A spiritual discipline which includes breath control, meditation, and the adoption of specific postures to aid health and relaxation.
Yoga is about creating balance in your body and mind, while developing both your strength and flexibility. It is an excellent form of exercise for people of all ages, shapes and sizes and can help to improve your overall health over time.
Physical benefits of yoga
- Helps create a toned, flexible and strong body
- Improves respiration, energy and vitality
- Helps maintain a balanced metabolism
- Promotes cardio and circulatory health
- Improves athletic performance.
Mental benefits of yoga
- Helps you relax and manage the stresses of modern life
- Teaches you how to rest your mind so you can focus your energy more efficiently
- Encourages positive thoughts and self-acceptance.
- Yoga helps build awareness of your body, your feelings, the needs of others and the world around you
- Develops the relationship between your mind, body and soul, helping you be at one with yourself.
TYPES OF YOGA
There are several forms of Yoga available in our Fitness & Wellbeing gyms, including Hatha, Vinyasa and Ashtanga Yoga.
Hatha Yoga is slow-paced and gentle, focussing on breathing and meditation. It acts as a great introduction to more advanced styles of yoga and often there is no flow between poses. You can expect to be introduced to some basic breathing exercises and also some seated meditation.
- Purpose of Hatha Yoga: To introduce beginners to Yoga with basic poses and relaxation/breathing techniques
- Benefits of Hatha Yoga: Helps relieve stress, provides physical exercise and improves your breathing
- Perfect for beginners and people wanting to learn the core basics.
Vinyasa Yoga covers basic poses and breath-synchronized movement focussing on inhaling and exhaling. Vinyasa has both mental and physical benefits. Expect to expel toxins and re-energize your body. Mentally, the synchronized breathing relaxes your mind and helps to release any blockage of energy flow throughout your body.
- Purpose of Vinyasa Yoga: To link your breathing with movement and to build lean muscle mass throughout your body
- Benefits of Vinyasa Yoga: Helps improve strength and flexibility, tones the abdominal muscles and reduces the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes
- Perfect for beginners and advanced participants alike seeking to strengthen their bodies.
Ashtanga Yoga is considered a form of power yoga. It is fast-paced and intense in comparison to Hatha and Vinyasa with lunges and push-ups.
- Purpose of Ashtanga Yoga: To help improve one’s spiritual self
- Benefits of Ashtanga Yoga: Relieves stress, improves your coordination and can help you lose weight
- Perfect for fit people looking to maintain their strength and stamina, as well as those who want to get in touch with their spiritual side.
What do I need to bring to a Yoga class?
Yoga involves a lot of stretching and movement, so we suggest you wear something comfortable to enable you to flow from one pose to another. You are also likely to work up a sweat during the class, so wear something breathable.
You don't need to bring a Yoga mat (unless you want to bring your own) as we can provide one.
Combining two fitness classes in a row can have a bigger impact on your fitness than you may think. Personal Trainer Rob Brown provides a round-up of some of the benefits.