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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Yoga

By , SparkPeople Blogger
September is National Yoga Month! Time to unroll our mats, loosen up and chill out.

If you've never tried yoga, this is a great time to check out a class. Throughout the month, studios across the country are offering even more free classes than usual. (Many studios also offer at least one free or donation-based class a week on a regular basis.)

In honor of National Yoga Month, we've put together a list of Everything* You'll Ever Need to Know about Yoga. From easy at-home workouts for all levels to your most-asked questions about yoga and what to know before you step foot in your first class, this roundup of our best blogs, articles, and exercises is, well, everything you'll ever need to know about yoga!

Before You Begin: Answers to Your Most-Asked Questions about Yoga

10 Tips to Stay Safe and Comfortable in a Hot Yoga Class
11 Tips to Help You Feel at Ease at Your First Yoga Class
Does Yoga Count as Cardio?
''I Tried Hot Yoga''
I'm Changing the Image of Yoga, One Pose and One Student at a Time
What's the Difference Between Yoga and Pilates?
Which Type of Yoga is Right for You?
You Asked: How Do I Breathe in Yoga?

Why Yoga Works: Health Benefits and Side Effects

   19 Reasons Why You Need Yoga in Your Life
How Yoga Helps Relieve Pain
Yoga and You'll Go to Sleep

Easy At-Home Yoga Workouts

10 Yoga Poses to Strengthen and Stretch
5 Exercises that Sculpt, Strengthen & Soothe Back Pain
5 Minutes to Less Stress
5 Yoga Poses to Help You Rest Better
7 Easy Ways to Relax on the Job (without Getting Fired)
8 Seated Yoga Poses You Can Do from a Chair
Kneehab: 5 Yoga-Inspired Moves to Tune Up Your Knees
The 13 Best Yoga Poses for Runners
Yoga Stretches for the Feet and Ankles

A Yoga Teacher's Best Tips and Gear Recommendations

6 Tips for Finding Peace and Staying Balanced
7 Yoga Essentials for Beginners
Fighting the Ego and Seeing the Bigger Picture
What Really Matters in Your Yoga Practice
Your 12 Most Embarrassing Yoga Questions Answered

At-Home Practice Options


Beginners (New to Exercise)
  HeavyWeight Yoga with Abby Lentz (We love her!)
HeavyWeight Yoga 2
  Rodney Yee's Yoga for Beginners
  Complete Yoga Fitness Beginners with Lilias Folan, the Cincinnati-based grande dame of yoga
Beginners (New to Yoga but Not Exercise)
  Shiva Rea - Flow Yoga for Beginners
  Yoga Zone beginners pack
Intermediate/Advanced :
  Crunch: Yoga Body Sculpt
  Ashtanga Yoga: The Primary Series
  Yoga Shakti with Shiva Rea
  Tara Stiles This is Yoga: 4 DVD Set

  Yoga Journal's Yoga Basics: The Essential Beginner's Guide to Yoga For a Lifetime of Health and Fitness
  The Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga
  Yin Yoga by Paul Grilley
  Ashtanga Yoga: The Practice Manual: An Illustrated Guide to Personal Practice by David Swenson
Will you participate in National Yoga Month? Have you taken advantage of a free class in your area? Do you have a question about yoga that you'd like me to answer?

*Disclaimer: Everything=hyperbole. In yoga, as with anything in life, you never stop learning!

