We can consider that Yoga is a tree with 8 different branches: restraints, observances, postures, breathing, withdrawal of senses, concentration, meditation, and absorption.
Most of the time, the type of yoga usually practiced in gym and yoga club is the Asana yoga. The Asana yoga is more focused on posture, stretching, and strength. The idea is to connect the movements of your body to your mind and respiration. This is much more than stretching: this is a physical-mental work.
You can choose to practice yoga by embracing the 8 different branches of yoga or simply by practicing the spiritual connection.
What are the benefits of Yoga?
- Yoga improves your flexibility and versatility by lengthening your muscles. This is the most obvious benefit of yoga and you can see the results very quickly. During the first class, touching your toes will seem impossible. But if you keep going to your yoga classes, the pain will start to disappear.
- It tones your body and builds muscle strength which protects you from back pain or arthritis.
- Yoga helps you understand how to align your body, how to position your muscles and how to improve your balance. Having a bad posture can cause back or neck problems.
- It increases your blood flow, specifically the relaxation exercises.
- Yoga helps you to sleep better by providing downtime for the nervous system (if your class includes meditation exercises).
- You can lose weight but it depends on different factors:
- The length of your session
- The frequency of your yoga training (at least twice a week).
- The type of Yoga: yoga sessions are more intense with the Ashtanga, Vinyasa and Power yoga.
Even if you don’t really lose weight, you will see your body get toned.