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The Benefits of Yoga for Beginners

July 17, 2019
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The Benefits of Yoga for Beginners

If you’re new to yoga, it’s likely that you’re feeling a little daunted or even confused right now. After all, with so many different styles and classes available, how can you be sure which is going to suit your needs and your fitness levels? Never fear — here at GoSweat we’re keen to encourage our readers to participate in as many new activities as possible. This guide should answer a few of your biggest queries...

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What is yoga?

Let’s keep things simple: yoga is a discipline that syncs mind, body and soul, guiding participants through a range of movements that are designed to relax, tone and harmonise. Whether you’ve practised yoga before or not, you’re likely to have some idea of what to expect from your first class. Generally speaking, you won’t be far wrong — although the ancient art of yoga incorporates so much more than flowing movements and odd-looking poses. Created in India some 5,000 years ago, yoga is one of the oldest disciplines still practised today.

The different types of yoga

You’ll notice that we often group yoga studios depending upon the type of class that’s on offer. Far from being a single, all-encompassing discipline, yoga has many different forms, each with their own benefits and disadvantages. These include:

  • Bikram, which is practised in studios that are heated up to 37 degrees Celsius — at least
  • Hatha, which is focused on gentle, deliberate movements to inspire relaxation
  • Vinyasa, which incorporates numerous poses that are linked together with constant, flowing movements
  • Ashtanga, which is physically more demanding than ‘regular’ yoga classes
  • Kundalini, which focuses on core muscles and strength
  • Restorative, which tackles the capabilities of yoga to relax and de-stress the mind
  • Iyengar, which aims to realign the body with the use of equipment and props
  • Anusara, which encourages self-expression and for participants to push themselves however they’re able
  • Yin, which is designed to be gentle and passive

Phew! Before dropping in to experience a class it’s well worth finding out what’s on offer at your local studio and what each session will incorporate.

The benefits of yoga

Regardless of the kind of yoga you’ve decided to practice, the discipline has numerous benefits for a person’s fitness and wellbeing. Yoga is a great way to work up a sweat if you’ve done very few classes or gym sessions before, but beware — things can soon heat up. Those practising yoga will often experience improved flexibility, balance and core strength, as well as discovering that they’re better able to regulate their breathing during stressful situations. Yoga is a fantastic discipline for those suffering from high blood pressure, aches and pains, and anxiety. We’d always recommend that you seek advice from a doctor or medical practitioner before starting a new class, though.

Getting started

The easiest way to get started is to find a class that provides the kind of workout you’re looking for. Do you want to improve your balance, tone your tummy, or work through a particularly stressful situation? Once you’ve stumbled upon the right yoga class, don’t ever be afraid to ask questions: What will this class teach? What are its benefits? How much does it cost? If you’re using yoga to tackle a particular physical ailment, ensure a doctor has cleared you to do so. Finally, remember to stay hydrated, drinking plenty of water before, during and after your class. Well, you did want to sweat it out, didn’t you?

If you’d like to get started with the right yoga class, be sure to check out our guide to beginners’ yoga near me. You’re sure to find a studio and class that suits your busy lifestyle, location and desire to sweat.

As you'd expect, from a GoSweat Founder, Steph loves all things sweaty. From SUP to Skiing, she's always searching for the next endorphin fix. Her other loves include animals, adventures and eating out.

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