In celebration of International Yoga Day on June 21, 2020, here is a quick yoga 101. Thanks to Stacey Matsuda for contributing this article!
Yoga has blown up to become one of the most popular trends in the fitness world. You can find hundreds of different yoga trends across boutique fitness studios including hot yoga classes, yoga strength classes, yoga-pilates fusion, and even goat yoga (yes, goat yoga! Check it out here). Yoga is not only just a physical workout, but also a lifelong spiritual and mental practice. And most importantly, yoga is for everyone!
Here are some yoga basics:
What is yoga?
Yoga is a combination of physical and mental exercises that is practiced all around the world. Yoga is such an ancient practice that it is hard to pinpoint the date of its origin, but it is thought to have originated in India. The building blocks of a yoga are yoga poses, also referred to by its sanskrit name, asanas. Yoga poses can be modified up or down for any difficulty level. The word “yoga” comes from the root word yug which literally translates to joining. And that is what yoga is – the practice of joining a series of poses or postures to the breath, and the joining of the mind, body, and soul.
Today, there are numerous interpretations of the practice of yoga that have evolved into different variations of the practice of yoga. Some of the most popular practices are vinyasa yoga, bikram yoga, hatha, and yin yoga. I encourage you to read about a few different types here and try what works best for you. You can personalize yoga to fit your individual preferences.
Why practice yoga?
Most people get into yoga to help calm the mind and practice difficult skills like patience, kindness, and humility. However, yoga has also shown repeatedly to have significant health benefits.
A few benefits include:
- Increased flexibility and strength helps to prevent injuries
- Weight reduction
- Improved cardio and circulatory health
- Increased respiration, energy, and vitality
- Creates mental clarity and calmness
- Centers the attention and sharpens concentration
How do I start?
Just jump right in! You may feel comfortable heading to your nearest studio, but if you’d rather start in the comfort of your own home, there are plenty of options on YouTube and almost every studio now offers virtual classes (either live or on-demand).
See my video on how to get started with a few basic yoga 101 poses
You can also use some of the basics on our website here.
- Most importantly, remember to have fun!
- Remember to be patient! Yoga is a practice and NOT about perfection. We may see pictures of perfect yoga poses on Instagram that can look intimidating, but remember that those people often take YEARS to be able to achieve those poses.
- Ask a friend or family member to practice with you and have fun exploring! Some types of yoga are not for everyone, so take your time and find what works for you! If you like it and have fun, you’re more likely to make it a habit.
I am a pharmacist and yoga instructor.
- Medical Affairs Consultant, Adama Pharmaceuticals.
- Vendor Operations Analyst, US Medical Affairs, Genentech.
- Pharm D., University of Colorado Scaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science.
If you’d like to contact me, please send me a message through our Contact page.