Yoga, the Gateway to Health & Fitness

The yoga practice has become extremely popular over the course of the last few decades, especially in recent years with the increase of social media yogis gaining popularity with their gravity defying headstands and backbends. Seeing this type of advanced practice can be intimidating for the beginner, but yoga is much more than advanced poses. In fact, yoga is one of the best forms of exercise to start out with if you’re looking to get back into a fitness regime.

Yoga is speculated to date back nearly 5,000 years. Originating in India, yoga wasn’t brought to the West until the 19th century and has since taken many different forms. There’s Hatha, Vinyasa, Bikram, Ashtanga, Yin, Hot yoga and more, but the main focus of any yogic practice is actually breathing. Focusing on the alternative nostril yoga breathing has been proven to create a meditative environment and can help manage stress, anxiety, depression, lower blood pressure, improve mood and even improve sleep. The central focus on breathing is what makes yoga so accessible to everyone. Learning to breathe properly and with purpose builds an extremely strong foundation for any and all exercise. Plus, the bendy nature of many yoga poses can be physically beneficial, improving balance, flexibility, muscle tone and strength. And, to top it all off, yoga can be a great way to workout on a budget!

So how do you start a yoga practice? Well, one of the best ways to get into yoga is to find a studio near you and pick a class geared towards beginners. In a nice simple flow class, you can learn the basics of yoga and be surrounded by other newbies so as to avoid any intimidation. Most yoga studios will provide mats or rent one to you for a few bucks, so no need to splurge on one before hand. And while fancy yoga pants and matching tops are super on trend, they’re not at all necessary. Just make sure to wear clothes that are breathable and you can get bendy in.

If you can’t find a yoga studio near you, no worries! One of the greatest features of yoga is that it’s super easy to dive into head first without even leaving your home. Nowadays, there are are thousands of yoga tutorials and classes that you can access for free on Youtube, handfuls of free yoga apps that can be downloaded to any digital device, and even ebooks and guides from advanced yogis that can be purchased at reasonable prices. Once you find a guide, video series, etc. that you enjoy, simply schedule it into your week. Beginners yoga is a light practice and is most beneficial when done a few times a week. Do a 30 minute practice every morning when you wake up, or maybe two 60 minutes practices a week. Even taking 10 minutes a day to practice yogic breathing has been proven to have massive health benefits.

We’re huge fans of yoga because it encourages fitness, but it’s also such a great form of exercise for those of us who still need some encouragement when it comes to working out. Plus, once you get into a routine and your body becomes more familiar with the practice, it becomes a wonderful habit that really does benefit mind, body and soul and is one of the best ways to transform your life into the healthier version you’ve always wanted it to be. So the next time you find yourself wanting to workout but aren’t up for high intensity and can’t be bothered to make it to the gym, simply try some yoga. You won’t regret it!