Thinking of trying yoga? This form of exercise has grown more and more popular over the last couple of decades. It originated in India over 5000 years ago as a form of spiritual practise, but has become popular in modern Western culture due to its many health benefits. If you’d like to give it a go but aren’t sure how to get started then read our guide!
The Health Benefits of Yoga
Practicing yoga regularly has a huge amount of benefits for your physical and mental health.
- Stronger muscles and bones
- Increased flexibility
- Better posture and balance
- Healthier joints
- Improved blood and lymph circulation
- Lower heart rate, blood pressure and blood sugar
- Better mood; relieves depression
- Improves concentration and mindfulness
- Helps you maintain a healthy weight
- Relieves stress and aids relaxation and sleep
- Eases constipation and other bowel problems
Yoga is not to be underestimated; it will improve your body and mind! The best way to get started is to try a class near you; this will help you to make sure that you’re doing the postures correctly. Alternatively, there are many DVDs and online videos that can help you to learn at home.
Common Styles of Yoga
There are many different types of yoga; some are more laidback and focused on relaxation, while more intense styles are great for both relieving stress and burning calories!
Also known as flow yoga, this is a fast moving form of yoga that will give you an excellent workout. If you’re looking to use yoga as a calorie burning exercise then this is the style for you.
This is a good style for beginners as you are encouraged to use equipment like blocks, bolsters and belts to help you get into poses correctly. This makes it a great way to learn yoga safely and gently.
Done in a heated room, this intense style of yoga uses a sequence of 26 poses to strengthen the muscles and encourage your body to sweat and cleanse itself.
A more spiritual form of yoga, Kundalini encourages you to increase your consciousness by focusing on breathing, chanting and meditation.
Hatha isn’t really a specific form of yoga, but generally refers to classes that are more gentle and slow – great for beginners or people who’d prefer a relaxed session.
Essential Yoga Equipment
Sissel Yoga Mat
A yoga mat is the most essential bit of kit – it will turn any surface into a comfortable and stable place to pose. Practising yoga on a mat is safer as it stops you from slipping; it will also help you to stretch without straining. Sissel’s yoga mat has a good thickness and unlike other mats it’s phthalate-free; a really important thing when you consider that it will be making close contact with your skin.
Sissel Pilates Workout Gloves
If you’re looking for a bit of extra stability then wearing a pair of workout gloves can help you maintain a good grip on the floor. Useful for poses like downward dog, these gloves have a non-slip rubber coating that will stop you slipping. They also prevent your hands getting sweaty during more intense forms of yoga.
Yoga Tune Up Double Loop Stretch Strap
While you’re building up your flexibility, you will probably find it useful to use a strap during your yoga practise. Wrapping this strap around your foot while doing poses such as leg lifts will help you to deepen the stretch without causing strain or injuries.
Yoga Tune Up Treat While You Train Kit
If you’re looking to use yoga to recover from injuries or chronic pain then the Yoga Tune Up series is a fantastic choice. It combines yoga poses with myofascial release massage techniques. By using a Yoga Tune Up ball you can release tension and pain from your muscles. This kit has everything you need, including a DVD that talks you through the most effective poses.