What is Yoga?
If you are new to the practice or contemplating trying it for the first time, you may be wondering, what, exactly, is yoga? Today, yoga as we know it is based on a Hindu spiritual and ascetic philosophy. During yoga, you will practice breath control, simple meditation, and specific body postures. Yoga is widely practiced for health and relaxation.
Who Can Benefit from Yoga?
Yoga is meant for everyone! Everyone can benefit from yoga, whether you’re a runner, a cyclist, an aerobics junkie or a desk jockey, yoga can help you. There are a number of different variations when it comes to the practice, with asana yoga being one of the most popular.
Your yoga practice goes beyond the physical, to help relax you mentally, but there is also a great benefit just from the physical.
In a physical asana-based yoga practice, the poses and movements are designed to stretch the connective tissues of the body as well as exercise your bones and joints. The practice will rejuvenate your internal organs and encourage flexibility, as well. With yoga, you will build body awareness, balance, core strength, and endurance.
Everyone has questions about yoga (even if they’ve been practicing for a while). Here are a few answers to help you get started:
- How often should I practice yoga? You can do yoga once a week or seven! Or ten! Yoga can be done in short bouts (say ten minutes at a time) or for an hour and a half. Most yoga classes are either an hour or an hour and a half. Don’t worry about time constraints or unrealistic goals. As you begin to do more yoga, you’ll find the time to fit it in.
- How is yoga different than simple ‘stretching’? The physical practice is just one aspect of yoga. With yoga, you connect mind, body, and breath and direct your attention inward. That awareness is what makes yoga a practice, instead of just an exercise. Your body and mind become more flexible with yoga.
- Can yoga actually improve my mood? Yes! Studies show that yoga can put you in a better mood. It can destress you, decrease feelings of anxiety and depression and get you out of a funk. Why? Researchers found that the levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain increase when you practice yoga. Low GABA levels are linked to depression. Yoga can even help improve libido!
Where Can I Find a Yoga Class Near Me?
Ask people you know if they have found a yoga class they would recommend. If you’re in the Arlington Texas area, try out one of our yoga classes at TexasFITT. Our yoga schedule can be found here. Yoga is adaptive, meaning poses can be modified to meet your level of comfort! Now, go out there and Ommmm!