** Updated 2019 **
What is yoga? It comes from the Sanskrit word meaning union or yoke. This practice involves bringing together the body and the mind. Yoga also involves meditation, breathing exercises and poses that encourage rest and relaxation and stress reduction.
If you’re interested to try yoga at home, you have come to the right post revealing some tips and benefits of practicing it. Also, we’re highlighting the different types of yoga to choose from and use.
Learning and practicing yoga in your own space isn’t hard at all. Check out the following to believe.
Find a Quiet and Comfortable Space at Home
Choose a comfortable, clutter-free and quiet place to practice. It can be in a vacant room to create your space where your mat can be left rolled out all the time.
Remember to choose a peaceful and with much space place as much as possible.
You can make this yoga space even more inviting if there is an empty wall or if you will use some incense sticks or a candle during the practice (optional).
Overall, you should be creative to find and create an inviting space at home to do your poses and breathing exercises.
Prepare Your Accessories
For the yoga meditation, you should have a non-slip mat. On the market, there are so many mats, so choose one to last long and that suit your needs. You can also use blocks and a bolster.
Alternatively, you can simply use blankets and pillows. Bottom line, you can also be creative for the accessories. Some are not requirements at all.
There is no shortcut to getting the benefits of yoga, but you should also practice safety to prevent any potential injuries or accidents. Prevent hurting yourself by sticking to your limitations.
Watch out on your body’s sensitive areas, including the spine, hips, neck and knees. If you’re feeling pain, stop for a while and listen to your body. You must also learn how to adjust your poses or come out of them if needed.
Bottom line, yoga improves flexibility, but don’t push yourself too hard. When you’re feeling pain, soften or come out of the pose.
Before doing advanced poses, remember to warm up. Also, check if you’re body is feeling fine in each of those poses especially when doing transition from one pose to another or when moving out the poses.
Summing up, prevent potential injury by being mindful of your body. Warm up before doing advanced poses. Always check your body’s alignment when going in or out of a pose.
Choose a Yoga Routine or Style
What does your body need? Learn yoga that suits your needs. If you don’t know where to start, you can consult a practitioner to figure out the style that matches your level and goals.
Nevertheless, you will learn the effects of various styles as you progress and master the practice. In time, you will learn what your mind and body needs at a certain time.
Rest with Savasana
Just like when doing any other types of fitness activities, you also have to give your body the time to rest and relax because your nervous system still needs time for the benefits that it has gained during yoga.
If you want to keep reaping the benefits of yoga styles, you must be consistent by practicing it regularly.
If you’re busy, you can start three times a week, but then daily is much better when you find vacant time in your schedule.
Nevertheless, you should find what works for you, what your goals are and how you’re going to achieve those. For beginners, three times per week is a good start, and eventually practicing daily is even greater.
Regarding the amount of time, you can practice for as little as 10 minutes. It still counts.
Enjoy The Activity
Don’t feel as if you’re doing yoga is a chore. As when you started feeling it is an obligation, you might feel bored and sometimes not motivated to do it at all.
You have to enjoy the practice so that you can truly open your mind and body and make them work harmoniously to achieve the full benefits of the practice.
Yoga must be something that you look forward to doing; it must not be making you feel as if you have to perform a chore. Or else, you might not keep it.
Different Yoga Types
Upon learning some tips to get started, you should also know the different types to choose from and use for your practice. Some are physically demanding, but some are easy.
But then, yoga is a meditative activity that lets your body and mind connect, promote relaxation and improve your posture, to name some.
1. Restorative Yoga
This style encourages relaxation after a stressful day at work, promoting mind relaxation. So without even saying, the style will focus on fewer postures throughout the class.
These poses are also adjusted and made easier to promote rest. In the class, you can also expect to use more props, including eye pillows, bolsters and blankets.
These props can help you sink deeper into the relaxation, freeing and cleansing your mind.
2. Iyeng Yoga
This B.K.S. Iyengar founded style focuses on precise movements and proper alignments. Here, you have to do control your breath while doing a wide range of postures.
Expect to hold a pose for a long time while also adjusting the pose’s minutiae. In this class, also expect to use props to perfect your form and then go deeper into it. This style is recommended for those with injury that needs a methodical and slow yoga style.
3. Yin Yoga
It is a slow-paced beginner yoga involving seated postures kept or held for a long time. This style can help you find your inner peace and can be a bit relaxed because gravity will do most of the work here. You can hold each pose from at least 452 seconds or up to two minutes.
4. Ashtanga Yoga
If you’ve past the beginner phase in yoga and you’re interested in demanding yoga positions, you might want to try the yoga style that involves demanding postures sequence. This intriguing style starts with a five-sun salutation A’s and then B’s before moving into a series of postures – floor and standing.
