Do you know your Downward Dog from your Dolphin?
The fitness arena is full of buzzterms and vocab, meaning not only do we have to get our heads around new fitness trends, we have to learn the lingo too!
Yoga is nothing new. Though it's fast become one of the most popular fitness classes, thanks to the variety of techniques and suitability for all.
Now, on first glance into the yoga studio, it may look like a bunch of people in tight shorts, pretending to be trees, but yoga is actually a great full body toning workout.
If you're a yoga newbie, we've outlined a few basics to get you started and prep you on what to expect for your first yoga class.
What Will Yoga Do?
Our yoga classes will help to improve your posture, strength and flexibility.
Attending regular yoga classes at Village Gym can help to tone the body, banish those bingo wings, firm the butt and create a slimmer looking silhouette.
What's It All About?
Our yoga classes usually begin with a short period of silence to clear your mind and get you focussed. Don't worry, there'll be no chanting or humming required! This is just to relax the body and loosen you up.
We’ll then guide you through a series of stretches to warm up the muscles before we move on to posture work.
Posture work is all about holding certain poses for a set amount of time, to improve your balance, align the spine and strengthen key muscles.
How Tough Is It?
Well, it's yoga, but it's still a workout, so if you're doing one of the more challenging yoga classes such as Vinyasa or Ashtanga, be prepared to sweat and feel the burn.
For newbies, we'd recommend Hatha yoga. More gentle and a slower pace, perfect for beginners, older members or pregnant women.
Certain moves, you'll find easier than others, though hey, you're new, so you'll improve as you go along! After your first class, you'll be up to speed with a number of basic yoga positions, such as Downward-facing Dog, Child Pose, Eagle, Half Moon and Lord of the Dance.
If you find the positions a little too challenging, our expert yoga instructor will modify the poses for you whilst you get into the swing of things. Ensure you let your instructor know that you're new to yoga, and if you have any injuries before the class kicks off.
What Is Yoga Good For?
During our yoga class, you'll work a number of different muscle groups to improve your body's flexibility and sculpt a more slender tone. You'll work the abs, back muscles, thighs and hips. All crucial for good posture.
It's a great full body workout, and the low intensity movements make it less impactful on the joints, so it's a popular class with older members and anyone suffering from joint pain. Yoga in Aberdeen is actually one of our most popular group fitness classes for the over 50's.
Yoga at Village Gym is a great way to improve your flexibility, posture and firm up those wobbly bits.
What Should I Wear?
Wear attire that fits the body snugly, to avoid any loose clothing getting in your way. This also allows your yoga instructor to see your movements clearly, and correct any poor posture if required.
Remember that you'll be contorting your body into a number of positions, so choose clothing that won't sag or gape in order to protect your modesty!
On the feet, you can either go barefoot or wear yoga socks. These have special rubber pads on the soles for better grip.
What Types Of Yoga Can I Do?
Members at Village Gym can enjoy a variety of yoga techniques, so you're certain to find something you'll love...
Hatha yoga is all about smooth movements and breathing exercises, so it's a great choice for yoga beginners. Try a Hatha yoga class and if you feel you can take on a bigger challenge, then progress to a tougher technique.
Vinyasa yoga is a faster paced class, it's suitable for all fitness levels, though if you're a yoga beginner, prepare to feel the burn!
Ashtanga yoga is made for seasoned yogis, or anyone who wants to push their physical limits. If you're feeling brave, you're welcome to try this class, though we'd recommend getting to grips with classic yoga poses first.
The Science Behind Yoga
We all know that yoga is good for us… but do you know exactly why?
There have been numerous studies performed over the years to examine the effects of yoga. These studies have found that regular yoga can benefit a number of health factors and produce significant effects on psychological wellbeing. Here’s what you need to know…
Yoga can benefit your psychological health
Stressed? Tired? Burned out? Yoga could just be the answer! Research shows that Yoga is effective in treating emotional-stress related conditions when compared with mindful exercises such as qigong and tai chi.
Research shows the effects of yoga on depression were comparable to that of pharmacological treatment, group therapy and social support groups.
Regularly practicing yoga has the potential to improve your quality of life and ease the symptoms of stress and anxiety.
There are physiological health benefits
Yoga can do wonders for your physiological health, particularly for older adults. It can help to improve strength, cardiorespiratory function and balance.
Yoga has also been linked to improving a variety of other health outcomes including blood glucose (helping to avoid diabetes), stress indicators, cholesterol and diastolic blood pressure. Given the limited evidence to date, we are unable to determine the effects of yoga in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease.
Can help with weight loss
Practicing yoga has been shown to be an effective method to reduce body weight in overweight adults. A study found that gradual, moderate reductions in weight and BMI were seen when Yoga was practiced for 60 minutes, three times per week for three months or more. Yoga is shown to be an appropriate and potentially successful intervention for prevention of obesity, and risk reduction for diseases in which obesity plays a significant causal role.
There are plenty of other benefits too
There is strong evidence to suggest that yoga plays a part in the reduction of lower back pain with Hatha and Restorative yoga having the highest correlation with positive outcomes for managing pain.
Yoga has also been found to help with sleep and feelings of fatigue, particularly in patients with cancer.
Yoga can be advantageous for pregnant women
Studies show that practicing yoga during pregnancy can have a number of benefits throughout the pregnancy, labour and birth.
Improvements were observed on psychological factors during pregnancy and labor, on physical and pain measures during labor and on birth weight and number of preterm births.
Tips For Yoga Beginners
Keep your eye on other members in your yoga class. Try to arrive early to pick a spot in the studio that allows you to see as many other people as possible. That way, if you get stuck, you can follow their movements no matter which way you're facing.
If you can position yourself at the front of the class, you'll have a better view of your instructor, and of yourself in the mirror. This way, you can see how your body is moving and where you need to correct your posture.
One of our members who enjoys yoga in Edinburgh suggests;
"Don't worry about looking like you don't have a clue what you're doing! Leave your inhibitions at the door and just let your body move however it wants to."
Ready for more? Book your yoga class online via the app or log in to our Member's Area.