Introduction To The West
Yoga was introduced to the Western world by the spiritual leader Vivekananda‘s 1893 visit to the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago, and his 1896 book Raja Yoga. However, he rejected Haha yoga and its “entirely” physical practices such as asanas as difficult and ineffective for spiritual growth, out of a widely shared distaste for India’s wandering yogins. Yoga asanas were brought to America by the yoga teacher Yogendra. He founded a branch of The Yoga Institute in New York state in 1919, starting to make Haha yoga acceptable, seeking scientific evidence for its health benefits, and writing books such as his 1928 Yoga Asanas Simplified and his 1931 Yoga Personal Hygiene. The flowing sequences of salute to the sun, Surya Namaskar, now accepted as yoga and containing popular asanas such as Uttanasana and upward and downward dog poses, were popularized by the Rajah of Aundh, Bhawanrao Shrinivasrao Pant Pratinidhi, in the 1920s.
In 1924, the yoga teacher Kuvalayananda founded the Kaivalyadhama Health and Yoga Research Center in Maharashtra, combining asanas with gymnastics, and like Yogendra seeking a scientific and medical basis for yogic practices.
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For Starters What Is Yoga
“Yoga is a mind and body practice with an ancient Indian history and philosophy,” Maiorca explains.
Since yoga has been around for so long, many styles have developed. One common thread, though: They all combine physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation. The goal? “To promote improved control of the mind and body and enhanced well-being,” Maiorca says.
Pilates And Challenging Your Body
Pilates is partly inspired by yoga, but is different in one key respect yoga is made up of a series of static postures, while Pilates is based on putting yourself into unstable postures and challenging your body by moving your limbs.For instance, imagine you are lying on your back, with bent knees and both feet on the floor. A Pilates exercise may involve straightening one leg so that your toes point to the ceiling, and using the other leg to slowly raise and lower your body. You need tight abdominal and buttock muscles to keep your hips square, and focused attention to stop yourself from tipping over.
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Why You Should Not Do Yoga Before Exercise
Perhaps you still need a better explanation on whether to do yoga before or after workout sessions.
To better understand this issue; here are some more reasons on why you shouldnt do it before exercise.
Various studies have revealed that pre-workout stretching is not necessarily helpful . Since this typically involves stretching, doing it before exercise may not help your workout.
Contrary to what you may assume, pre-workout stretching may not help in:
- curbing muscle soreness after your workout
- preventing injury
- improving performance
Moreover, stretching can weaken your performance.
If your yoga session involves static stretching, it will likely produce temporary loss of muscle strength. This will impact your muscles even more if you hold the static stretch for more than 45 seconds .
However, if it involves purely dynamic stretches, it may be useful to your workout. With dynamic stretches you dont hold the stretch, but keep moving the body part. This is especially useful if the dynamic stretches are similar to your workout movements, at a lower intensity.
A Guide To 6 Types Of Yoga
Ideal for: Beginners.What it is:Hatha refers to any practice that combines poses, or asanas, with breathing techniques, or pranayamas. The goal of a basic hatha class is to develop flexibility and balance and to integrate breath into every movement, so it is generally relaxing and restorative. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Nursing Research found that just one 90-minute hatha class significantly reduced womens feelings of stress. Participants often begin by chanting the syllable om, then move into a series of poses and finish on the floor in a supine position called shavasana for 5 to 15 minutes, says Julie Wood, the director of programming for YogaWorks, in New York City and California.Good to know: You can gauge the intensity of a class by asking the instructor how quickly youll be moving between poses. If the answer is rapidly, you may want to find a slower-paced class for your first few sessions.If you arent ready to join a studio, this at-home easy yoga workout is a perfect introduction.
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Different Types Of Yoga: From Vinyasa To Kundalini
You might have a solid strength and cardio program, you might pay attention to your diet and eat clean, but do you take time to work on your mobility or balance?
Mobility training and balance are important aspects of fitness that are often under-appreciated and neglected. As we age, we lose both flexibility and balance.1 Improving your mobility can have significant benefits for your posture, lifting form, and strength, all while reducing injuries.
One of the best ways to improve your mobility, core strength, and balance is Yoga.2 Because there are a number of different types of yoga, it helps to know a little bit about each before deciding what type of yoga 3 works best for you and your training program.
Strengthening Stretching Balance And Aerobic Exercises Will Keep You Active Mobile And Feeling Great
Exercise is key to good health. But we tend to limit ourselves to one or two types of activity. “People do what they enjoy, or what feels the most effective, so some aspects of exercise and fitness are ignored,” says Rachel Wilson, a physical therapist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital. In reality, we should all be doing aerobics, stretching, strengthening, and balance exercises. Here, we list what you need to know about each exercise type and offer examples to try, with a doctor’s okay.
