Try our online yoga classes for beginners on We Connect here. Our collated range of classes are available to take any time, and are updated weekly.
Yoga can reduce stress, promote health eating habits, improve sleep and much more. But how do we incorporate it into our everyday lives as a relaxation tool, and how do we navigate all of the different types of yoga to choose what is right for us?
The world of yoga can seem rather vast and incomprehensible, and that can understandably put people off from trying it out.
However, as yoga is a fantastic wellbeing and relaxation tool it is well worth discovering, and getting into yoga is actually much more straighforward than you might think.
"Simply put, no matter what style of yoga you are doing, the practice of yoga is designed to create a connection between your mind, body and breath".
The practice of yoga is thousands of years old. There are many different styles of yoga - Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Yin and Bikram to name just a few.
You are best off looking for a beginners yoga class to learn the basics of yoga first. No matter your age or physical fitness level, a beginners yoga class will provide you with a gentle introduction to the practice, with alternatives given if you are unable to move into a pose. Often a course consisting of several classes is offered for beginners.
Your teacher will guide you through how to use your breath to help you move into and explore the poses, and you will learn some of the basic poses that you will use throughout your yoga journey - for example a downward dog, tree pose, mountain pose, and much more.
The relaxation benefits of yoga lie in its ability to really connect you with yourself, and to enable you to shut out the "noise" and stresses of everyday life once you are on your mat. Focusing on your breath and on the poses can help you to quiet your mind, and bring you into the present moment.
Once you feel ready you could start exploring some different yoga styles. Perhaps you'd like Vinyasa yoga, where poses are practiced in a continuous rhythmic flow. Or Ashtanga yoga, which is a very physical, flowing type of yoga consisting of six series of specific poses, taught in order.
Yin yoga sees a slower pace, with poses held from a minute up to five minutes, designed to increase circulation in the joints and improve flexibility.
Hot yoga (Bikram) has 26 postures and two breathing exercises to move through, and the room must be 40% humidity and 41 degrees. It is thought that the heat allows participants to get deeper into their poses.
Most yoga classes will follow the same structure - with a warmup, usually based around sun salutations, a focus pose or focus flow, and then a cooldown. There will often be a relaxation/meditation session for a few minutes at the end of the class to allow you to really switch off.
So, what are you waiting for? Give yoga a try and see how it can help you to find relaxation in your body and mind.
See you on the mat.