Simple Yoga Routine Virginia

January 22, 2024
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Marcia Wade standing in a yoga postureYoga is a very popular fitness activity and as it is a low impact exercise it is suitable for just about everybody. Here we take a look at some of the health benefits of doing yoga and then guide you through some simple yoga routines that will help to work your whole body and hopefully burn a little fat too. If you have any questions, ask below and our yoga expert (pictured on the left) will answer you. Our routine is based on Ashtanga yoga.

Advantages of Yoga as a Form of Exercise

Yoga is an excellent fitness activity. Although a majority of people only practice their yoga in organized classes, once you have learned the main postures and sequences you can train anywhere. It is ideal for anyone living in a small space or for those who travel a lot.

While yoga does not provide an excellent cardiovascular workout it does provide good strength, flexibility and balance training and also helps to improve circulation and respiratory health. For anyone who has not exercised in a very long time a yoga workout often feels very intensive.

One claim that many yoga instructors make is that it can help to improve your gastrointestinal functions, that is, it can make your bowels healthier, make you more regular and reduce incidence of IBS.

Mental Health Benefits of Yoga

Yoga can also teach you how to settle your mind and relax. A complete yoga system includes breathing exercises, mantras and meditation which can help to reduce stress and anxiety. Also, many yoga classes are quite sociable and this alone can help to lift mood and fight depression. Many people become more isolated as they age and attending regular fitness classes like yoga provides invaluable contact with other people. Yoga has also been found to help those trying to quit smoking.

Not All Styles of Yoga are Equal

A 2004 study by Virginia Cowen and Troy Adams that was published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies found that although yoga was a great tool for improving health and fitness, not all styles are equal. They compared Ashtanga and Hatha yoga and measured changes in blood pressure, strength, stress, endurance and overall health perception.

In the study it was found that Ashtanga yoga helped to reduce blood pressure, reduce stress and improved upper body strength more than hatha yoga.

Some styles, such as Ashtanga, provide a much more intensive workout which can help to build strength, stamina and stability sooner, while styles such as Iyengar focus more on stability and flexibility.

However, the general finding is that the more intensive styles reap great rewards, both physically and mentally.

Benefits of 8 Weeks of Yoga

A study in 2001 looked at the health benefits of attending 2 yoga classes a week for 8 weeks. Each yoga class consisted of 10 minutes of pranayamas (breathing exercises), 15 minutes of warm up exercises, 50 minutes of asanas, and 10 minutes of supine relaxation – so 85 minutes (almost 1 1/2 hours) in total.

The result of the study showed that elbow strength increased by 31% and knee strength increase by 28%. All subjects improved their flexibility with shoulder and trunk flexibility improving the most. However, there were no significant cardiovascular benefits nor any changes in body composition or pulmonary function (lung capacity).

Hatha Yoga Does Not Meet Exercise Guidelines

A report published in the Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 2007 concluded that Hatha yoga does not provide an adequate workout to meet recommendations for levels of physical activity for improving or maintaining health or cardiovascular fitness. However, performing the Sun Salutation repeatedly for more than 10 minutes a day does start to raise heart rate and can help people to meet the daily exercise recommendations. The study concluded that:

“Metabolic costs of yoga averaged across the entire session represent low levels of physical activity, similar to walking on a treadmill at 3.2 kph” (Hagins et al, 2007).

Yoga Workout To Boost Your Fitness and Core Strength

You may also find that when you are in a rush you skip stretching. Well, one solution to both of these problems is to perform yoga postures in between exercises.

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