In the first blog of of our exercise group classes series, we’re taking a look at yoga.
This is a great exercise both pyhsically and mentally, so why not pop down to your local gym in Ruislip and give it a go?
What is Yoga?
Yoga is the exercise class that is commonly found to be the most popular.
Most people are familiar with yoga and may even know a few moves such as the downward dog, but just how does yoga work in a gym?
To find out, let’s start at the beginning.
Yoga for Beginners
Yoga has been used for thousands of years in countries all over the world. Not just a physical exercise, it also boasts many mental benefits as well.
If you’re new to yoga, it can be easy to be put off by some of the terms used to describe different aspects of the exercise.
What is important to remember, is that all kinds of yoga are similar, with subtle differences.
At the heart of this workout is a focus on breathing and a slow-moving and stretching of your body.
Originally from Southern Asia, yoga is a form of meditation that is all about ‘bringing harmony between mind and body’.
Most yoga classes will begin with a quiet period, in which the heart rate can lower, and the main focus is on breathing and getting yourself into a calm state. From here, the trainer will introduce different yoga positions (known as asana).
This is when the workout begins, and in holding certain poses and keeping your body stable you strengthen your core as well as other muscles that are used throughout the different poses.
That is an average class, but there are different types of yoga that you may encounter throughout your workout, and here are three examples.
The Different Types of Yoga
Vinyasa Yoga – Provide a Muscular Workout
While all yoga exercise classes will focus on different postures, Vinyasa is the one that focuses most on building strength.
Now, this isn’t going to have the same effect as lifting weights or performing circuit training classes, but it will help build core muscles.
In Vinyasa yoga, the body is in constant movement. There’s no break, meaning your core is constantly being worked, as your body flows from move to move.
Even when holding a pose, the trainer will instruct you to keep moving your body, which makes this the ideal form of yoga for someone looking to tone up.
Bikram Yoga – To Work up a Sweat
This type of exercise is also known as hot yoga.
The reason for this is because it takes place in a humid room. With the temperature set high, you’re sure to build up a sweat as you go through a range of yoga postures.
So, why do yoga in a hot room?
Well, the hotter exercise helps the body and muscles to relax.
While yoga isn’t the perfect exercise for you if you’re looking to lose weight, you may find yourself losing more calories through this form of yoga than any other.
Another benefit of the hot and humid atmosphere is that it can provide a small boost to cardio fitness, as well as pushing out toxins and giving your body a refresh.
Hatha Yoga – To Slow you Down
If you’re looking to relax at your yoga group class, then Hatha yoga could be the choice for you.
This is a relaxed exercise, consisting of placing your body in asanas at a slow and steady pace.
The perfect exercise for beginners, your trainer will take you through many yoga postures one by one, leaving you to quietly relax your body and mind.
While it will still have some benefit on toning the muscles in your body, this form of yoga is more a workout for the mind.
If you’re feeling stressed, then spending an hour performing Hatha yoga a few times a week could make a huge difference to your mental health.
3 Benefits of Yoga
Improves Posture and Flexibility
Yoga is used by everyone, from retired people looking to stay flexible, to high-performance athletes. This is because it has a huge benefit on keeping your muscles and joints loose, and also has a huge benefit to a person’s posture. Stretching your body is vital, whether you work out a lot or not at all and performing a wide range of asanas is sure to keep your body moving for many years to come.
Builds Muscle Strength and Improves Cardio Fitness
Many people enjoy yoga, but wonder if it is good as a form of exercise? The truth is if you want to burn calories, it would be better to go for a run. If you want to build muscle, hit the weights. If you want something that has small benefits in both, but comes packed with other benefits as well, then yoga is for you. Your core will strengthen as you hold your body in various asanas, and by focusing on your breathing and working up a sweat, your fitness will have a slight benefit.
One of the main reasons why yoga is good for you is that is slows you down. In a fast-paced world, taking a couple of hours a week to focus on nothing more than your breathing and your body can be a huge boost to mental health. Studies have found anxiety levels drop by 40% when performing yoga, and overall depression levels can drop by 50% after three months of practise. It is an exercise that can make a huge difference to someone’s life, so why not give it a go?
Give Yoga a Go Today
If you’re looking to give yoga a try, then why not pop down to Trojan Fitness.
If you’re based in Northwood, Ruislip, Uxbridge, Harrow, or any surrounding areas, pop down to our gym and try out on of our exercise classes.
Boost your physical fitness, reduce your anxiety, and meet new friends.
Want to know more? Then get in touch!