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Is Yoga Enough For Your Exercise And Fitness Needs
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Yoga is a great activity that can be beneficial for all areas of healthphysical, mental and emotional. But many people have the misconception that it is not enough to be the only form of exercise they do. But is it? If you use yoga for exercise, is it enough for your fitness needs? The answer depends on several factors, including the intensity of your yoga sessions and your overall level of fitness.
Can Yoga Improve Muscle Strength
Yes, yoga is a good way to build muscle tone and strength. By regularly doing yoga, you can build muscle, improve your flexibility, improve your posture, and help you maintain a healthy weight. Poses like Downward-Facing Dog and the Warrior poses work to increase strength in just about every muscle in your body.
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Is Yoga Enough To Be Your Only Form Of Physical Exercise
When I first started my yoga practice and for many years after, I was convinced that I had found the Holy Grail of movement. Coming from a not-so-active background, I felt my whole body toning up and getting stronger. I fell in love and as love has it, idealized the hell out of it. As I became a yoga teacher myself and continually deepened my studies and understanding of the human body, the pink vapor slowly began to dissolve and I started to realize that despite its many benefits there actually are a few itches a yoga practice cant scratch.
What Family Doctor Melinda Ratini Md Says:
There are many types of yoga, from the peaceful hatha to the high-intensity power yoga. All types take your workout to a level of mind-body connection. It can help you relax and focus while gaining flexibility and strength. Yoga can also boost your mood.
Even though there are many instructional books and DVDs on yoga, it is well worth it to invest in some classes with a good instructor who can show you how to do the postures.
Chances are, there’s a type of yoga that suits your needs and fitness level. It’s a great choice if you want a holistic approach to mind and body strength.
Yoga is not for you if you like a fast-moving, competitive workout. Be open-minded, since there are physical and mental benefits you can gain by adding some yoga into your fitness plan, even if it isn’t your main workout.
Is It Good for Me If I Have a Health Condition?
Yoga is a great activity for you if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease. It gives you strength, flexibility, and mind-body awareness. You’ll also need to do something aerobic if you’re not doing a fast-moving type of yoga.
If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart problems, ask your doctor what you can do. You may need to avoid certain postures, like those in which you’re upside down or that demand more balance than you have right now. A very gentle program of yoga, coupled with a light aerobic activity like walking or swimming, may be the best way to start.
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Should I Do Yoga Before Or After A Workout
Generally, the answer to whether you should do yoga before or after workout sessions is to do it after. In fact, you may get more benefit from it by scheduling it on a separate day from your workouts.
A key reason is that your muscles, fascia, and other tissues are generally weaker following the session. This is particularly so during practice that involves sustained poses and deep stretches.
Therefore, you may not perform your workouts to the maximum capacity due to the weakened body tissues.
If your workouts require lots of strength, this should be a major consideration.
The ability of muscles to contract is what makes them strong. But yoga stretches out your muscles to new lengths, reducing the muscles ability to contract .
Your muscles will take several hours to regain their ability to contract after. That means you shouldnt jump straight to exercise after the session.
Yoga Is A Form Of Moving Meditation
With the asanas, we improve our health and build strength, balance and flexibility. The physical practice of yoga also touts benefits such as weight loss, healing from injury, releasing endorphins and reducing stress. But in yoga, we dont just focus on the body, we focus on the mind-body as a whole. In most yoga classes, we combine the movement with meditation. We focus on connecting with the breath to let go of worries and negative thoughts, set intentions and close the class by meditating in savasana .
Want to make your class more meditative? Focus on your intention throughout class, or choose a few affirmations and repeat them to yourself as you move into and out of asanas. Some examples of uplifting affirmations are: I am powerful.I live in the present moment.I love and accept who I am. Choose affirmations that resonate with you. You can also use them during sitting meditations or any other time outside of your yoga practice.
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How Does Yoga Compare With Other Forms Of Exercise
The short answer is: It depends on the type of yoga. Yoga classes that involve nothing more than lying around on piles of blankets and breathing aren’t likely to build your muscles. But more strenuous types of yoga like ashtangacan be surprisingly similar to other forms of vigorous exercise.
“Some studies show, depending on yoga style, that it doesn’t improve fitness as much as other forms of exercise,” Cramer says. “But for rigorous and intense styles that can be a form of exercise. It strongly depends on what you do when you do yoga.”
