About The Health Benefits Of Yoga Training

You hear a lot of talk about the health benefits of yoga. As teachers, we see our students change on a daily basis; but the buzz about what we do and what we see can quickly be put in its place by a Doubting Thomas who says, "Prove it." There is a reason why every yoga teacher needs to know about the proven health benefits in studies, research, trials, and exactly where to find the facts. We can put the next Doubting Thomas back in a closet, and all of this research is good for expanding our minds.

Proven Yoga Health Benefits

Yoga is a system of health maintenance that attempts to combine the body, mind, and spirit into an integrated unit to promote health and increase longevity. The yoga positions, called asanas, are combined with breathing exercises and mental concentration, to encourage a state of physical calm and mental clarity. Yogic practice is thought to go back before Vedic times, but today, scientists are learning about its true value as an aid to health.

Reducing Depression

The practice of yoga can have measurable effects on well-being and mood. A 2012 University of Michigan study showed that yoga can help pregnant women, who were considered at high risk for postpartum depression, benefited from a 10-week period of yoga exercises. Because pregnancy hormones have been linked to the incidence of depression after the birth of the child, the study investigated whether a pre-emptive approach to stress relief, through yoga, would reduce the incidence of women with this condition. Results showed that women were able to manage stress symptoms more easily and were more accepting of non-pharmaceutical methods for controlling depressive symptoms, leading to both healthier mothers and healthier babies. The reduced stress also allowed for better bonding between mother and child.

Decreasing Inflammation

A study done at Ohio State University, in 2010, found that subjects, who did yoga on a regular basis, had lower levels of a chemical called IL-6, cytokine interleukin, in their bloodstreams. This chemical is implicated in higher incidences of inflammation in the body and is linked to heart disease, type-2 diabetes, stroke and other age-related diseases. The results suggest that yoga exercise can help to reduce inflammation throughout the body and improve health as people age.

Lower Back Pain

Yoga has also been found to significantly improve pain and disability from chronic low back pain. A 2009 study from the Department of Community Medicine, at West Virginia University, found that subjects, who practiced yoga over a 24-week period, had reduced pain symptoms, greater function, fewer symptoms of depression and a trend toward using less medication than the control group. These results suggest that people, who suffer from chronic lower back conditions, should consider yoga classes as a valuable therapeutic alternative.

Emotional Benefits of Yoga Training

In addition to the many ways yoga helps your body, it also has many emotional benefits. People, who practice yoga, usually find that they are more relaxed and centered after a session. Over time, this can carry over into everyday life. Let's look at some of the emotional and psychological advantages to yoga training.

Stress is one of the biggest problems of modern life. It has been associated with many medical conditions, including obesity and high blood pressure. Yoga is one of the best methods to reduce stress, for several reasons.

Exercise, in general, can be effective for relieving stress, but yoga is especially good for accomplishing this. Yoga postures force the practitioner to focus on the details of each movement. This not only works out the body, but gives the mind a useful task upon which to concentrate.

Another reason yoga is so beneficial in this regard is that it promotes deep breathing. Stress is associated with shallow and fast breathing. When you are stressed out, you also tend to breathe higher up, through the chest or lungs, and not the abdomen. Yoga teaches you to slow down your breathing and to breathe through your diaphragm. This can very quickly help you feel more centered and relaxed.

More Research

Yoga can also make you feel more positive and confident. A 2010 study, conducted at the Boston School of Medicine, found that yoga is more effective than walking - when it comes to reducing anxiety and putting people in a better mood. This suggests that yoga might be effective for helping people with depression and other mood disorders, though more research has to be done before this can be stated conclusively.

One indirect way yoga can be emotionally beneficial is in its ability to help you get a better night's sleep. Lack of sleep can cause quite a bit of stress and other emotional difficulties. Yoga training can be useful for giving the body a workout that's stimulating, yet not so stimulating that it interferes with sleep. Unlike many other types of exercise, you can practice many yoga postures close to bedtime.

