Looking for an exotic exercise that can help with your health and fitness?

Inspired by age-old Hindu traditions, yoga is a fantastic way to build strength and improve your physical and spiritual health. 

What Is Yoga?

doing yoga on yoga mat

Yoga a group of exercises and spiritual practices that trace their history back millennia to Ancient India. It focuses on building strength, flexibility and physical fitness through a variety of different “poses,” also called “asanas.” It also has a strong spiritual element, and is thought by many practitioners to help improve the spiritual and mental well-being. 

What Is The History Of Yoga?

Yoga has its basis in Ancient India, and the word was first used in the 5th century BCE. Today’s yoga is different from this form of yoga, though, which was primarily a spiritual practice.

Today’s fitness-based yoga classes trace back to “hatha yoga.” A yogi named Tirumalai Krishnamacharya was primarily responsible for this modern form of yoga as exercise, as he combined ancient yoga poses with modern fitness exercises. Today, this type of yoga is one of the most popular group exercises in the Western world. 

What Type Of Exercise Is Yoga?

yoga classes

Yoga primarily focuses on building muscular strength and flexibility, as well as balance. It’s not a very cardiovascular-intensive exercise, compared to running or riding a bicycle.

The basis for yoga is moving through different poses, called “asanas.” These poses usually involve contorting and stretching the body and muscles in a particular way, and vary from being very easy, requiring almost no training, to extremely complex poses that require very strong muscles and good balance.

Preparing For Yoga

yoga mat

Preparing for yoga does not require much equipment. You will usually need a yoga mat, which is a soft mat that allows you to bend and do poses on hard surfaces while remaining comfortable and avoiding injury. 

Beyond this, all you need are some loose-fitting, comfortable, athletic clothes, and perhaps a water bottle. Then, you will be led through the yoga session in a group. If you are practicing on your own, you may need to use a laptop or phone to view instruction by a Yogi, unless you already know many yoga poses.

Practicing Yoga 

Yoga classes are usually an hour in length, and begin with gentle stretching poses, then move onto more difficult poses. The level of difficulty depends on the class you decide to take. Each pose is held for a short time, and your instructor will help you move through each pose, and do each one properly. The end of a yoga class often includes a pose intended to help relax and de-stress the body. 

Yoga Basics – Watch And Learn!

Interested in learning more about yoga? Here is a quick video outlining the basics with a 20-minute workout included. Watch and learn! 

The Benefits Of Yoga

doing yoga

Yoga can help strengthen and stretch your muscles, and also improves your balance. Many practitioners also claim that yoga helps reduce stress and anxiety, treat lower back pain, and even treat some of the symptoms of depression.

Variants Of Yoga 

One of the most popular variants of yoga is “hot yoga” (Bikram), which consists of a group of 26 poses done in a room that’s between 95-106 degrees Fahrenheit. This type of yoga is thought to have benefits similar to a sauna.

Other major variants of yoga include prenatal yoga, which is designed for pregnant women, and Kundalini yoga, which emphasizes the spiritual aspects of yoga, including meditation.

Try Yoga For Yourself – And See Its Benefits! 

There is a reason yoga has been practiced for more than two millennia. It’s fun, easy to get started, and has a number of great health benefits. So find a yoga class near you now, and try it for yourself today.