Yoga is all about strength, flexibility, endurance and balance. It is an exercise modality that can stand alone but ideally yoga complements your other exercise plans. Because of yoga’s strengthening then stretching flow, yoga can be a great way to begin exercising again. If you have never tried yoga, here are some helpful hacks to help you get the most out of your class.
There may be more styles of yoga than there are flavors of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream! Yoga originated in India and as it has evolved, several different styles have emerged. As you think through what you are looking for, find out the name of that particular style of yoga and look for that type of class. If you are looking for relaxation and restoration, find a Restorative class. Yin Yoga focuses on holding the postures for 3-5 minutes for the purposes of stretching and quieting your mind. A Vinyasa Flow class will work all parts of the body equally, leaving you strengthened, stretched and with a calmer mind.
One of the best ways to pick up yoga quickly is to learn the name of the poses. Yoga involves linking poses together to create strength, flexibility, endurance and balance. By flowing through these poses, a yoga class can get you out of your head and right into the physicality of your body. Knowing the names of the poses will help you get into the rhythm and flow of the class and enhance your time. You can do this by listening carefully as your instructor cues the class, coming early or staying late to ask questions or even just googling, yoga poses.
Once you have found a time that works for you, come to class with a curious mind. You can bring your own mat and blocks or use the ones we have here at Beacon. Wear comfortable clothes that you can move in. Communicate with your instructor about areas that are healing or what you are looking for that day. Realize in class, others are not focused on your performance. Rather, we are all focusing on the verbal cueing from the instructor and how that works best for our body today.
Like anything else, the more you attend class and practice yoga, the more you will grow in your competency. Over time, you will see how yoga has strengthened, toned and created more flexibility in your body. Looking forward to meeting you on the mat in one of the many yoga classes that are offered through Beacon Health & Fitness.
By: Andrea Griffith