Updated: Sep 6, 2019
My Saturday love, yoga that is. My love for yoga began back in September of 2018. My mornings consists of a daily routine beginning with body stretching, meditating, and praise and worship. As I was doing my body stretches, I started incorporating yoga into the exercises. The strange part of it was that I didn’t even know I was doing yoga poses, but something in me just all of sudden wanted to do yoga. I began searching on Pinterest and Google for easy and simple poses I can do in the morning. The more I did my stretching exercises and yoga, I noticed I was more flexible and relax, but I did not want to bring harm to myself, so I joined a yoga class at my job’s health and fitness gym where I could get more clear and understanding of the body mechanics because when it comes to yoga, it is based on breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures.
What was awesome about my yoga class was that, I was the only one in the class, so it was like having a personal yoga trainer. My instructor who is from Ukraine invited me to another yoga class that she was teaching at, but the difference was this class was a heated yoga class. Yes, heated in 86 degrees of hotness! She gave me the name of the studio and stated that the owner was a great instructor. I checked out the website and noticed it was just 10 minutes away from my house and the big bonus for me was that the owner name Mariam was an African American woman. So I said immediately to myself, "Let me sign up now." After one class, I was sold, but I must admit only after 10 minutes into the class I was sweating like a pig left in the dessert to defend for his life. I even had the nerve to get my lashes done the day before the class. I am surprised those bad boys didn’t fall off my eyes, but we both made it and every since then, my Saturday Vinyasa yoga became my self-love fuel to my mind, body and soul.
Yoga is now becoming one of the most self-care practices among both women and men, but there are also many people who don’t know what yoga is and what class would be best for them because there are so many different types of yoga. Also, many people have the assumption that you need to already know yoga to attend a class. The answer to that assumption is a big no. You do not have to know how to practice yoga, but it is important to take a beginner’s class, so you can be introduced in a slow-paced class to learn the different stretches and breathing techniques because this will help you to maintain poses and help you concentrate on your breathing.
What is Yoga? Yoga is an old discipline from India. It is both spiritual and physical. Yoga uses breathing techniques, exercise and meditation. It helps to improve your health and happiness. A person doing yoga will move from one posture to another which is typically practiced on a yoga mat.
There are 14 different types of yoga styles, and these styles can range from new beginners to athletics advanced. The yoga style I do is the Hot and Bikram Yoga - Vinyasa Power Flow style:
Hot and Bikram Yoga- Vinyasa Power Flow (Heated) is the class I take every Saturday. The hot yoga is done in a studio that is heated to 85+ degrees and consists of both women and men of different diversities. Usually this class is set to empower the mind, body and soul. It inspires you to challenge and push yourself. You will sweat, but it is so much fun. The class is designed for the yogis to transition from pose to pose. The class begins with several rounds of sun salutations. Basically, yoga moves through standing series focusing on core strength and balance and concludes with a floor series of postures that takes you deep into the practice. Once you consistently attend the classes you will learn the different yoga poses such as the Child’s pose, Chair pose, Downward-Facing Dog, Warrior pose and so many more. Oh, did I mention with the heat and all the sweating from the yoga exercises it contributes to weight loss? Yes, it does! I thought that little piece of information would be great for those people who don’t like the gym.
What are some of the benefits of yoga?
Stress-relief- Yoga helps manage stress and anxiety and thereby reduces their harmful effects on your body.
Better Sleep- Yoga will make you less stressed and thereby help you sleep better. Chile, I have fell into a good sleep on my mat a couple of times after class.
More Strength: Yoga gives a full workout to all the muscles of your body so, overtime, you gain a lot of all-over strength.
Flexibility and mobility- Yoga makes you more flexible and that helps increase your mobility as well. Therefore, you can do everyday movements like kneeling, bending or reaching out for something with ease.
Increases Self-esteem- This is one of my favorite benefits of yoga because I am a Self-love Coach and I am a believer in practicing what I teach. If I am going to teach women the importance of embracing self-love, joy and internal happiness then I need to teach them from my own experience and from my own knowledge and yoga does that for me. Practicing yoga would help you explore a different side of yourself. It would make you feel good about yourself and helps you take a positive approach in life.
Weight management- Even though yoga is a spiritual practice, it is also a kind of exercise that can help you lose weight and maintain it in the long run.
Hotter sex: Yoga tends to raise the testosterone levels in the bloodstream thereby leading to an increased appetite for sex in both men and women. Yoga also makes you more confident in bed and heightens the sexual experience. That Flexibility does Wonders!
There are so many more benefits and plenty of resources out there in the internet world about yoga. My favorite reference is the Yoga Journal. It has tons of free information and free videos that you can utilize to learn how to do yoga in the comfort of your own home. I hope this will help you get your days started on your very own journey of yoga, until then as we say in the yoga world, Namaste.
BONUS: Here's a video of singer Chrisette Michele talking about the importance of practice of yoga in your lifestyle.