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KATHYJO56 7/17/2017
I have never liked yoga, but may give it another try after reading this Report
I like how all these links are in this article so I can find whatever I want just from coming to THIS article alone. Thanks for that! Report
I need more yoga in my life! :) Report
Thanks for all the yoga info. Report
Thanks for all the yoga info. Report
At times I wish I could do yoga, but I can't. Report
I love Yoga..I do it at least 3 times a week..I have done it 5 times a's so good for your mind and body! Report
I've been doing yoga at home for a few years now, but I can't wait to try an Abby Lentz dvd. Happy yoga month, everyone! Report
THANK-YOU!!! In the busyiness of gardening, canning, starting our homeschool this fall, I've let yoga go, but not any more!!! Report
Rodney Yee is incredible. I have many of his Yoga DVD's. Report
Rodney Yee has the best Yoga videos to learn at home, as he is an IYENGAR instructor. Report
I recently joined the Y and at our local Y they were having a contest this month for those who were first timers to yoga. My friend asked me to join her at the BodyFlow class (which is pilates, yoga and mediation all rolled into one) and so I did. I started going Wednesday night at 8pm, it is PERFECT because I have the class, relax and then go home and go straight to bed all calm and happy! lol Now hoping I win the prize for going to the most yoga classes this month at my Y! :-) Report
I started a yoga lates class 3 weeks ago. I must say that parts of it are great but I think it is the instructor. I don't find her motivating. Sometimes I think she makes it up as she goes. If the instructor was better I would be sooo much happier with this. Report
I saw an article in the paper last summer for free yoga in the park, so I went, curious about since I had only been to one yoga class about 10 years ago. It was for charity and free with nonperishable food item. I LOVED IT. Continued the weekly classes this summer too, then I tried HOT YOGA. Well, that I am not a big fan of, but then I am hearing impaired and found it very hard to hear the instructor, so it may just be that venue. So I bought Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown and will be trying to do from home since I go the gym 5-6 days per week, and I am doing a play at a local community theatre company, which I am also VP and Publicist, and I work full time.

Wish me luck with yoga at home. I am not diligent when it comes to working out at home ! Report
the yoga dork link is broken and sent my computer into virus hunting mode.... Report
Happy Yoga Month! I just bought a 10-session package @ my local Bikram Yoga center. Yoga has greatly improved my flexibility and strength along with keeping my mind centered. Report
Yoga is part of my weekly routine. I only dedicate one day to it right now because I do body toning exercises three days a week and cardio exercises 3 days a week.

However, before I had my heart ablation for Atrial fibrillation, yoga was one of the best ways for me to slow down my racing heart beat while in AFIb. Report
I switched studios recently, and I am valiantly trying to work with the short expiration dates (almost all of them are short!) on a class pack, because overwhelmingly I practice at home ...

The best thing about this studio is even the master teacher in the studio does not push on my hips to open them further BEFORE their time (had been one of about three red flags to a bull(y) yoga master teacher I'd had) ...
According to this teacher, such things can't be pushed ...

I am fast approaching intermediate level after well over 3 years regular practice ...

Oh, another good thing ... he uses a much more lung-friendly kind of incense ... and that's only once in a while, too ... Report
I love yoga, have been practicing since the early 70's when a lovely lady with a long ponytail appeared on PBS. Her name is Lilias Folan and she is still going strong, giving seminars and classes all over the country. Her latest book and DVD is awesome, adapting yoga for those of us who are considered by others (but not ourselves) to be seniors. "Lilias! AM & PM Yoga Workouts for Seniors" takes many postures and gives you ways to modify for not only aging, but injury or lack of flexibility. Great lady! Report
I love yoga. Not only does it balance my other workouts, but the breathing techniques and control are useful for any kind of exercise. I tried a DVD but the only way I could learn it was with an instructor at a community centre so this is the method I would recommend, especially for those with health issues. Good instructors can show you which poses are safe and how to adapt for specific conditions. Report
I find it amusing to watch people do it, and hear them constantly talk about the clothes and "stuff" they "need" to buy in order to properly participate, almost as if they are joining a new religion or club. Older people seem to enjoy it more and don't worry so much about their style, they just "do it". Report
Totally love yoga, I've been at it for a long time. I think Priscilla Patrick is the best teacher, and if you can go to a class, or buy her DVD's, do try her. you won't be sorry. Report
I love Sweaty Bands!! We sell them @ Jazzercise, too! :-)

