Workout fads come and go, but virtually no other exercise program is as enduring as yoga. Believe it or not, it’s been around for more than 5,000 years!
Yoga does more than burn calories and tone muscles. It’s a total mind-body workout that combines strengthening and stretching poses with deep breathing and meditation or relaxation.
The benefits of yoga have been long established and touted through the health and fitness community. Yoga can increase flexibility and strength, improve balance, help manage stress and fine tune mental focus. Those that participate in yoga lose weight, decrease blood pressure and lower bad cholesterol. There is a vast growing body of research that shows yoga can help combat health issues, such as chronic pain, fatigue, asthma, and obesity.
There are more than 100 different forms of yoga. Some are fast-paced and intense, while others are gentle and relaxing. Here at CAC - Silver Lake, we offer variety of classes to appeal to all levels of participant.
Examples of different yoga forms include:
Vinyasa: A series of poses that flow smoothly into one another.
Power: A faster, higher-intensity practice that builds muscle.
Hot Yoga: Also known as Bikram Yoga. A series of 26 challenging poses performed in a room heated to a high temperature.
Yin: A slow steady practice that is often stationary. Using props, postures are held for several minutes allowing body to soften and nourish fascia and joints.
Hatha: The form most often associated with yoga, it combines a series of basic movements with breathing.
The intensity of your yoga workout depends on which form of yoga you choose. Techniques like hatha and yin yoga are gentle and slow. Hot yoga and power yoga are more powerful and intense.
Great news–Yoga is a full-body workout! If you’re hoping to strengthen and define your mid-section, there are yoga poses to target just about every core muscle. With yoga, you don’t build arm strength with free weights or machines, but with the weight of your own body. Some poses, like the plank, spread your weight equally between your arms and legs. Others, like the crane and crow poses, challenge your arms even more by making them support your full body weight. Yoga poses work all sides of the legs, including your quadriceps, hips, and thighs. Yoga squats, bridges, and warrior poses involve deep kneebends, which give you a more sculpted rear. Moves like downward-facing dog, child’s pose, and cat/cow give your back muscles a good stretch. It’s no wonder that research finds yoga may be good for relieving a sore back.
Because yoga poses stretch your muscles and increase your range of motion, with regular practice, they’ll improve your flexibility. Yoga isn’t considered aerobic exercise, but the more athletic varieties, like power yoga, will make you sweat. And even though yoga is not aerobic, some research finds it can be just as good as aerobic exercise for improving health.
Yoga is a “practice” and is non-competitive! As you continue to come to class, you’ll see improvements in the way you look and feel. If you haven’t tried yoga before, now is a great time to attend a class. Bring a friend and introduce yourself to the instructor—they’ll get you started on your way to a successful yoga practice.
For more information on Yoga classes offered at our clubs, visit these pages: