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All About Yoga 

By Ashton Wiklund
February 12th, 2012

 

What do a pigeon, a wheel and a tree all have in common? They are all yoga poses! Yoga first originated in India as a mental, physical and spiritual practice to evoke unity and improve health. Today yoga is practiced in a variety of cultures and has drastically increased in popularity within the last ten years. Yoga has become a trendy activity in North American culture, as an increased amount of people learn about yoga and experience its positive side effects.

 

There are many benefits of yoga and each person can gain different things from their practice.  Yoga stretches and strengthens the body and can improve coordination and balance. Yoga can also improve cardio and circulatory health while increasing a person’s energy level. Feeling stressed? With the help of meditation, yoga relaxes both the mind and body by encouraging positive thoughts helping you feel more focused and calm.

 

Yoga is practiced by men and women, and is even available for kids as young as 6. Whether you want to practice in your home or take a class at a studio there are many options available at a reasonable cost.  Depending on your needs there are specialized classes for weight loss, beginners or relaxation. Some disciplines, such as Moksha yoga, also promote green living and environmentally conscious decisions benefiting both the yogis and the planet! Yoga can be used to help athletes excel in their primary sport by helping them activate, strengthen or rehab their body.

 

For those looking for an extra detoxification kick you can practice in a heated room at studios that offer either “warm” or “hot” yoga.  Hot yoga is typically performed at a temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit, or 38 degrees Celsius. It may seem like an odd idea, but the heat is used to increase yoga's natural ability to cleanse the body of toxins. The high temperatures also helps relax the body and make it more flexible, decreasing the risk of injury and strain.

 

Yoga classes can range from an hour to an hour and a half, depending on the discipline. Make sure you bring lots of water when attending these classes! Don’t have that much time? No problem! Yoga poses can be done throughout the day to break up a routine or stretch out any sore or stiff muscles. It both safe and beneficial to practice every day and your body will thank you for it. Namaste!