Yoga continues to be a popular method of exercise. But the practice is really about so much more than getting your heart rate up. It’s also about relaxation and bringing about a more complete sense of health and wellness. What’s more, there are numerous possible benefits to practicing yoga that you may not be aware of.
Yoga is a practice that dates back thousands of years. It was developed as a means of uniting the body, mind, and spirit. Today, there are many variations of yoga that blend movement, breathing, mindfulness, and relaxation. Connect with a yoga studio in Portland to find out which variations are right for you.
Types of Yoga
There are various types of yoga, and it is recommended that you try different variations to find what you like best and what meets your goals the best. Some of the more common types of yoga include:
- Hatha: This is the most popular type of yoga in the United States. Hatha yoga emphasizes strengthening the body through a series of postures and breathing exercises.
- Ashtanga: Ashtanga is also sometimes called vinyasa. This is a more intense and fast-paced variety. With ashtanga, the focus is on building strength and endurance. Your postures, or flow, are linked to your breathing.
- Bikram: Bikram yoga is also called “hot yoga”. Hot yoga involves a series of postures that you do in a hot room. This encourages sweating, which releases toxins from the body. During bikram, you will repeat certain postures including standing, back bends, forward bends, and twists.
- Iyengar: Iyengar yoga is more dancelike, and uses props like chairs, straps, blocks, and blankets. The focus of iyengar yoga is alignment. The props help you hold postures and increase flexibility that otherwise might be challenging.
- Kripalu: Kripalu yoga is slow and gentle, and focuses more on restoration. It is a popular type of yoga for rehabilitation or recovery from injury or surgery.
- Restorative: Restorative yoga is focused on relaxation and the mental aspects of the practice.
Benefits of Practicing Yoga
Whether you connect with a yoga studio in Portland or choose to practice at home, there are many benefits to practicing yoga that you can take advantage of. Some of the most notable health benefits include improving symptoms related to conditions like:
- High blood pressure
- Chronic back pain
- Poor circulation
Yoga also has benefits for your mental health and wellness, such as:
- Reduces stress
- Relieves stress and tension
- Improves focus
- Helps you learn how to manage stressors
In a more general sense, yoga can help you improve your overall health and wellness by doing the following:
- Improves strength and flexibility
- Helps you gain stamina
- Improves posture
- Develops more body awareness
- Helps you understand the mind-body connection
- Improves concentration and focus
- Reduces stress
- Reduces the risk of physical injury
How to Get Started with Yoga
If you are interested in trying yoga for yourself, there are a few ways that you can get started. Of course, you can connect with a local yoga studio in Portland, or check out some online classes if you prefer to practice at home. Don’t worry about having any equipment or special yoga clothing to begin with. Most people begin their yoga practice with little more than an open heart and an open mind. And that is all you need.