There are many types of yoga being taught and it is important to understand which is more beneficial for the heart. You need to make sure that you ask what ever exercise place has a therapist that specializes in helping people with special needs like heart disease. Hatha is a generalized term, in which a class is going to be gentle and slow paced. Vinyasa is another generalized term that usually refers to a more vigorous style which incorporates synchronized breathing. Ashtanga is a more fast paced and vigorous type and can be very physically demanding. During my two months of exercise I went from unfit to fit I owe it all to ashtanga. Although it was very demanding I kept a pace that was good for me and slowly built up to the rest of the class and my fitness has greatly improved because of it. Another type is hot yoga, I haven’t tried it myself but then again I easily over heat and I can’t see myself doing it in a class that is in 100 degree heat. I sweat enough as it is doing it in air conditioning. So I really don’t see the point of it, but then again if you want to be dehydrated by the end, then by all means give it a shot.
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With the many different styles it is important to remember one thing. Listen to your body and slow down if you need to. You don’t see progress by powering through anything to the point of injury, improvement comes with patience and understanding and that is the one thing that yoga teaches you. By slow purposeful movements you increase your fitness by taking it slowly and going at the pace your body is telling you to go to. Remember you have the rest of your life to learn perfection; you don’t need to learn it in 1 hour.
Yoga incorporates the whole body into the workout it is about balance, strength and coordination. There are various types of which encompasses different theories how the exercises that are used in the workout. I am not a yogi by any means I have only started to do yoga 4 months ago and with it and other exercises I have used it to lose 20 pounds and counting.
Not only can you do various controlled moves to build strength, flexibility and balance, you also learn breathing techniques that help reduce stress. There are different postures that are used under the two categories of strength and balance. Strength postures are warrior 1, and warrior 2. These postures build lower body strength and each moved needs to be held for at least 10 to 15 seconds to get any benefit. The difficulty is in the ability to hold the posture. Looking at it from afar it doesn’t look like you are doing anything but try it and see it is not so easy.
It is one thing to just hold these postures but the beauty is in the fluidity in the transitions. You start in namostay or prayer posture
and you start to transition onto the floor and into plank
by being slow and intentional. You don’t just step into the posture and hope for the best. While in plank the exercise continues by doing a pushup or chataranga
and transition into upward dog
and then into downward dog. Again it is important to hold these postures for at least 10 to 15 seconds to get any results.
While in downward dog add a leg raise to increase the difficulty.
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Yoga is a fluid movement that is slow and intentional. These slow intentional movements are controlled and it is in this control that the workout is intensified. Usually when we think about exercise we think of fast movement like basketball and running. It is more than that it is mind, body and spirit moving together in harmony. When I think about it I think of strength, flexibility and balance it is these core elements that it is born. Any weakness in any of these areas it will accentuate and improve in a short time. I have never been flexible even in high school, yet after 2 months I can now touch my toes with my legs straight.