What Kind Of Exercise Is Yoga? Find Out Here!
Are you familiar with yoga? Do you wish to know more about this type of exercise? Do you want to know what kind of exercise is yoga?
Well, you have come to the right place! Yoga is a type of exercise that has been famous in the fitness industry for the longest of time. However, there is a few conflicting information surrounding yoga that makes a lot of people confused.
In this article, we are going to straighten things out and determine what kind of exercise is yoga. We will also provide you some of the information you need to know to get started on yoga.
What Kind of Exercise is Yoga?
Many people claim that yoga is a strength training exercise while many people think of it as a cardio exercise. For those who do not know, yoga is a spiritual discipline that originated from India. It includes simple meditation, breathing control, and a set of specific body movements and postures.
So, what kind of exercise is yoga? For your information, yoga, just like Pilates and Tai Chi, is an example of mind-body exercise. This is because it offers benefits both our physical and mental health. The main goal of this exercise is to improve health and promote relaxation.
According to WebMd, the different yoga postures and poses help to strengthen muscles in the body. In addition to that, it helps to improve flexibility by teaching you (through breathing exercises) to focus your mind as you move your body.
Contrary to what many people believe, yoga is not just a stretching class or exercise, it can also help improve core strength and flexibility and when done consistently, the different movements can allow you to build strength.
If you are wondering if yoga can help you to lose weight, it actually can but that is only if you will perform advanced yoga poses. In addition to that, other types of yoga, like power or Bikram yoga, will require you to hold advanced yoga poses for a longer period of time, allowing you to burn more calories.
Difference Between Yoga and Regular Exercise
Yes, yoga is a form of exercise but it is different from the other types of exercises in the way that it promotes a holistic form of mind and body awareness that you cannot get from different types of exercise. To help you determine what kind of exercise is yoga, you should know how it is differentiated from regular exercise.
First, yoga is a spiritual practice while exercise is all about physical training. Yoga focuses on mind, soul, and body while exercise is just simply geared toward the improvement of physical health.
Second, exercise energizes you while yoga calms you. The different movements in a regular exercise can boost heart rate and focuses on a specific part of the body. On the other hand, yoga the flow between the different yoga postures help to release tightness in the muscles and allows your muscles to get lots of oxygen which will lead to ultimate relaxation after the session.
Lastly, exercise gives you big muscles while yoga gives you lean muscles. There is no denying the fact that exercise is effective in improving muscle growth. However, it makes your muscles less flexible because the growth shortens the muscles. On the other hand, the twisting, stretching and bending of muscles involved in yoga helps to tone and lengthen the muscles at the same time, boosting the flexibility of the body.
Do You need Equipment For Yoga?
In this type of exercise, no equipment is needed since you will be relying on your own weight for resistance. However, using a yoga mat is recommended to prevent you from sliding during the standing positions.
The yoga mat can cushion you when you are doing lying and sitting poses. Other fitness accessories that you can use for your yoga sessions include yoga ball for balance, yoga blocks for performing basic yoga poses, meditation cushion which helps to program your mind to go into a meditative headspace when you sit on it, and fitness straps which will help you to reach your feet easily.
What Are The Benefits of Yoga?
To further understand what kind of exercise is yoga you need to know are the different health benefits of yoga.
Yoga is said to improve the general health and well-being of a person by providing the following benefits:
- Improves flexibility
- Boost muscle tone and strength
- Weight loss
- Improved athletic performance
- Stronger core
- Balanced metabolism
- Lower risk of injury
- Better posture
- Better cardiovascular and circulatory health
- Reduced blood pressure
- Regulated blood sugar levels
- Improved bone health
The incorporation of breathing and meditation in yoga also offers the following mental health benefits: anxiety and depression relief, better memory and concentration, and mental health problems prevention.
Can I Do Yoga If I Have Health Condition?
If you have health problems, diabetes or high blood pressure, it is recommended that you talk with your doctor first. He may recommend that you avoid certain poses, especially those that require more balance or those that would put you in an upside down position.
If you have arthritis, Yoga is recommended as it can help improve your flexibility and boost muscle strength without putting too much stress on joints.
If you are pregnant, you can do yoga too. However, you should opt for what we call prenatal yoga. This type of yoga can help you to stay relaxed, strong and in shape during your pregnancy.
However, it is best if you will be working with an instructor who is already experienced with the said type of yoga. Avoid doing yoga on your own at home.
In addition to that, you should avoid poses that will place pressure on your belly or your lower back. Hot yoga, or Bikram yoga, is also not recommended for pregnant women.
So what kind of exercise is yoga? To sum it up, yoga falls under the category of mind- body exercise. This type of body workout incorporates stretching and strengthening movements along with deep breathing and meditation.
Even though it is not considered to be an aerobic exercise, there are advanced types of yoga, like Bikram and Power yoga that can make you sweat and burn calories.
And although it does not fall under the category of strength training exercises, prolonged and consistent yoga sessions can strengthen the different muscles in the body, especially in the arms, legs, back, and core.