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Shape up 2017: Benefits of Yoga

by Yello Jan 16, 2017

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Yoga is an amazing practice that helps to strengthen and improve mind, body and soul. Yoga can be used as a form of exercise for muscle gain as well as weight loss, and can also be used as a tool for relaxation or aid in detoxification.

There are different kinds of yoga geared for your personal goals. Check out the health benefits and explanations of various yoga techniques listed below, so you can choose the practice that works best for you:

  • Ashtanga – derived from ancient yoga teachings, this sequence-style of yoga connects each movement to correspond with your breathing. Advanced in practice, ashtanga performs poses in a specific order, nonstop. The technique in ashtanga is designed to centre the mind and control breathing throughout the body while perfecting flexibility and strength.
  • Bikram/Hot Yoga – in rooms heated between 95-100 degrees Fahrenheit, this type of yoga will leave you sweating and challenged. Bikram takes you through a series of 26 poses, while hot yoga may be more varied. The heat aids in flexibility and detoxification.
  • Kundalini – with a spiritual and philosophical approach, kundalini will enhance your mind and body awareness. Energy flow is directed towards the poses while meditation, breathing techniques, and chanting are incorporated to keep you grounded.
  • Kripalu – gentle in nature, kripalu is a form of yoga that focuses on self-empowerment in a three-part practice. Making kripalu a regular part of your routine will keep you in tune with your body as you allow it to teach you, aiding you in self-discovery.
  • Yoga Nidra/yogic sleep — a type of meditation and conscious relaxation practice that is intended to induce physical, mental, and emotional relaxation. Benefits include decreased anxiety and insomnia, allowing sleep to come easier and more natural.
  • Power – this is a fast pace set of poses, involving every muscle, speeding up your metabolism and resulting in higher caloric burn. This yoga is tough for even the strongest athlete.
  • Prenatal – perfect for mommies-to-be, this practice improves posture, core strength, and focuses on breathing techniques while aiding in pregnancy pain. It is a safe and well-practiced form of exercise to stay in shape while you’re expecting.

There are some exceptional instructors/studios on Island that offer these and other Yoga classes – and, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even experience yoga on a stand-up paddle board.