There are many emotional, as well as physical benefits, to practicing yoga. Many people find that certain postures, or styles of yoga, are particularly helpful for certain purposes, such as relaxing or winding down after a day at work. There is little doubt that practicing yoga can help a person feel better in many ways.

Yoga Calms the Mind

The breathing techniques of yoga are designed to calm the mind, body, and soul. By concentrating on the in and out rhythm of your breathing, you are forced to be in the present moment, as opposed to worrying about the past or future. It helps clear the mind of all the unnecessary worry and preoccupation with everything that is going on in life and what needs to get done. It cleanses the palette of the mind, if you will, and prepares for a new day. That way you can start afresh after your cleansing, instead of continuing to allow those thoughts to compound and clutter the mind.

Yoga Increases Body Awareness

Yoga teaches how to become in tune with your body and to be able to recognize when it is being held in a state of tension or anxiety, both which are dangerous health risks and contribute to the onset of stroke, heart attack, panic attacks and extreme anxiety. Yoga teaches you to recognize when your body is in this state of stress and tension. By knowing what physical warning signs to look for, and how the body reacts physically, you can then use the yoga breathing techniques to calm the body back to its normal state, where you are at peace and feel in control, calm, and balanced. Concentrating on breath and body, through these yoga practices, eases tension and relaxes the mind and body. Some of the physical warning signs that the body is under stress include:

• Clenched fists

• Gritting teeth

• Labored breathing

• Tightened or clinched muscles

• Excessive fidgeting

• Restlessness

Yoga Enhances Overall Well-being

We all know that exercise relieves stress and tension. There are, however, many who cannot do strenuous exercises due to one medical reason or another. For these people, yoga is a welcomed alternative to vigorous exercise routines. Yoga focuses largely on stretching the body and deep breathing. While not a high impact or strenuous workout, yoga is very powerful and has beneficial effects on the body, mind, and soul. The stretching elongates the muscles and limbers them up - making it easier to get around and accomplish everyday tasks in your daily routine. It increases blood circulation, pumping more blood to the heart and brain, which gives you a boost of energy and flexibility. The heavy breathing increases oxygen to the blood and heart, which increases alertness and relaxes the body, while ridding it of negative or toxic thoughts, through visualization. By envisioning the inhaling as taking in positive energy and the exhaling as releasing the negative, yoga invokes a feeling of overall well being and peace.

Not Just for the Body

Yoga is not just for the body, though it does have a positive affect on the limbs and joints. It is designed as a mind, body, and soul experience that enhances overall well being. It has far reaching benefits and is an excellent form of exercise for all ages.

Benefits of Kundalini Yoga

Although the aim of Kundalini Yoga is to awaken the coiled energy at the base of the spine, the practice itself provides a number of benefits that can be enjoyed while striving to achieve a full awakening. With the help of effective breathing techniques and gentle movements, this form of yoga can greatly reduce stress and bring happiness into your life.

Reduced Stress

Kundalini focuses greatly on yogic breathing (pranayama), and there are quite a few techniques that provide varying positive effects on the mind and body. Many of these techniques encourage long, deep breaths, which help to relax the body and melt away stress. The movements that are practiced also help to stretch and loosen muscles. Simply relieving tension in the body can greatly reduce your stress levels and improve your mood.

Strengthened Core

Many Kundalini movements and techniques work the core or abdominal muscles. Breath of fire, in particular, works the navel center. A strong core is essential in yoga and helps to improve your posture in daily life. The navel chakra is also associated with emotions, so strengthening your core muscles can go a long way in helping you better control your emotions and handle life's many triggers to stress.

Present Moment Awareness

Part of the reason why so many people are drawn to this particular type of yoga is the fact that it allows them to easily bring themselves into the present moment. Breath of fire, left nostril breathing, and the movements associated with Kundalini Yoga, all require great concentration and awareness. Practitioners find that they are able to leave their past behind and forget their anticipation of the future during their yoga sessions. Being in the present moment, allows you to appreciate what you already have and worry less about what you do not have.

