“Yoga is a way to freedom. By its constant practice, we can free ourselves from fear, anguish and loneliness.”
Yoga is so much more than an exercise to maintain flexibility. Yes, it’s a great way to make sure that your muscles are kept supple but it’s also a way to calm your nerves and lessen your stress by forming a deep connection between your mind and body.
Many of us would benefit from the practice of Yoga however, it can be a bit intimidating to those who want to start out on this journey. For this reason, we’ve put together five commonly asked questions about Yoga to demystify this world for the person wanting to join.
Why is Yoga a mind-body exercise?
As we said in the introduction to this article, Yoga helps to keep the body flexible through the various asanas that practitioners adopt during a class. However, it also uses chanting and breathing to help clear a person’s mind so that they can focus very heavily on listening to their body, hearing what its telling them and making adjustments to their practice based on the feedback that they get.
There are different types of Yoga. Which one is best for a beginner?
There are eight different types of Yoga. Hatha is probably the best one for beginners to do as it focuses on mastering the poses and using ones breathing to do so. The other types of Yoga are:
- Kundalini Yoga
- restorative Yoga
- Yin Yoga
- Vinyasa Yoga
- Hybrid Yinyasa or Flow & Restore Class
- Power Yoga
- Iyengar Yoga
- Ashtanga Yoga
- Aerial Yoga
- Hot Yoga
- Bikram Yoga
I am not flexible. Can I still do Yoga?
Yes, you can! Yoga is not just for people who are flexible. It’s for everyone who wants to reap the benefits that Yoga has to offer. As you practise Yoga, you’ll get more and more flexible which will have a lot of benefits for you as you get into later life.
For how long must I not eat before class?
It’s recommended that you not eat between two and three hours before your Yoga class. This is because if the last meal that you ate is not fully digested, because of the twists and inversions that are done in a Yoga class you may feel discomfort from your partially digested food. If you want to eat something before class – because you feel that you’ll become lightheaded if you don’t – rather eat a very light meal.
What must I wear to a Yoga class?
Because your body will be adopting various poses – some of which will not be natural to your body at first – you need to wear extremely comfortable clothing such as Yoga pants and a loose-fitting top. All Yoga classes are done barefoot. The reason for this is that all practitioners of Yoga need to feel grounded to the earth during their practice so that they can deepen their Yoga practice.
Yoga is an exercise like no other. As opposed to exercises such as weightlifting, spinning and running on the treadmill, Yoga exercises both your mind and your body. As such, this makes it a very attractive form of exercise to do in our technology-obsessed world. So consider adding Yoga as part of your fitness routine and see what the benefits of this ancient art form are!