes, and is more focused on understanding clear and safe alignment in basic poses.
Yoga poses and what they achieve
Yoga has been described as a science which seeks to achieve the harmonious and balanced development of the body, mind and soul.
It is a system which allows us to bring culture, balance and happiness to ourselves
It works via a need for strong mental discipline and the ancient theories, which it is based on regarding the interconnection between the mind and body, are now being regularly supported by modern scientific theory.
Yoga consists of a number of different exercises or poses.
Cat and Cow poses
Examples of these poses are the cat and cow poses.
Both are connected and begin with you on all fours on the floor.
Arching the back upwards like a cornered cat places you in the cat pose and the reverse, lowering the back puts you into the cow pose.
Another common form of exercise is a forward bend that will help in the stretching of the lower back and hamstring muscles.
There are a number of other advantages to forward bends:
They release tension in the back neck and shoulder than well as increasing the flexibility of the spine.
Forward bends can be uncomfortable if you have any injuries in the next or back area.
Regularly performing will help assists in the recovery of these injuries and even strengthen the area for the future.
The counterpart of a forward bend is a back bend.
These open up the chest, hips and rib cage area.
As well as strengthening the arms, they also provide increased strength and flexibility to the shoulders.
This type of exercise is fantastic at increasing the stability of the spine.
Also useful for relieving built up tension along the front of the body and the hips.
he relationship between back and forward bends is a perfect example of the importance of the bodies balance in Yoga.
Hatha Yoga poses were developed in India during the fifteenth century.
They are designed as an aid to relaxation and healing and usually introduced with a concept of “the contemplation of one reality”.
The result of using these exercises properly and in conjunction with suitable breathing exercises and meditation is an increase in vitality, physical health and a stronger mental health.
Hatha Yoga exercises have become a part of numerous
Yoga disciplines over the years and it’s quite common to see exercises such as the half moon posture, the bow posture of the salutation posture even if it is not Hatha Yoga you are practicing.
This is because the principles of Yoga and the movements and balances required are fairly consistent from one discipline to another.
Another simple Yoga exercise is doing the twist.
Twists will strengthen and stretch your back or abdominal muscles and help to increase the flexibility of your spine.
They also aid in increasing your bodies circulation that brings oxygen supplies to your cells.
This fresh blood and oxygen supply that is released as you twist will improve the functioning of your bodies internal organs.
A yoga session will often begin with a standing pose.
These are a very good low impact, low stress starting point for a Yoga session.
Standing poses benefit the legs and hips and help provide a sense of centering, balance and of course strength to the legs themselves.
The end of a Yoga session is usually marked by a group of poses known as Relaxation and Restorative Poses.
This group of exercises is designed to give the positive energies and forces released by the Yoga session to move throughout your body and benefit you completely.
Which Yoga style is right for you?
As yoga continues to increase in popularity, new forms of yoga are developed.
In many cases, these new forms are combinations of older forms, designed to offer maximum benefit.
There are literally dozens of different yoga styles. Here’s a quick guide to help you decide which yoga style is right for you.
Calm and Restorative
Some people seek a yoga practice as a way to detoxify, soothe daily stresses, and become more centered.
If that is a goal you’re seeking then you may want to try a yoga style that is calm and restorative.
The following styles may suit your needs:
Yes, the name of this yoga style identifies the primary benefit – it’s designed to help repair and restore.
You’ll move through about five different poses and you’ll hold them for extended periods of time.
Vini means adaptive and that’s exactly what this style is.
It’s adaptive to your needs and goals.
It’s perfect for people who are working with injuries or limitations.
It’s usually practiced in a small group or one on one so your instructor can create a practice that’s just right for you.
This style focuses on utilizing gentle postures which are designed to move energy and prepare your mind and body for a calm state and meditation.
Powerful and Intense
If you’re looking for a yoga style that challenges you, helps you build strength, and improves your fitness, then the following styles may best suit your needs:
Ashtanga (or Astanga) Yoga
This style of yoga is physically demanding.
You’ll move quickly through series of postures.
It’s designed to build strength, flexibility and endurance.
Power Yoga or Power Vinyasa
Power yoga is a physically demanding yoga style.
The goal is to improve strength and flexibility.
It’s also often practiced as hot yoga which means you’ll be in a room that’s around 100 degrees F.
The goal with hot yoga is to detoxify – it can be great for weight loss.
This yoga style provides a complete workout.
You’ll move through 26 poses that include strength, endurance, cardiovascular, and flexibility.
Classes are always in a hot room.
The best of both worlds
You don’t have to choose one end of the spectrum or the other.
There are many yoga styles that are designed to offer both mental benefits than well as physical benefits.
This is one of the most popular types of yoga.
The poses are active and they include the use of props which makes it great for beginners and advanced practitioners alike.
Hatha is the foundation for most yoga styles.
Traditional hatha is easy to learn and suitable to all fitness levels.
You’ll enjoy both active poses which challenge you and help you increase your strength, flexibility, and endurance and you’ll enjoy restorative and calming poses than well.
These styles are just the beginning.
There’s prenatal yoga for those who are pregnant or just had a baby.
There’s yoga for people who want to tap into their creative side and yoga for those who are competitive.
If you’re just getting started with a yoga practice, start with a basic form that meets your needs and allow yourself to grow and change as you become more proficient.
I hope you learned something new today. I certaintly discovered a few styles i had not heard of before.
That is the great thing about yoga there are so many choices to suit your needs.
I would love to hear your thoughts about this post or this site in general.
I will answer all the comments on my website personally so drop me a line below if you have any Yoga questions or comments.
I’m happy to help any way that I can.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietitian before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet