Yoga has become more popular with each passing year, and for good reason! Routine yoga practice has numerous benefits, including increased flexibility and peace of mind. Unfortunately, those new to exercise are often intimidated by yoga. Perhaps they’re picturing Instagram models contorted into pretzels or they’re simply confused by the various types of yoga– Bikram, Vinyasa, Hatha. Where do you even begin?

Don’t worry. We’re here to take the intimidation factor out of your yoga practice.

Yoga 101
Yoga originated in northern India over 5,000 years ago. Over time, yoga has evolved into a mind-body practice that connects breath, concentration, and movement to quiet the brain and strengthen the body.

Yoga Offers Many Benefits, Including…
• Increased strength, flexibility, balance, and energy
• Decreased risk of injury
• Reduced symptoms of stress, depression, and anxiety
• Weight loss
• Improved cardiovascular, metabolic, and respiratory health
• Better athletic performance

Getting Started
Step 1: Pick a class that’s right for you. There is a form of yoga for everyone! Some of the most common forms of yoga include:

Hatha Yoga
This slow-paced form of yoga focuses on breathing and long periods of stretching. Hatha yoga is great for beginners and active older adults. (Hint: Check out VHP’s “Sunrise Yoga”!)

Vinyasa Yoga
This graceful yoga practice takes yogis through a series of flowing postures. Vinyasa classes are perfect for intermediate and advanced exercisers. (Hint: Check out VHP’s “Vinyasa Yoga” and “Yoga for Weight Loss” classes!)
Bikram Yoga
This “hot yoga” is performed in a room kept between 95 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. This form of yoga is ideal for advanced exercisers.

Step 2: Grab Your Gear
You’ll need to purchase a yoga mat (a sticky mat designed to prevent slipping). You may also want to purchase a yoga block and yoga strap. These handy tools help you modify and/or get deeper into poses. (Hint: A thick hardcover book and towel work just as well)

Quick Tips for Newbies
• Drink lots of water. You’ll be surprised how thirsty you get!
• Bring your sense of humor. You may feel off-balance or unable to perform certain poses, especially at first.
• Relax and enjoy your practice!

Whether you’re new to exercise or just looking for a new challenge, VHP’s Virtual Fitness Specialists offer a variety of yoga classes to suit your needs. Grab a mat and we’ll help you discover the many benefits of yoga.