Improved Lung Capacity

The breathing techniques practiced in Kundalini Yoga greatly improve lung capacity. Most people today do not know how to breathe properly, which can be detrimental to both physical and mental health. When lung capacity is improved, more oxygen can flow through the body. In turn, memory is improved and mental clarity can be achieved. Higher oxygen levels also allow the body to move freely and reduce muscle tension.

A Sense of Peace and Joy

Much like other forms of yoga, Kundalini improves the practitioner's overall emotional well-being. Meditation plays a major role in this practice, which keeps the mind grounded and provides peace of mind. Taking time out of your day, to relax and calm your mind, will bring forth great joy and happiness.

The Safety of Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini Yoga, the "yoga of awareness," which is also known as Laya Yoga, incorporates all branches and aspects of yoga traditions. Some Kundalini practitioners refer to it as "the mother of all forms of yoga." Through the awakening of Kundalini energy, the practice aims to bring individuals, not only personal awareness, but to also unleash the ability to compassionately serve the needs of others. Practitioners feel it is Kundalini's life force energy that can balance the nervous and glandular systems, chakras and meridians. Through a wide range of techniques, students of Kundalini Yoga are often able to arrive at intense physical and emotional states.

It is such powerful experiences that cause some to question the safety of Kundalini Yoga. It has been touted, however, as not only safe, but also therapeutic for complex emotional disorders. This appealing possibility is precisely what David S. Shannahoff-Khalsa, PhD of Bangalore's Sri Vivekananda Yoga University, an expert in both yoga and psychiatry, claims in his 2010 book "Kundalini Yoga Meditation for Complex Psychiatric Disorders." His case histories include examples ranging from ADHD and Autism, to personality and mood disorders, that were all treated with Kundalini Yoga. This drug-free therapy, he claims, has more than proven itself, not only safe for personal growth, but also an effective tool for healing.

Dr. Shannahoff-Khalsa's view of yoga, as a safe therapeutic option, has been supported by numerous scientists, including researchers from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and the Neurology Department at RML Hospital and PGIMER, GGS-IP University in New Delhi. Their 2007 study concluded that patients received statistically greater relief from symptoms by practicing yoga, as compared to controls that received medication.

With so many researchers hailing the safety and therapeutic value of Kundalini Yoga, why is there reason for concern? Lifelong yoga practitioner, William J. Broad, covers the potential problems of Kundalini Yoga in his comprehensive 2012 book, "The Science of Yoga: The Myths and Rewards." He describes that nerve damage, including thoracic outlet syndrome and quadriplegia, has arisen in certain cases during poses such as headstands. Practitioners, however, do not as often mention these rarities as being their primary fear. They instead describe anecdotal evidence, that unleashing the power of Kundalini energy, can be a mentally destabilizing experience, requiring precise breathing to direct this force toward either destruction or healing. Science has shown, however, that guided Kundalini Yoga practice can bring mental clarity, and even mental healing, to its practitioners.

Teaching Yoga To Cancer Patients

Yoga is an art form that is greatly appreciated for its positive effects on the body. Physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health are each enhanced through the practice of yoga and other holistic methods. Yoga is a calm and relaxing method of strengthening the body and ridding it of toxins, making it an ideal exercise for patients who have long-term or terminal illnesses. Cancer is a disease that is growing rapidly in today's world, but few know the benefits of yoga to cancer patients.

The illness itself is not the only thing that negatively affects cancer patients; the majority of treatments, such as radiation therapy or chemotherapy, also have long-term detrimental effects. While the symptoms and signs of the disease can be terrible and debilitating, the treatments can be just as harsh on the body. It is important for these patients to find ways to alleviate some of their pain, without medication and more potentially painful treatments, as these things can sometimes be more harmful than helpful, when considering a long-term period of illness.

