Yoga is an ancient practice (physical and mental) that has become increasingly popular in today's busy society. For many people, yoga provides a retreat from their chaotic and busy lives. It is a state of being in the present, focusing on the here and now. It's a path to self discovery, fine-tuned awareness, and unification of the mind, body and soul. Yoga focuses on breathing, strength, and flexibility. According to scientific research, yoga may:
- Reduce stress
- Relieve anxiety
- Help manage depression
- Decrease lower back pain
- Improve quality of life in those with chronic conditions or acute illnesses
- Stimulate brain function
- Help prevent heart disease
And yes, yoga can definitely make you strong too. Active, dynamic styles of yoga (Hatha and Vinyasa) are great for strength training. They can be seen as the equivalent to doing a lot of reps of body-weight exercises.
Vinyasa yoga has become an extremely popular style of yoga as of late, and focuses on strength and flexibility. Vinyasa means “flow“, movement or position. The goal when practicing Vinyasa yoga is to challenge yourself physically, but not to feel overwhelmed. At this "edge," the focus is on your breath while your mind is accepting and calm, in other words experiencing mindfulness.
Difference between popular Hatha and Vinyasa yoga
Hatha and Vinyasa yoga are very similar. Basically, the main difference is the pace. Vinyasa moves at a faster pace between the different poses (asana), and requires greater breathing control than Hatha yoga. Hatha yoga allows for more stretching because it's done more slowly and poses are held longer.
Are you a beginner? Here are a few tips to get you motivated to roll out your mat.
Find your own yoga style and what works specifically for you
You can practice yoga exactly the way you want - you just have to figure out what works best for you. If you are more comfortable at home, many yoga teachers share their practice and tips on Social Media and YouTube. If you prefer practicing in groups, there is a large selection of classes at various yoga studios and gyms. There are also yoga studios that broadcasts yoga classes live nowadays, so you can keep up at home in the living room if you sign up with a membership. And remember that yoga really is for everyone!
Remind yourself of the health benefits
Yoga makes us feel good and can lead to overall greater happiness in life! It is a proven holistic health system that seems to have an infinite number of benefits for our well-being. Many positive effects are also scientifically proven, but the truth is that your practice can also do much more for you than you think! And the more yoga you do, the more you discover its benefits.
Remember that short sessions count
Start thinking in minutes instead of imagining an entire session. It is the small but often recurring efforts that give results over time.