I've been wanting to try a Yoga class....where do you teach and do they offer a free class for beginners?? Report
I have been wanting to try yoga - I think I will try one of the beginner DVD's you suggested. Report
I will start doing yoga again this month. I haven't really done it since high school and I miss it. This is a good opportunity to get back involved. Report
My yoga classes start up this week! I am so excited! Report
Love yoga, did it for years when younger but then there was no class near enough to take. I had a hard time with DVD's--never sure if I was doing the program correctly. I am so happy to be in a community now that has classes available! Yoga is really helping me get my flexibility back after my lapse! Report
I have taped Yoga for Life off of the Veria channel, (dish network) there are 41 episodes. I had gotten away from doing them for about a month but yesterday started again. I love waking up and doing it, it makes the day so much more pleasant. It is a flow based yoga so my heart rate gets up a bit too!! It is my primary form of strenth training as well!! Love your blog!! Report
I try to practice yoga regularly during the week. I just either fit in a 15 minute workout with my Wii Fitness Coach 2-3 times a week or I do a 30 minute DVD twice a week (it all depends on my routine for the month, which I change up every month).
I enjoy it and the physical/mental benefits it provides. Report
I've been doing Bikram yoga for over six years. I enjoy it because it doesn't promote or force any type of "spirituality" on me (or anyone). In addition, while it teaches us to concentrate on ourselves and our own practice, it doesn't promote that constant self-centeredness and concentration on the "self" that is so prevalent in other yogas. I've done other forms of yoga as well, but all too often "spirituality" is forced on people and and it there is heavy emphasis on it becoming a religious type of practice. Yoga is not a religion. I don't need to chant in sanskrit to get something out of yoga. Report
I have bought some yoga DVD's at COLLAGE, and am trying to do more. The Crunch with Bethany Lyons is good; also Elements AM-PM with Elena Brouwer is exquisite. Also bought a manduka pro mat, so that I can bring it to yoga classes at my nearby gym. These manduka mats are expensive and heavy, but very comfy for those of us with bad wrists. thanks for the inspirations Report
I love doing yoga, but I have injured my back and am waiting for surgery. Do you know of any particular yoga videos I could do with a back injury (sciatic pain also, affects my right leg ) Thanks Report
I LOVE LOVE LOVE yoga ! If I could, I'd take a class every single day. For now, I only take it once a week. Occasionally, I'll do some DVDs I have. I prefer a class, but the DVDs work in a pinch.

Can't wait to try the Heavyweight Yoga! Abby Lentz has really inspired me :) Report
Ever heard of "air yoga"? Yesterday I took a tour of another local gym and they offered it. You do the poses in a hammock-like apparatus that hangs from the ceiling. I was intrigued. Looked fun and a little scary. I did not actually see a class in progress (I wish I could have) but I saw photos and the hammocks hanging up. Report
Love yoga - it is my preferred form of exercise - I practice regularly at least 3X a week! Report
Thanks for showcasing the joy of yoga, Stephanie!

Yoga saved my life...and continues to! I speak of the yoga philosophy and practice...the postures (body), the breathing practices (pranayama) and meditation/lifestyle choices and changes (mind).

SparkFriend Genki_Warrior, a dedicated practitioner, and I are currently taking a vinyasa series from a student of Shiva Rea at the moment.

Jai Yoga!
Mahalakshmi Report
Happy Yoga Month!!!
I have Kripalu's Yoga Breaks on my nano. It is wonderful to practice breathing and mediation while waiting for an appointment.

I haven't been to a class in a while and would like to do more on my own... thanks for the links. Report
I have just bought the yoga for dummies DVD, and it is nice and easy to follow. Report
RODNEY YEE is by far the best YOGA Instructor, being a Student of B.K.S. Iyengar. I have all of his videos. Report
I love yoga and practice whenever I can. Happy yoga month! Report
I have always wanted to try YOGA. What better time than during National Yoga month. Report
Happy Yoga Month to you!! I am trying to be more regular in my practice. Five miniutes a day is better than nothing. Just gotta love triangle pose!!!(math teacher humor!!LOL) Report
I so miss going to yoga. I hope to soon renew my gym membership, but there are a few other bills that take precedence over this. (I am one that does best, when someone else tells me what to do. Keeps me motivated.) Report
I've never tried. My sister goes 2X a week and really notices when she misses a session.

I'll have to check the schedule at the gym. Report
I totally love yoga. I have not gotten full blown into it, but I love Crunch Candlelight Yoga after a rough day. 10 Minute Yoga for weight loss is totally abs get a great workout. I hope to one day afford and have time to go to a real class. Thank you for the links to great stuff. Report
I don't have a class around that I know of, but I have a book and DVD of Christian Yoga that I have yet to use yet. So maybe, I will just have to pull it out this week and try it! Report
Thank you for posting such a resourceful blog on Yoga. I have been strongly considering joining a local studio and now I feel much better informed... Report
Thanks for the information on Yoga. I will check out some of your websites. etc.

I highly recommend the Bethenny Frankel yoga dvd. I love it (but I do like her totally New York state of mind too). It is simple enough and well narrated enough, that it is easy for newbies to follow, but it has enough tips and suggestions that it could carry you at least through the intermediate level.
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