Metastatic, malignant cancer cells are not the only toxins circulating in the bodies of cancer patients. The remnants of treatment can remain in the body for long periods of time and may produce illness later. Yoga increases blood flow without increasing blood pressure, and gentle poses will assist in balancing metabolic processes and increasing the activity of the lymphatic system, beginning the elimination of these toxins from the system. The slow movements and deep, therapeutic breathing increase oxygen flow in the body, allowing for further toxin removal.

Not only are there physical benefits to teaching yoga to cancer patients, but the mental and emotional benefits are great. Yoga has been proven to reduce anxiety and stress, alleviate migraines, and relieves tension throughout the entire body. Anxiety and tension have been linked directly to immunosuppressant effects, and by reducing these feelings in the body, patients are increasing their body's own natural defense against illness, including cancer.

The beginning lessons may be difficult for some cancer patients, particularly if their body has succumbed to the illness greatly, but the benefits of yoga are worth the initial rough start. The deep breathing exercises (pranayama) are also an important aspect of teaching yoga to cancer patients. As time progresses, patients will find that regular, restorative yoga exercises helps them cleanse their bodies and gives them a sense of comfort and ease, washing away their anxieties and worries.

Is A Thriving Yoga Business A Fantasy?

There is one word that probably describes best what most successful yoga business owners have in common - transformation. The ability to transform their thoughts, creativity, and spiritual energy toward building a successful business probably helps explain why some succeed and others struggle. Transformation is very much a part of Yoga practice. Combining tenants of Yoga practice, with elements of business will create a thriving yoga studio.

Just as yoga instructors teach physical balance to their students, creating balance between yoga and business building is a must. Those who fail to implement crucial business aspects may ultimately find owning a business isn't for them. Keeping in mind a few tips and objectives will soon turn fantasies into thriving studio realities.

One of the first things to consider is what type of Yoga class will be taught. This may seem like a simple, maybe even insignificant thing, but in fact, it is a huge first step into balancing objectives, creating financial forecasts, and marketing plans. Some types of yoga instruction will create the need for larger spaces, translating into a larger studio, and a more expensive monthly budget. This will also mean more students are needed to cover expenses.

It's also best to consider the demographics of the area, and who the students will be. This might also assist in deciding a location for the business, which will also help forecast your yoga business overhead costs. Some sides of a city may have cheap studio rent, but may not attract the clientele needed. Knowing who the customers are, and which side of a city to open a yoga studio, is key to success.

The best idea is to start with types of instruction that require minimal space, and also types of yoga that appeal to a large audience, which means several classes, and larger profits. Those yoga teachers that have been traveling from one studio to the other, or have been working at an individual studio may be in an excellent position to draw students in. This also offers excellent opportunities to rent a studio within a studio. Rent a room at an already existing dance, martial arts, gymnastics or Pilates studio and you have an instant business, with clients already familiar with you.

Depending on the type of weather in your area, there is another way of keeping overhead down by offering yoga classes in the park or at the beach. This allows for tranquil settings with no building fee. Don't forget to make a business plan, and create methods of marketing. Be creative, stay balanced, and transform your thoughts into yoga business realities by taking small and gradual steps forward.

Yoga Poses for Beginners

Yoga can seem overwhelming to a beginner because there are literally thousands of poses and techniques that could be learned - and like many experts say, there is no end in learning yoga. If you've recently decided to practice yoga, it is advisable that you learn the most basic poses first. Once you've mastered the basics, you can move on to more complicated ones.

Here are the most basic categories of yoga poses/asanas that you should start practicing:

Standing Asanas

Standing poses are usually performed during the beginning of a yoga class to generate heat in the body. Beginners may find these to be more complex than other categories, but they work plenty of muscles in the body all at once which offers a variety of benefits. In Hatha yoga, standing asanas are performed individually between each pose in a yoga sequence. Some of the most basic standing asanas include Mountain, Triangle, Pyramid, Lunge, Downward Facing Dog and Warrior I, II and III.

