Yoga is a form of exercise that many people choose to do for benefits such as improved flexibility, stress relief and overall better physical fitness.
It is a total mind and body workout that incorporates stretching, deep breathing and meditation.
The poses performed during yoga helps stretch out your muscles, increasing your flexibility and range of motion.
However, to maintain this flexibility, it is important to keep practicing and stretching these muscles.
Additionally, yoga helps build muscles especially in your arms, back, legs and core. This is because it requires a lot of strength to perform and also maintain the poses.
One common misconception is that yoga is boring and slow paced. Contrary to popular belief, there are 100 varying forms of yoga which includes fast-paced forms of yoga and some involve having a partner in such as a baby, your pet or even a bottle of beer.
Let us walk you through the different types of yoga that’s available and perhaps find one that suits you most.
- Hatha yoga is the form that’s most often associated with yoga. This form combines a series of basic yoga movements and breathing.
- Vinyasa or more commonly known as ‘flow yoga’ is made up of a series of poses the flow smoothly into each other.
- Power yoga is a faster and higher intensity type of yoga that builds muscle. It is a fitness based form of flow yoga which is more vigorous than the original Vinyasa yoga.
- Bikram yoga is also known as ‘hot yoga’ and it is another popular form of yoga that really makes you sweat. It is a series of 26 poses performed in a heated room that’s guaranteed to make you sweat up a storm. Due to the heated nature of this form of yoga, it is advisable to drink lots of water afterwards and if you feel dizzy, please stop and perhaps consult a doctor if symptoms do not alleviate.
- Ashtanga yoga is also another common form of yoga which is made up of a series of poses but it is practiced in combination with a special breathing technique.
- Iyengar yoga places a lot of importance on detail, precision and alignment of the postures and breath control. This form of yoga uses props such as blocks, straps and chairs to help move your body into the proper alignment.
- Beer Yoga which is a German twist on traditional yoga. This form of yoga is performed while drinking beer and has become widespread throughout the United States of America, Thailand and also Malaysia. Some may say that this is just a marketing gimmick but trying this out should be something to cross off your bucket list.
- Dog yoga is a new form of yoga that aims to make your relationship with your dog stronger. This is done in tandem with your poochie pal where you help your dog do the poses gently. One advantage that has been found is that with regular touching of the dogs’ paws, they were found to be less antsy when it came to nail clipping sessions.
Whatever form of yoga you choose to practice, do check with a physician especially if you have had a prior sports injury.
Remember to go slow and not overestimate your flexibility as you could hurt yourself forcing your body to perform a pose that you’re still unable to.
The most important thing to note is to keep an open mind because certain forms of yoga have a spiritual aspect and if you’re uncomfortable, either speak to your instructor or find another studio where you’re more comfortable.