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Unlike other forms of exercise, yoga does much more than burn calories and tone muscles. This ancient form of wellbeing is over 5000 years old and is effective for both mind and body.
The physical benefits of yoga are proven to:
Besides physical benefits, Yoga also has a lot of mental benefits like:
There are many other forms of yoga, but the most commonly taught forms in yoga studios are Hatha, Ashtanga, Bikram, Vinyasa, Kundalini, Iyengar and Power Yoga. Every type of yoga is aimed to take your flexibility and strength to the next level, but you may be more inclined towards one form than the other. It is best if you browse the yoga studios on our list to understand what their form of yoga involves and what benefits they offers.
That’s a great idea! A desk job involves many hours of sitting still and often encourages bad posture and related health conditions. Yoga can help undo the damage of a sedentary lifestyle to a large extent and prevent further damage.
Once you have spent some time in yoga studios, you’ll know the moves that work for you. You’ll be able to do a quick session of stretching at your desk and those niggling aches and pains of desk work will be greatly reduced. The meditation and mindfulness skills that you learn will also help when you’re stressed at work.
While yoga benefits the body in a variety of ways, the most common goal for practicing yoga remains weight loss. However, yoga always promotes a healthy lifestyle rather than skinny body goals or crash dieting to achieve weight loss. This means that weight loss may be slower with yoga studios than other forms of fitness, but it will have long-term benefits on your physical and mental health.
While yoga and Pilates are both great for our wellbeing, they target slightly different aspects of our minds and bodies.
Yoga is low-impact and aims at improving your mental and spiritual wellbeing through breathing exercises, meditation and poses designed to relax and realign you. The poses are usually challenging and can work to improve flexibility, strength and posture. Sometimes props like blocks or buckles are used in yoga practice, but nothing too intense.
Pilates aims at muscle rehabilitation and while it is still low-impact, it has a bigger focus on fitness. The movements are designed to tone, strengthen and improve posture. It’s quite common to use equipment like reformer beds and medicine balls to bands and weights. Additionally, while yoga focuses on breathing to evoke a sense of relaxation, breath is predominantly used give energy to muscles in Pilates.
If your goal is to get spiritual and work on your mind through meditation, then yoga is for you. If you want to get strong, tone up and work those core muscles, give Pilates a try.
Interested in Pilates, yoga or both? Avaana can connect you with the best yoga and Pilates instructors near you. So, chuck on some tights, roll out your mat and get stretching!