Seated Asanas

Unlike standing poses, seated ones are usually performed towards the end of a yoga class when the body has warmed up fully. Most seated stretches work the hips and the hamstrings. The Easy Pose, Staff, Cobbler, Seated Forward Bend, Head to Knee and Seated Wide-Legged Straddle are among the most basic yoga seated poses.

Supine Asanas

It is important for beginners to learn supine poses as they are usually done during breaks in between sequences to rest the body. Yoga resting poses continue working the hips and the hamstrings from seated poses. The Child's Pose, Corpse, Goddess, Legs Up the Wall and Pelvic Tilts are basic yoga supine poses that you should learn first.

Balancing Asanas

Learning balancing asanas is vital for a beginner as they help develop the body's core strength, which is important when learning more advanced ones. Beginners may find balancing poses to be difficult at first but with constant practice, they can be mastered easily. The Tree, Plank and Hands and Knees Balance are a few yoga balancing poses important for beginners to learn.

Back Bends

Back bends are performed to keep the spine healthy and for longevity as ancient yogis believe. When learning back bends, it is important to do some warm-ups to help the body prepare for such poses and to avoid injury. Some of the most basic yoga back bend

Yoga Props Today

The reasons why yoga props will always have a place in every studio and class, no matter what the skill level or flexibility of the practitioners, is because they elevate the integrity of many poses and allow those who would not otherwise be able to get into said poses, due to flexibility limitations, to access them properly.

Even the yoga mat can be considered a potent prop beyond just providing a consistent, padded, absorbent surface to practice on. The shape of the mat beneath one's feet provides a grounding focus for the eyes, while training in balancing moves. It provides a consistent means of spacing the feet out against its edges in lunges, warriors, and triangles. The edges of the mat encourage a goal point for putting weight on the outside edges of the feet and heels.

Blocks serve a great purpose for both advanced yoga practitioners and beginners. Wide-legged postures for both naturally flexible individuals, and for those who have gotten there with great effort, is pertinent to maintaining the health of the hip girdle. Regular stretching of the hips keeps the hamstrings, IT bands and calves loose to maintain the integrity of the walking stride as well as the running stride. Hard (bamboo or wooden) yoga blocks make excellent steps from which to continue calf stretching.

Yoga straps are necessary for building back flexibility, especially since doing bridges will not help create space between vertebrate. Bridges may be useful for those who have the flexibility and shoulder strength to maintain them from the get go, but yoga straps are especially necessary for those who are not to the point of doing strong bridges that maintain wrist integrity. Equal back flexibility throughout the vertebral column is important for sustaining lengthened and open pectoral, intercostal, and psoas muscles. Keeping all of these areas limber will help prevent back, shoulder and neck pain, that results from a modern technological lifestyle and sitting for long hours. A great way to start building flexibility with a yoga strap is to begin in pigeon pose with the yoga strap wrapped around the ankle of the straight leg. A yoga block under the higher hip of the bent leg will be helpful for maintaining balance. Bend the back knee, while pulling on the strap overhead, feeling stretch in your shoulders. Bend the back leg. Your back will follow.

Props Today and Tomorrow

The world of yoga is always changing. Although the basic moves and philosophy remain the same, there are great innovations when it comes to props. Many instructors and yoga enthusiasts now include props as an integral component of their yoga sessions to get the most out of their routine. When props accompany yoga exercises, participants are able to adapt their movements. This is especially helpful for individuals who are pregnant, have had injuries, or deal with chronic pain. Props can allow individuals to extend their movements as well. Many of the popular props can be seen at a glance below.

Stretch Straps

Stretch straps are always an excellent accessory for an intense yoga session. While there is nothing new about the concept of a strap or resistance band, many stretch straps have been improved with the addition of numerous handholds. As participants work their way through a stretch or move, they can continue to progress through the handholds until their flexibility improves.

Socks and Gloves with Grips

While they are not necessarily a prop, socks and gloves with grips are an excellent addition to get the most out of a yoga workout. From having more stability on the floor, to a better hold on the soles of the feet, this simple piece of footwear can prevent injury and help a person to get to the next level.

