Yoga is a form of exercise that has been around for over 5,000 years. We embrace it nowadays as a way to heal our minds and bodies. Though many experts suggest practicing yoga for 60-90 minutes two to three times a week, I have found that practicing as little as an hour a week makes me feel less stressed and more present.
There are several basic yoga poses that everyone learns. Child’s Pose and Downward Dog are probably the most familiar, followed by Cobra and Plank. Many classes repeat the same poses over and over to train your body to expect them.
You probably know that there are various types of yoga. Hatha yoga, which is ideal for beginners, consists of a series of static poses. It was developed with the purpose of aligning and calming all the parts of your mind, body, and spirit. Similar in certain ways to Hatha yoga, Vinyasa classes build strength by repeating a series of poses.
There are also practices that use artificial heat to maximize yoga workouts. Hot yoga, also known as Bikram yoga, generally consists of 26 poses and two breathing exercises during a 90-minute class. While the humidity in a hot yoga room can vary, the temperature is normally between 80-100 degrees.
I want to give a special shout out to restorative yoga classes, which I find invigorating and calming at the same time. Yin yoga is another name for this type of practice, which consists of a series of passive poses. Yoga studios provide props to help students move into and maintain these poses, which allows everyone to really focus on their own breathing.