“Yoga takes you into the present moment, the only place where life exists.” – Anonymous
For a complete body, mind, and soul transformation, Yoga is all-inclusive. This healthy lifestyle workout both strengthens and brings relaxation to your overall body. Having originated approximately 5,000 years ago in India, this age-old practice continues strong today.
Some describe Yoga as a science, while others praise it as a way to combine the physical realm with the spiritual realm. Whichever way you choose to see it, one thing is certain: Yoga is here to stay.
But, what is Yoga exactly?
According to the Art of Living, Yoga is all about “harmonizing the body with the mind and breath through the means of various breathing exercises, yoga poses (asanas) and meditation.”1
If you’re new to this form of fitness, don’t be intimidated – the necessities needed for Yoga are pretty basic.
Here are a few tips for the new Yogis out there:
- When it comes to clothing, body-fitting, comfortable clothing works well.
- Yoga requires a lot of fluid body movements, so try to wear clothing that doesn’t constrict you in any way. Women typically opt for leggings and a somewhat form-fitting top, while men usually wear shorts, however loose pants work just as well.
- No shoes or socks are required for classes.
- As for a Yoga mat, LA Fitness offers complimentary mats for members to use during yoga. If you prefer to bring in your own, that is perfectly fine too!
The Health Benefits of Yoga
The health benefits of Yoga are astounding. Research has proven that Yoga can help reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety, aid in improvement of chronic back pain, help lower blood sugar and speed nerve impulses in those suffering from diabetes, boost energy, mood, have positive effects on those battling obesity, heart disease and cancer – amongst many others.2 It’s amazing how such a gentle workout approach can be so beneficial to our bodies.
Below is a list of five different styles of Yoga that are an absolute must-try for Yoga enthusiasts.
1. Bikram Yoga – For Healing
Bikram Yoga is a form of Yoga that involves repeating the same set of 26 poses in set cycles over a 90-minute time frame. As taken from the official Bikram Yoga site, this style is meant to “work every part of the body, to give all the internal organs, all the veins, all the ligaments, and all the muscles everything they need to maintain optimum health and maximum function.”3 Bikram style yoga is often grouped together with hot yoga, due to the fact that these classes take place in a hot room, either at or above body temperature.
2. Yin Yoga – For Relaxation
Imagine Yin Yoga as a slower-paced version of basic yoga. Now before you think this sounds boring, it’s actually quite challenging, while still bringing relaxation to your body. Yin Yoga requires its students to hold postures, or asanas, for longer periods of time. This is supposed to target the deeper tissues of the body rather than the superficial tissues alone. It’s not uncommon for poses to be held 3 to 5 minutes at a time, sometimes even as long as 20 minutes. The poses for this style yoga are similar in form to one meditating.
3. Iyengar Yoga – For Strength and Stamina
Iyengar Yoga is a form of Hatha yoga that was developed by Yoga Master B.K.S. Iyengar. It corrects alignment of all parts of the body and establishes a sense of well-being. The precision of each pose assists in building strength, stamina, balance, and flexibility. If you’re a fan of varied exercise, this style may be for you, given that no routine is ever exactly the same. This method is all about developing better attention to detail.
4. Bhakti Yoga – For Love
This yoga practice may be for love, but not in the traditional romantic way we may first come to think of. Bhakti is one of the major six branches of yoga, which focuses on cultivating a love and devotion toward a personal god. Bhakti Yoga is also known as the path to self-realization. It’s a form of yoga that is recommended for those who feel they are in touch with their emotions. It’s the path of the heart and devotion. The ultimate goal of practicing Bhakti Yoga is to reach a state of pure bliss.
5. Ashtanga or Power Yoga – For Weight Loss
Astanga Yoga is a type of yoga is based on eight principles: Yama (moral codes), Niyama (self-purification and study), Asana (posture), Pranayama (breath control), Pratyahara (sense control), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation), and Samadhi (absorption into the Universal). Power Yoga is an offshoot of Astanga Yoga, which uses the same poses, just sped up! If you’re looking for an intense workout that will leave you feeling good and full of sweat, you may want to give this style a try.
LA Fitness + Yoga
Feeling inspired to get your Yoga fitness on? LA Fitness has you covered. Find a Yoga class at a location near you by clicking, here. And for those of you seeking a different take on traditional yoga, consider trying out Yogabeat® and watch yourself dance gracefully throughout a series of varying poses while burning off those pesky calories.
- “Yoga.” Art of Living (Global), www.artofliving.org/us-en/yoga.
- Link, Rachael. “13 Benefits of Yoga That Are Supported by Science.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 2017, www.healthline.com/nutrition/13-benefits-of-yoga.
- “Home.” Bikram Yoga®, www.bikramyoga.com/.