Yoga Workouts for Beginners
Yoga Workouts for Seniors
Yoga Workouts for Men
Science-Backed Benefits of Practicing Yoga
These benefits are supported by studies that suggest yoga may have a positive impact on a person's life.
Physical health benefits
- 17 studies suggest that yoga improves health-related qualities of life by way of reduced fatigue and reduced sleep disturbances based on a 2017 analysis of 24 studies with a total of 2,166 participants.
- Yoga is often effective in promoting weight loss and improvements in body composition when done consistently and with a carefully monitored dietary program, based on a 2013 analysis.
- Yoga may be effective in reducing neck pain, chronic low back pain, and several other chronic pain symptoms, based on a 2019 analysis of 10 different trails with a total of 686 participants.
Mental health benefits
- Most types of yoga have positive effects on stress reduction in healthy individuals, based on a 2020 analysis of 12 articles relating ot the effects of yoga or yoga-related interventions on stress management and remission.
Always speak to your doctor before starting a new exercise program
This is repeated again due to its high level of importance. If you have any concerns about yoga and your health, your doctor will be able to help you determine what is and is not safe for you.
Now that you know the basics of getting started with yoga, it's time to hit the mat and see for yourself what yoga can do for your mind, body, and soul. Below are 10 must-know poses we recommend attending before any class.
There’s a yoga class for everyone, no matter your age or fitness level. Yoga can help improve flexibility, breathing, and strength. It’s a low-impact exercise that can be done by people of all ages and fitness levels. In this article, we will explore the different types of yoga classes available for beginners. We will also provide tips on how to get started with yoga.
How to Get Started as a Beginner
Determine your class type
Given there are several different types of yoga, determining the right one for you will bring the long-term success. Those new to yoga, but may have an athletic background as a being a former athlete, current runner, weight lifter, swimmer, etc. will likely find vinyasa yoga or Bikram yoga, also called original hot yoga or '26 and 2', classes the most enjoyable.
Vinyasa yoga comes from the Sanskrit term nyasa which means ‘to place’ and vi means ‘in a special way.’ Vinyasa yoga links breath and movement. Vinyasa uses a sequence of yoga poses (asanas) called sun salutations (Surya Namaskar) in the beginning of class as a warm up which includes these common yoga poses (Chaturanga to Upward-Facing Dog to Downward-Facing Dog).
Vinyasa yoga can be called Power Yoga, Baptiste Yoga, Ashtanga, Jivamukti, and Prana Flow. Vinyasa yoga classes can move in an easy, slow flow or faster with strength or power.
Bikram yoga is also called original 'hot yoga' and '26 and 2' named after the 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises in the class. Bikram yoga is a series of beginner postures slowly done in a quiet hot room. Bikram yoga is known for improving joint mobility, balance, circulation, and focus, while allowing for a deep meditation.
Yin yoga is a quiet introspective class with soft, slow or no music. Yin yoga targets connective tissues which include tendons, ligaments and fascia networks of the body with the focus of increasing circulation and flexibility in the joints. Postures, or asanas, may be held for one to five minutes or more. The sequences of yin postures are intended to stimulate subtle bodies called 'meridians' from Chinese medicine.
Other Yoga Types
Seniors or those with limited mobility may want to try yoga classes that are more gentle and slower paced. These classes typically focus on yoga poses that are easier to hold and less strenuous.
Restorative yoga is a style of yoga that allows for mental, physical, and emotional relaxation. Restorative yoga is for all levels and is practiced at a slow pace, focusing on stillness, long holds, and deep breathing.
Chair yoga is an excellent option for getting started. Chair yoga can be done at home in a chair and offers support for those with limited balance and mobility or who run the risk of injury if they were to fall.
Choose a yoga studio
Once you have determined the type of yoga class you would like to take, it is time to choose a yoga studio. While you may begin your practice at home, it's highly recommended to join a studio. You will be able to learn from others, socialize, and become a part of a yoga community. Many studios offer a one week or one month trial with minimal cost.
Not all yoga studios offer beginner classes, so be sure to call ahead and ask. You may also want to attend a few beginner classes before committing to a studio. This will help you get an idea of the style of yoga being taught and the atmosphere of the studio.
Get the necessary equipment
A yoga mat and athletic clothes are the bare bone essentials to getting started with most practices. Most yoga studios will have mats available for rent or purchase, but you may want to bring your own if you have one.
Yoga is typically done barefoot and you can wear any type of comfortable clothing. Many people prefer loose-fitting or spandex-like material that moves with the body with ease.
Check with your doctor
If you have any health concerns, injuries, or limitations, it's always a good idea to check with your doctor before beginning a new exercise routine.
Yoga is a low-impact form of exercise, however, there are some yoga poses that may not be suitable for those with certain health conditions. Your doctor can help you determine what is and is not suitable for you.
10 Must-Know Poses
Below are roughly 10 beginner yoga poses that are used in most classes.
- Downward Dog Pose
- Warrior 1, 2, 3
- Cobra Pose
- Chair Pose
- Bridge Pose
- Mountain Pose
- Low Lunge Pose
- Corpse Pose
- Child's Pose
- Sun Salutation sequence
What yoga should a beginner start with?
If you are just starting out, there are numerous beginner-friendly routines on YouTube. Try searching for "beginner vinyasa," to get started. Otherwise, reach out to your local studio for a beginner class schedule.
How often should I do yoga as a beginner?
It is recommended that you yoga 2-4 times per week as a beginner if you want to improve quickly. Keep the intensity low as you start off and take a day or two of rest in between classes. As you become more experienced, you may want to increase the frequency.
How long should I do yoga as a beginner?
Classes typically last 60-90 minutes, but if you are just starting out, it is perfectly fine to do yoga for 30 minutes a day
Can you lose weight doing beginner yoga?
Yes, yoga can help with weight loss. However, it is important to keep in mind that you will need to do yoga regularly and combine it with a diet plan that can support your increase in exercise. Consult with your doctor before beginning any new workout or nutrition program.
What type of yoga is best for seniors?
Chair yoga, restorative yoga, and a slow vinyasa or hatha yoga are all great options for seniors. These classes focus on gentle stretching and relaxation.
Is yoga good for a 70 year old woman?
Yes, yoga can be good for a 70 year old woman. However, it is important to check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program
How often should elderly do yoga?
Experienced seniors may practice yoga anywhere from 3-4 times a week or more. Keep the intensity low as you start off and take a day or two of rest in between sessions. Frequency and intensity should be determined by your and your doctor.
Can an 80 year old do yoga?
Yes, an 80 year old can do yoga. However, it is important to check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program.
Is yoga good for men?
Yes, yoga can be beneficial for men when done consistently over time. It is important to determine what you want to get out of regular practice and adjust your frequency and intensity to that goal.
Why is yoga so hard for men?
Yoga may be challenging for men at first because it requires a joint range of motion, balance and strength. Men tend to have higher levels of testosterone, large muscle mass, heavily developed muscles or repeated limited movements which could affect joint movement.
Is it weird for a guy to go to a yoga class?
No, yoga classes are for everyone. Men can benefit greatly from yoga.
How often should men do yoga?
Men should yoga 3-4 times per week to start seeing benefits. Frequency and intensity can be adjusted based on your goals.