Yoga is a terrific option for our clients who want to lose or maintain weight, or really anyone! The practice helps you get in touch with your body, develop strength and flexibility, and lower your stress levels. But if you’re unfamiliar with yoga, you probably don’t want to simply sign up for the first class you’re offered. Here are a few basic tips to get you started.
There are many styles of yoga. Some are the quiet, meditative, “stretchy” types that you’re probably picturing. Others are more movement-oriented. Some are pretty exotic, such as “hot yoga” which is performed in a very warm room to make you sweat, or beer yoga classes, which we probably don’t have to explain. Beer might be a bad idea if you’re watching your carbs, though!
Yoga is more than just a physical exercise. You’re probably picturing toned celebrities like Jennifer Aniston or Gwyneth Paltrow, who are both fairly vocal yoga enthusiasts, and you’re assuming yoga must offer a great workout. But yoga is a strongly spiritual practice for some people (though many modern classes filter out that aspect). It’s normal to walk out of yoga feeling not only physically rejuvenated, but mentally and emotionally refreshed as well. You will learn a lot more than just stretches.
Yoga is never a competition. Unless you count competing with yourself, that is. Whether a person is a beginner or has been practicing for years, a yoga class is about getting in touch with your own body and doing your personal best. Most asanas (poses) can be modified according to skill level, and you’ll notice that each class participant is doing what is best for their body. You might be surprised at the supportive, inclusive atmosphere!
You can go at your own pace. Yoga instructors urge participants to rest if they need to, and you won’t be pushed to do anything that doesn’t feel comfortable for you.
Yoga might be harder than you think! It is not uncommon for yoga practitioners to leave class dripping with sweat, and many get totally “ripped” over time! You can build some serious strength and endurance through yoga, if you stick with it and dedicate yourself to continual improvement.
As always, remember to visit us for an appointment before beginning a new exercise routine. We can check you for any underlying conditions to ensure that your plans are safe for you.