We all have an image of yoga practitioners gracefully flowing into a pretzel-shape, and pausing for a deep breath. Some people make it look so easy you might wonder, is yoga really exercise? Oh yes!
Yoga is fantastic exercise, because you can make it as relaxed and peaceful, or as intense and energizing as you like– without turning yourself into a pretzel. Anyone can participate in yoga, and as you get more skilled it continues to challenge you. Plus, there are amazing health benefits.
The Health Benefits of Yoga
Yoga offers health benefits that further both your physiotherapy goals and your goals for general health. Studies show that yoga:
- Increases muscle strength
- Improves balance
- Aids in correct posture
- Increases flexibility
- Decreases pain
- Improves cardiovascular health
- Aids in weight loss
- Increases energy levels.
In addition to these direct physical benefits, those who practice yoga also gain mental health benefits. Yoga can relieve anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress. It can also boost memory and concentration.
What to Look for in a Yoga Class
An instructor who lets you go at your own pace is key to any yoga practice. A good yoga instructor is experienced enough to help you adjust any pose to your level of skill. They should recognize when you’ve achieved mastery of a pose, and should motivate you to take on new challenges.
You should also strive to find a yoga class with an atmosphere that makes you feel comfortable and relaxed. Absolute Pilates’ yoga classes are held in a private, quiet, peaceful studio where you can focus on your breathing and yourself.
Lastly, you should look for a yoga style that fits with your goals and needs. At Absolute Pilates, we offer two kinds of yoga, one of which is certain to be right for you:
Restorative yoga is the best fit for those looking for a gentle yoga class that focuses on improving flexibility and balance. It also deeply relieves stress and improves focus.
Restorative yoga focuses on five or six poses, allowing you to hold the positions for several minutes before moving to the next one. It requires minimal flow, or movement between the poses.
People who suffer from chronic pain, especially in the neck or back will benefit from a restorative yoga class. Those with anxiety, high blood pressure, or depression will also find solace in these classes.
Hatha yoga classes involve 20 to 30 poses, asking you to flow between each one. Hatha yoga will increase your strength, flexibility, and range of motion. Like all the yoga classes we offer, a beginner will feel right at home here.
Hatha yoga offers a faster pace than restorative yoga, offering more benefits to your cardiovascular health and weight loss efforts. You’ll feel rejuvenated after these classes, and may find your overall energy levels increase!
Whether you’re interested in hatha, restorative yoga, or both, sign up for our classes here.