5. Vinyasa Yoga
The name of this practice means to ‘place in a special way’ – through postures. The experts reveal that this yoga adapted from Ashtanga is the most athletic of all styles.
If you enrolled in this class, expect movements coordinated with movement and breathe flowing from one to the next pose. Vinyasa styles can vary from one teacher to the next. That is why there can be many poses included in different sequences too.
6. Bikram Yoga
Would you like to idea of sweating up in a sauna-like room while practicing? If so, then you should pick the style that is done in a hot room and that involves set poses’ sequence, commonly including 26 different basic postures. Each pose is repeated twice.
7. Jivamukti Yoga
In this class, you can expect to perform a series of chants and then followed by poses, aligning the five tenets of the yoga and philosophy.
Overall, the yoga style is one of the yoga types that pay attention to your connection to the earth as a living creature. Many of the students here are also following a vegetarian philosophy.
8. Hatha Yoga
It refers to all the physical postures of the practice and all the other styles, but then, there are also other branches of yoga, such as Raja and Karma yoga, which aren’t belonging to physical types of yoga. Generally, Hatha yoga is recommended for beginners because it is slow paced.
9. Kundalini Yoga
Part physical and part spiritual, it aims at releasing the energy called kundalini, which is trapped in the lower part of the spine. It involves breathing and focusing on the core muscles using different invigorating and fast postures. It is an intense class that involves meditation, mantra and chanting.
10. Prenatal Yoga
It is for women in all their trimesters, focusing on exercises for the expectant moms. This style is focused on bonding with the growing baby and breathing. This yoga can help moms and prepare their bodies for labor and delivery.
What Are The Yoga Benefits?
There are many reasons to do yoga, and many of them are for physical and mental health and well-being. To have an idea on what benefits to get from this practice, check out the following.
A consistent yoga routine can help in improving heart health, reducing some risk facts to developing a heart disease. If you would practice yoga consistently, you can lower your pulse rate and blood pressure.
Why it matters? A high blood pressure is a contributing factor to a heart problem, including stroke and heart attack.
Adding yoga as a part of a healthy lifestyle, you don’t also lower your risk of a heart disease but slow down the overall progression of it.
As it can promote relaxation, it can reduce mental and physical stress. What it does is decreasing the level of the primary stress hormone called cortisol especially among those who are emotionally distressed. With constant practice, you can experience reduced depression, fatigue and anxiety.
Overall, yoga can improve your life quality and mental health. When combined with meditation, you will achieve better results regarding stress reduction.
Yoga can help in reducing inflammation aside from alleviating stress and anxiety.
A bit about inflammation: It is a normal response of our immune system, but this can be chronic to contribute to cancer, diabetes and heart disease. With constant practice, you can have lower levels of inflammation markers; thus, you can lower your risk of chronic diseases mentioned.
Poor posture leads to neck and back pain as well as joint and muscle problems. Over time, your body might also suffer from degenerative spine arthritis and pain. With constant practice, you don’t just improve balance and flexibility but also enhance your posture.
If you’re looking to cope with anxiety, learn how to do yoga that can reduce it. People with post traumatic stress disorder can particularly benefit from anxiety relief and get rid of their feelings of fear and anxiety following a traumatic event.
As yoga helps you to be in the moment, it can give you a sense of peace especially in your mind, and that can relieve you from anxiety.
With the postures involved, yoga can also improve your flexibility, one of the major benefits of the practice. By sticking with a consistent practice, your body can experience gradual loosening and overtime making you more flexible to perform different advanced yoga poses.
So aside from knowing yoga poses names, you should also understand how the practice could enhance your flexibility. In addition, you can notice your pains and aches will start disappearing because of the proper alignment that yoga can give your joints, cartilage and muscles.
Improved muscle strength is one of the biggest advantages of those who perform yoga on a daily basis. Strong muscles can also protect you from different conditions including back pain and arthritis.
For the elderly, yoga can help prevent falls and build strength. It can also help with their flexibility and balance.
Better Bone Health
One of the main benefits of yoga is better bone health. In yoga, many postures require lifting your body weight, helping you strengthen your bones. It will also increase bone density and may help in keeping calcium in the bones because it can lower cortisol levels.
Learning how to do yoga, its types and benefits, you’ll find more reasons than one to practice and be consistent in practicing. For something with these plenty of benefits, such as combined yoga and meditation, there is no excuse not to try it.
So go ahead, choose your yoga style, either enroll in a class or do it at home. Spend as little as 10 minutes a day and eventually increase it as you progress and see it fit for your schedule. The most important thing is to find no excuse so that you can keep on reaping the benefits of yoga in your life.
Do you think we missed an important tip or two? Tell us in the comments. Finally, share this article on Facebook to spread the word and help others recognize the benefits of yoga today!