Taking advantage of longer days equals more Yoga for us and preferably in the great outdoors… the beach will do nicely.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that focuses on strength, flexibility and breathing to boost physical and mental well being. It is a series of postures and movements designed to strengthen your core and care for your mind.
There are many different styles of yoga, such as Ashtanga, Iyengar and Sivananda, with some styles being more vigorous than others and different emphasis on posture and breathing. Many yoga teachers develop their own practice by learning more than one style.
No style is necessarily better or more authentic than any other. The key is to choose a class appropriate for your fitness level.
‘Yoga is the dance of every cell with the music and every breathe that creates inner serenity and harmony’.
What are the health benefits of yoga?
Most studies suggest that yoga is a safe and effective way to increase physical activity, especially strength, flexibility and balance.
There is evidence that regular yoga practice is beneficial for people with high blood pressure, heart disease, aches and pains, including lower back pain, depression, anxiety and stress.
Yoga does count as a strengthening exercise, and at least 2 sessions a week will help you on muscle strengthening and are strenuous enough to count towards your 150 minutes of moderate movement, as recommended by government guidelines.
Yoga will improve your flexibility and help you go beyond your normal range of movement, which may make performing your daily activities easier.
Who is Yoga for?
People often start yoga after they retire, and many say they wish they had started sooner. There are yoga classes for every age group. Yoga is a form of exercise that can be enjoyed at any time, from childhood to your elderly years.
Yoga-related injuries are uncommon but those that do occur can be caused by repetitive strain or overstretching but is the same as any other exercise discipline, it's perfectly safe if taught properly by people who understand it and have experience.
What type of class should I look out for and where?
Classes can vary in duration but typically last between 45 and 90 minutes. A longer class will give you more time for learning breathing and relaxation techniques and will give the teacher time to work with your individual ability.
Join a class that is suitable for your fitness level and learn from a qualified yoga teacher. Find a teacher who understands your individual needs and always check with a doctor or physiotherapist to find out if there are any movements to avoid.
It's better to start with a class to learn the poses and breathing techniques correctly and before you know it, you’ll be practicing anywhere and everywhere!