There are always lots of questions about yoga from both men and women. Since knowledge is power we will try and share what we know so you can make an informed decision about if yoga is right for you. Plus this article might clear up any misconceptions of misunderstandings you might have about this great fitness style.
Questions & Answers
- How is Yoga and Pilates different?
- The basic difference is that Pilates is a much newer type of exercise created this century while yoga has roots that stretch back 5000 years. While there are some similarities in stretching, breathing, and core use, Pilates involves doing exercises with reps while yoga positions are assumed and held for a period of time.
- Can I do Yoga if I am not flexible?
- Yes! In fact you should definitely do yoga if flexibility is an issue. One of the primary results of doing yoga is the resulting increase in flexibility. There are truly no physical -re-requisites for doing yoga. You do what you can in the beginning and work on getting better. With practice you will get better.
- What is the best way to start with yoga?
- Some people try books and videos but honestly that is a difficult path. Taking a yoga class with an experienced instructor for at least a month is the best way to go. You have someone to show you and help with any technique issues. Typically you can sit in on a yoga class for a session or two as a trial so explore various studios to find an instructor and place you feel comfortable. The more comfortable you are, the easier it will be to learn.
- Will I lose a lot of weight?
- This is a difficult question to answer. Weight is most easily lost from a good diet. As yoga is not much of a cardiovascular routine you will not burn a huge number of calories compared to walking or running. But there is a level of stress release and relaxation many people feel after doing yoga that carries over to other parts of your life. Often stress and tension can result in weight gain so yoga could be considered a balance to maintaining weight at best.
- Will I gain lots of muscle?
- No. Your body will gain strength and tone, but only in that you are working to support your own body weight with the poses you hold. The body has a natural point of muscularity based on lifting and moving its own weight that people can achieve. For many, this is a very desirable goal for a fit, healthy appearance. But you will not be able to build big bodybuilder muscles from just doing yoga.
- Can yoga be done in addition to other activities?
- Yes! Yoga is a great compliment to any other type of training. Numerous athletes from all types of sports incorporate yoga into their normal routine to help with stretching, recovery, and refreshment. As it does not stress muscles in the same manner as intense weightlifting session you can easily include yoga into your weekly schedule whenever time permits.