The art of yoga is much more intense than some might assume. While some might think of it as a mere exercise routine, many practitioners think of it as a more intense way of connecting with the body, mind and soul. Most people practice yoga seeking inner peace and rejuvenation. The different forms of movement provide you with extreme muscle stretch exercises, necessitating controlled breathing in the process. The flow of postures can be challenging, but it builds strength and flexibility.
Many of those who are passionate about yoga have noticed better sleeping patterns, fewer colds and a more relaxed feeling and ease. Western science is slowly providing concrete clues as to how yoga works to improve health, heal aches and keep sickness at bay.
There are different forms of yoga, which include:
Hatha – this form combines a series of basic movements with breathing
Vinyasa – a series of poses that flow smoothly into one another
Power – a faster, higher-intensity practice that builds muscle
Ashtanga – a series of poses, combined with special breathing techniques
Bikram – known as hot yoga, this series of 26 poses is performed in a heated room
Iyengar – this type of yoga uses props such as blocks, straps and chairs to help you move your body into proper alignment.
Yoga targets the core muscles and helps tighten those love handles. The boat pose is the best to target the middle of your abs. This is done by holding your legs up in the air and balaning on your “sit bones”. Yoga uses poses to support your full body weight, thus equally distributing the weight onto the arms and legs. Poses such as “downward-facing dog”, “child’s pose” and “cat/cow” provides the back muscles with a good stretch. This can be effective in relieving lower back pain. With regular practice, yoga poses stretch your muscles and increase your range of motion, which improves your flexibility. This series of movements also requires strength to hold your body in a balanced pose and with regular practice, it can strengthen the muscles of your arms, back, legs and core.
Yoga is a low-impact workout which can help you stay flexible and strong without putting added stress on the joints. You also get the added benefit of a mind-body approach that can help you relax and energise.
Join us for the International Day of Yoga taking place on Saturday, June 22, at 14 Hope Street in Gardens. This is a “FREE” session, however a small donation is required which will go towards the Earth Child Project. You can choose between a morning (8.30am to 1pm), or an afternoon session (2pm to 6.30pm). Visit www.joellesleebos.com for more information.