Happy Friday my friends! Many of you know..especially if you follow me on Instagram…that I’m a huge fan of Yoga. I practice every single day. I started back in February of 2014 doing my first “yoga challenge” with FitApproach and I was hooked after that. I wanted to learn more about it so I turned to YouTube to do yoga videos. I found many different styles of Yoga, but my favorite is Vinyasa yoga which gets my heart pumping (like I did a cardio workout) and makes me feel super strong. So many people think of yoga as relaxing or too slow for them, but if you do the right type of yoga you can actually get in a great workout. A lot of the poses require strength to hold…like Down Dog for example…when I first started practicing yoga I couldn’t hold down dog for more than 1 breathe without my arms shaking and I would have to rest in child’s pose. But now, down dog is my relaxing pose in between chaturanga push-ups and crescent lunges and crow jump backs into chaturanga.
Yoga strengthens the heart, tones muscles, and reduces stress.
A study at the University of Pittsburgh found that Vinyasa yoga, was intense enough to produce scientifically supported heart benefits and increased calorie burning.
I know a few yogis who stopped their normal gym routines and just do vinyasa style yoga every day and have lost weight and gained muscle definition. I am addicted to my 5 am strength training sessions so I will never give them up, but I do practice yoga daily and have noticed so much more strength not only in my yoga practice, but also in my strength training program. Vinyasa means “breath-synchronized movement” which means you’re flowing from one pose into another with each breathe.
Yoga trains the body in a very functional way. I actually incorporate a lot of yoga poses into my clients strength training routines because they are so effective and when done properly can help with proper form and improve posture.
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health interviewed people who had lost weight with yoga after struggling unsuccessfully, with other methods. In addition to improved muscle tone and metabolism, yoga benefits included less stress and stress eating, reduced appetite, fewer cravings, more mindful eating, a better mood, greater self-esteem, social support, and healthy role models.
I got started with beginner yoga videos on YouTube, but if you want you can take a beginner yoga class at your local studio. Here are some of my favorite yoga YouTube channels:
I’ve even created some playlists on YouTube for different types of yoga:
I truly believe that yoga has a place for everyone and can improve your health. Start off with beginner’s classes and practice daily. Follow the teacher’s cues and alignment tips to prevent injury and never push a pose too far. It can take years to master certain poses…like splits for example. And if something doesn’t feel right then skip that pose or do a modified version of it.
Find a yoga teacher that teaches a style of yoga that you enjoy. Every yoga teacher has a different style of teaching, so if you try one video and think “yoga isn’t for me” try a different yoga video with a different teacher…or take a different yoga class at a different yoga studio.
Yoga is beneficial for runners, cross-fitters, pre- & post-natal women, seniors, kids, and even men. A dear friend of mine has a daughter who just had a baby a few months ago and she takes her baby to yoga classes with other moms and their babies. She sent a picture to me and it’s the cutest!
Bonus benefits of yoga include: helping to balance hunger hormones, improving fitness, and some studies have found that yoga helps prevent heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and depression, reduces pain, improves mood, enhances sleep, lowers blood pressure, and keeps your heart young.
I personally prefer doing yoga at home, but I did take a local class as well as a Float yoga class and both were extremely fun! So, try it out if you don’t already and start reaping the wonderful benefits.
Do you do yoga?
Namaste my Friends!
Carrie A Groff