Yoga Bench Accompanied with Stretch Bands

A variety of yoga benches have been created that have versatile functions. From using it as a prop for enhanced strength and flexibility, to having a mount for a handstand, it can propel one's yoga performance to new heights. Add stretch bands to combine resistance training with traditional yoga poses.

Yoga Bolster

Yoga bolsters act as a cushion and provide comfort while performing stretches. These supportive props are available in a range of sizes. Some are inflatable, allowing users to adjust the amount of air, in order to improve each yoga pose. They are a positive addition to any routine, as they assist in creating safe conditions during exercising.

Ergonomic Seat Accessories

For a yoga teacher, the principles of using props in classes, for posture alignment, create a form of exercise that can improve skeletal health and become a way of life for students. Therefore, it is only natural that yoga props should also carry over into everyday life. Ergonomic seats have been designed to encourage good posture for this very reason. The fact is: As yoga props develop, so will every day furniture in the average office and home. Hatha yoga is good for skeletal health and props will continue to evolve, due to the number of people who are taking preventative action to reduce or eliminate pain.

Insight Into the Benefits of Power Yoga

Yoga provides lasting transformation and instant gratification - both of which are very important in the fitness world. Physical exercise that is monotonous can often be discouraging and can lead to stagnation. Yoga, however, can help to change your mental and physical capacity at a faster rate and can help to prepare your body and mind for health that will last long-term. Yoga can be practiced by people of all ages and this is considered a major advantage of Yoga. Yoga helps to improve your overall health and fitness while helping to relive stress. Yoga helps to get you more focused by un-cluttering your mind.

Different styles of Yoga are practiced across the globe such as relaxation yoga, power yoga, prenatal yoga, hot yoga, etc. You can pick a style of Yoga that fits your lifestyle and benefit from the many advantages that Yoga has to offer you. Yoga focuses on flexibility and strength training and this will help you to strengthen your body from the inside out. The Yoga postures will strengthen your muscles and reinforce the muscles located around your spine. The spine is considered the core of the body and if you are able to strengthen your spine, many issues related to your back, neck and shoulder could be rectified. Yoga also helps to improve your body posture and this can help you to prevent medical problems that are related to your back, shoulder and neck.

Power Yoga

Power Yoga has its roots from Hatha Yoga and is a style of Yoga that originated from the United States. Power Yoga became popular in the US during the mid 1990s and was created to make Astanga Yoga more accessible to the people in the Western countries. The emphasis of power yoga is on strength and flexibility and the way it is practiced will differ from one teacher to the other. Power yoga was responsible for bringing Yoga into the gyms of the US, where people began to consider it as a unique way to workout.

Benefits of Power Yoga

    It will help to increase strength, flexibility and endurance.
    The holding postures practiced in the routine will test the physical stamina and mental endurance of your body as you will have to hold the postures for extended breaths.
    This routine will help you to increase your arm and shoulder strength, as you will be using your body weight for resistance.
    Your back muscles will strengthen and it will be able to support your spine better. This will help to avoid medical conditions related to your back, shoulder and neck.
    People who have average or poor posture will be able to see good results as their posture improves through this yoga routine.
    Power Yoga will stretch your hip flexors and will help in rebuilding it.
    Your body core muscles will sharpen and refine your abdominal and oblique muscles.
    Your hamstrings, glutes, calves and quads will tighten and increase in length wherever needed.

There is no denying that power yoga has many advantages and if properly practiced can make your body fit, flexible and strong. It is always a good option to practice yoga in the presence of an expert until you have mastered the routine to help avoid any injury.

Yoga for Skeletal Health

The ancient practice of yoga, which dates back more than 5,000 years, improves skeletal health through skillful selection and consistent application of a variety of exercises. Yoga poses for skeletal health are chosen for their ability to improve posture, increase flexibility and relieve skeletal system tensions. Yoga assists in maintaining bone density. It also helps minerals that are stored in the bones, as well as the blood cells produced in bone marrow, to be released to the bloodstream for the body's use as needed.

