I've been doing yoga for years and I love it. The overall improvements in my life have been great. I feel better when it's a regular part of my routine, like the third necessary side of a triangle. (Along with cardio and weights.) The flexibility has been awesome, untensing my body, having an hour and a half of time to focus on just yoga.
I don't think it's contributed to my weight loss, but it has been helpful for some strengthening and firming, particularly of abs, shoulders. Before I started lifting weights, yoga has helped with a bit of toning.
My only suggestion would be to try it as a class first, because it's crucial to get the correct posture down. I also find it much easier to pay attention to my body and my practice in a class setting more than when I do it at home or with a dvd.
I know there are "different types" of yoga. Some yoga is about leaning to know your body and make you flexable while others could be more relaxed and spiritual. I actually am getting involved with this yoga that not only increases that flexablity but if you have back problems or anything like that, it's supposed to basically make that pain go away and just the cherry on top, it creates a nice little sweat and helps with weight loss. Hit me up if you want to know about it and we can def talk about it :)
While some forms of yoga can increase your heart rate and breathing (leading to increased cardiovascular health), typically, yoga is not considered a cardiovascular exercise. However, it does have the benefits of helping the 'mind/body' connection, as well as (as everyone has already stated) increasing your balance and flexibility. Beyond that, yoga can increase your strength and the nature of yoga helps give the illusion of building 'lean' muscle-you build muscle by holding poses and controlling your movements as you flow, and you are increasing your flexibility usually your posture and how you old yourself.
Yoga also teaches you to be more mindful of your breathing, of your body and how you're feeling. This helps when it comes to feeling your hunger signals, and knowing when you're 'full' or truly hunger. This aspect usually contributes to some of the weight loss that many practioners of yoga experience. I personally think yoga is wonderful, as is any form of stretching. Wether you're a runner, walker, weight lifter, kick boxer, etc your practice will benefit from yoga because your body will be more relaxed and flexible, leading to an decreased likelihood of injury.
Fitness Minutes: (340)
127 1/13/12 3:42 P
I've tried lots of different kinds of yoga with different teachers and I just can't get into it. I don't like it. The only yoga I've ever truly liked is Bikram. It's basically like doing yoga in a sauna. It's a really hot room and the work out is normally an hour. I sleep better after a class, my skin is better, and I'm more flexible!
Fitness Minutes: (1,320)
206 1/13/12 3:31 P
Thank you for the replies! I am excited about starting it. I would love to get more balance and be more flexible for sure!!
About a year ago I started doing Vinyasa yoga. I've actually been able to start other types now like slow burn yoga, power yoga and kundalini yoga. I am more flexible because of it and a lot calmer. Vinyasa is a great style to start with becuase flows together really well and a lot easier to learn and to stick with- at least thats how it was for me
I love yoga. It has definitely contributed to my improved mental health (learning calming breathing helps me be less up tight and nasty when things get stressful) and helped improve my physical well being as well.
While I can't give yoga all the credit for the changes in my body shape (I do a lot of different exercises) I can give it all the credit for improving my balance and flexibility. I think I'm more flexible now then I've ever been in my life.
I don't like to burden my yoga practice with thinking about how much calories it burns and all that weight loss stuff (I save that for my other exercises). For me yoga is about listening to (and challenging) my body and finding a healthy mind/body balance (and as a bonus, I now practice in a studio so it has me socializing more--I'm a bit of hermit by nature).
Fitness Minutes: (6,555)
2,250 1/13/12 1:29 P
The things that improved the most for me from taking straight yoga classes (nothing crazy like power or hot yoga) were my balance and flexibility. All of the little stabilization muscles that no one thinks about and no machine can train get a workout. Its also nice mentally because you are focusing solely on your body position and nothing else. If I start thinking about what I have to do during the week during class, I generally fall over :P
I do a yoga class weekly as a part of a routine that includes 2-3 days of ST and 2-3 of cardio of various forms. Its definitely valuable and I think everybody should try it once.
Fitness Minutes: (2,715)
432 1/13/12 1:19 P
I agree yoga is confused with a way to lose weight, but yoga can increase your flexibility and be a way to aide in stretching before and after workouts so your muscles can be more prepared and more stretched (if you're doing strength training).
I've done yoga for 2 years now, and my flexibility has increased ten fold! It's also really nice for the mind as it calms you down, and some versions (depending on if you do it at home or in a class) has meditation to make it an even more personalized, feel good experience.
I just discovered this website, it has literally the best videos of yoga you can do at home in the privacy of your house. If you're on a budget or not really sure you want to jump into a class as a beginner, try these routines for yourself!
Yoga is wonderful for flexibility, and can increase your sense of balance and agility as well. Some kinds have an element of strength training to them as you hold the poses. It can be a part of anyone's fitness plan.
I would recommend starting off with a live class, and find one with an instructor whose style you can appreciate. A good instructor will correct your form and encourage you to keep pushing yourself with the poses. Once you're really comfortable with the basic moves, a dvd would be a good option.
I attended a power yoga class years ago for about 6 weeks, and I made huge strides in my overall fitness from that class. I still miss that instructor, as I have yet to find another one that I like as much.
I wouldn't look on it as a weight loss tool, as you're not going to burn that many calories while doing it. It's great for your overall health and wellbeing, and I'd highly recommend it.
Fitness Minutes: (1,320)
206 1/13/12 12:50 P
I heard Yoga is great for your body & mind. Who does it and has seen an improvement, not only by losing weight, but also in mind? Also, does Yoga make you more lean and flexible?
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