For example, a few high-quality studies have shown that certain types of yoga can indeed make people stronger. One small, randomized trial in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research which compared eight weeks of Bikram yoga with no intervention in 32 young, healthy, adults found that the yoga classes improved people’s deadlift strength.
The Bikram classes didn’t, however, improve the participants’ aerobic capacity.Another before-and-after study, published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing, found that hatha yogacould improve aerobic fitness in older people. Still, it’s not clear that yoga is ideal here compared with, say, running or swimming.
What Makes Some Yoga More Physically Intense
Other ways to increase the intensity of your yoga session include incorporating more standing and balancing poses, as well as jumping or quick-stepping between different positions instead of slow and controlled transitions, Larson-Meyer said.
She also found that more experienced yoga practitioners were able to more vigorously engage in the yoga poses, raising their METs higher than what beginners could achieve.
The more you practice it, the more likely you are to go deeper into the pose so that you have a higher energy expenditure, Larson-Meyer said.
Interestingly, Larson-Meyer found that neither the temperature of the room, nor its humidity, had any effect on the MET of individual yoga poses putting a damper on Bikram yogas claims that it will make you burn up to 1,000 calories during a 90 minute session. However, this data came from only a single study on Bikram yoga, which means more research is needed.
The literature Larson-Meyer reviewed did not measure the energy expenditure of some of the more difficult inversion or balancing poses, including Bakasana or the Adho Mukha Vrksasana . When she did these poses in her own lab just to see how they stacked up, they produced MET values greater than three. However, her data is unpublished and needs further replication.
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Top 8 Different Types Of Yoga: What To Expect In Class
Types of Yoga #1 Hatha Yoga
In Sanskrit, Hatha means force. It describes the physical practice of yoga, so all other types of yoga fall under the category of Hatha.4
If you see Hatha Yoga on a class schedule, it means youll find a slower-paced class with little-to-no flow between poses. Its a gentle class thats perfect for beginners or the after-work yogi looking to wind-down. Here, youll learn basic postures, breath work, relaxation techniques, and meditation.
Types of Yoga #2 Vinyasa
This style of yoga links movement with the breath, creating flowing postures that smoothly transition from one to the next. In Sanskrit, the word vinyasa means connection. Each movement connects with either an inhale or an exhale. You can expect to move through a few sun salutations, warrior poses, balancing poses, back bends, and seated stretches. Each class ends in savasana, which is the final relaxation pose.
There is no strict format or sequence of poses in a vinyasa class, allowing for more creativity on the part of the teacher. Some classes are more spiritual, incorporating breath work, chanting and meditation, while others are more athletically-oriented. It depends on the instructor, so if one class doesnt suit you, try a different instructor.
Depending on the level, Vinyasa yoga can be gentle or rigorous. If youre a beginner, look for a gentle flow or a level 1 class. Learn the basics before moving on to more advanced classes .
Types of Yoga #3 Iyengar
Does Yoga Count Towards My 150 Minutes Of Activity
Most forms of yoga are not strenuous enough to count towards your 150 minutes of moderate activity, as set out by government guidelines on exercise.
However, yoga does count as a strengthening exercise, and at least 2 sessions a week will help you meet the guidelines on muscle-strengthening activities.
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Part Of The Nervous System Involved In Exercise And Yoga
Exercising involves the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for reducing digestive secretions, contracting blood vessels, and speeding the heart. It also counteracts the physiological effects of the parasympathetic nervous system. As a result, exercising produces a feeling of tiredness.
Yoga involves the parasympathetic nervous system, which counteracts the physiological effects of the sympathetic nervous system. It is responsible for stimulating digestive secretions, dilating blood vessels, slowing the heart, and constricting the pupils. In other words, doing yoga produces a feeling of relaxation.
Can Yoga Be Aerobic Exercise
What constitutes moderate and vigorous physical activity varies from person to person, because everyone has a unique maximum heart rate depending on their age, health, and how fit they are. For healthy adults, the American Heart Association recommends a target heart rate of 50 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate for activity to count as moderate intensity exercise, and 70 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate for activity to count as vigorous exercise.
For example, the average 20-year-olds heart should be beating between 100 and 170 times per minute to be in the moderate to vigorous activity range, whereas a 60-year-olds heart rate should be beating between 80 and 136 times per minute to be in that range.
Yoga is not necessarily an aerobic exercise in the same category as walking, running, biking, or using an;elliptical machine, says Laskowski. Whether or not a yoga class will get your heart rate in the targeted zone to count as moderate physical activity depends on the type of yoga and how intensely youre moving through it, says Laskowski. Classes that focus more on mindfulness and restoration may not get your heart rate up as much as more athletic classes that are designed to keep you moving, he adds.
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