The Importance of a Healthy Skeletal System

Human skeletons contain 206 bones. Joints connect the ends of some bones. Encapsulated synovial fluid provides lubrication to the adjoining bone ends to reduce friction. Ligaments and muscles attach to bones by making use of either attachment points or insertion points on the bones. A healthy skeletal system is the foundation for a healthy body. Yoga postures optimize the conditions necessary to improve or maintain skeletal health.

Treating Osteoporosis with Yoga

Loren M. Fishman, a medical doctor affiliated with the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, led a pilot study to research the effectiveness of yoga in treating or preventing osteoporosis. The findings of this study were published in "Topics for Geriatric Rehabilitation" in 2009 and can be viewed here. Although the number of participants who completed the study were small, results were significant. Those in the study who faithfully performed the prescribed yoga routines showed noticeable improvement in the bone density of both spine and hip.

Yoga Helps Joints and Musculoskeletal Disorders

Because yoga increases the circulation of synovial fluid, it helps joints move more freely and reduces joint pain. In addition, yoga positions that require the use of a person's muscles to push and pull on the skeleton stimulate local bone growth. Yoga also has proved useful in treating musculoskeletal disorders of the hand and wrist. Marian Garfinkel, with the Medical College of Pennsylvania, led studies in 1994 and 1998 that confirmed the effectiveness of yoga in lessening the effects of carpal tunnel syndrome and improving grip.

Align the Body and Improve Balance with Yoga and Props

Yoga poses align the body and improve balance. Because yoga allows the use of props, people with disabilities or physical ailments can perform poses that otherwise would be impossible. Yoga instructors familiar with the proper use of props are able to individualize the various routines to fit each person's age and condition. Such individualization maximizes the benefits of yoga for the skeletal health of every participant.

Popular Yoga Poses

Yoga is increasingly becoming popular as more people seek to enroll for classes. According to research, practicing yoga offers many health benefits, including increased fitness and normalized blood pressure. Furthermore, yoga is recommended highly for the treatment of stress. The more one gets to practice, the more they stand to report improved feelings of happiness and well-being, as well as lower stress levels. These benefits are often associated with meditation where yoga practitioners concentrate on the poses and breathing acts. Some of the popular yoga poses (asanas) include:

· Hatha yoga

'Ha' means sun while 'tha' stands for moon. The pose encourages the union of poses with the breath. The Hatha yoga focuses on joining slow and gentle movements with the deliberate breath work. Hence, the Hatha class is recommended for people who are just starting out in yoga. Moreover, it is an easy class to find because just about every yoga retreat offers the class.

· Ashtanga

For those who are looking for a strong physical practice they can consider practicing Ashtanga yoga. Hence, it is referred to as "power yoga". For people who are very athletic, this form of yoga is right for them. Furthermore, it is recommended to people looking for an opportunity to engage in a vigorous practice. It plays an important role in disciplining the mind and streamlining the body.

· Anusura

The Anusara class has a theme that is heart oriented. The posture seeks to urge on the practitioners to attain a high quality of heart and mind. The practice of Anusura seeks to generate balanced actions with each posture- this is often combined with alignment principles. Like other types of yoga poses, the actions and movements in Anusura are often coordinated with breathing. The class is recommended for learners seeking for an opportunity to use creative imagery and concise instructions to unite the mind, body and spirit.

· Iyengar yoga

When you get the opportunity to attend a yoga retreat center, you stand to benefit a great deal from the training offered. Iyengar focuses on developing alignments and precision in different poses. Moreover, Iyengar yoga uses different tools such as belts, wooden gadgets and ropes that play an important role in assisting the practitioners to achieve the right version of poses. This type of yoga is recommended highly because it was the first type of yoga undertaken in the West. It is popular in the west because it encourages artistic expressions through scientific instruction.