Yoga is the ultimate activity for a smooth fitness, away from the gym. Hatha, Iyengar, Vinyasa, Ashtanga or Bikram, it allows to find flexibility, strength and well-being.
Yoga is, originally, a philosophy born in India some 3500 years ago. His practice has evolved and different currents have developed, enjoying great popularity. In Quebec, some thirty styles of yoga are taught, from the calmest to the most dynamic. All allow you to build muscles, work flexibility, learn to breathe, improve coordination, learn to manage stress and relax.
In a yoga class, students do series of postures, called asanas, while learning to breathe through specific exercises, called pranaya. “Depending on the style chosen, the sequences can be slow or very fast and the breathing more pronounced,” says Martine Bergeron, professor and founder of the Aloha Yoga center. The most important thing is to go without force, according to its limits and to follow the instructions of your teacher to avoid injuries.
YOGA: A COMPLETE EXERCISE
With yoga, one develops not only one’s physical form, but also one’s mind. “Yoga goes beyond the body,” says Bergeron, “It’s a way of life and people who practice it see an improvement in their daily lives; for example, they are more focused or they manage their emotions better. “As in any activity, it is the attendance that pays off. At the Aloha Yoga Center, we recommend starting with a one-hour class per week. We then increase gradually to the rhythm that we can support without constraint in the week.
YOGA STEP BY STEP
Whatever the form of yoga chosen, it is important to learn about the school, the requirements of the practice and the teacher, before enrolling in a course. Nicole Bordeleau, professor and founder of YogaMonde, strongly advises to do a trial class. “People do not realize the requirement that some forms of yoga may require and they give up,” she explains. You have to try before you choose because there is yoga for everyone. ”
Martine Bergeron proposes, if you are a beginner, to start with a basic yoga class, called Hatha Yoga. “Hatha is a gentle yoga that is the foundation of all the yoga styles that exist today,” she says. I always advise to try this one and then see what suits us best. ”
TO EACH HIS YOGA
The necessary equipment is always the same, regardless of the type of yoga: comfortable clothes and a non-slip mat. If additional material is needed, it will be provided by the teacher. Also, aside from the Bikram which requires a closed place for the heat, yoga can be practiced in the room as well as in the open air, when the weather allows it. Portrait of the most popular types of yoga:
It is the basis of all other styles. Very gentle, he teaches classical postures and initiates the exercises of breaths. Practiced regularly and with discipline, it brings flexibility, tone, muscle strengthening and better stress management. It is for those who want to learn yoga, learn the basics and evolve in their practice. It is the most taught yoga in the West.
It is a precision yoga. Demanding, he focuses on body alignment and concentration. He works in depth on the circulatory system, breathing and the mind. It also makes the legs work, increases vitality and balance. It is for those who are looking for a practice to learn to relax tension, to relax while toning up.
Vinyasa yoga (power yoga)
Also called power yoga, vinyasa is a mix of different yogas with sequences of standing and sitting postures. It requires good stamina and can sustain physical effort long enough. It is perfect for those looking for muscle building and developing endurance and cardio.
It is a very dynamic yoga with steady pace changes. The work is based on sequences of fast and precise postures. The goal is to synchronize the breath on the movement. Each session lasts between 60 and 90 minutes and ends with a few minutes of relaxation. It is suitable for those who want a dynamic yoga. It is a style that is designed to build muscles and improve flexibility. It is advised to those who suffer from the back, because it makes work the back muscles deep.
Pretty new and already very popular, the Bikram is a yoga that is practiced in a room heated to 40 ° C. The heat allows to stretch the body, to go further in the movement. This yoga improves flexibility, strengthens muscles, relieves tension and facilitates the elimination of toxins. The body is refined and toned. It is not recommended for those with cardiovascular problems or inflammatory diseases.