Yoga is an ancient tradition with thousands of years of history behind it. Originating in India, yoga was a spiritual and meditative tradition that sought to quell the senses and connect the practitioner with higher forces of the universe.
Today, yoga generally refers to hatha yoga, which includes most styles of exercise yoga. Modern-day yoga can be practiced secularly or with a spiritual grounding based on the preferences of the practitioner. The practice is wildly popular among fitness newbies and buffs alike for its ability to help improve flexibility, induce relaxation, tone the muscles, and improve balance.
Who is yoga for?
While the word yoga may stir up images of women stretching and putting themselves in seemingly superhuman positions, yoga is an ancient practice that is beneficial for both men and women.
Although many male bodybuilders may be hesitant to try yoga at first, viewing it as overly feminine, the practice provides many benefits for those pursuing strength training. Flexibility training has been shown to decrease post-workout muscle soreness and lower the risk of injury by 5%.
Yoga focuses on low-impact movements, which makes it an ideal form of exercise for anyone with joint problems or arthritis. Additionally, since yoga helps improve balance and coordination, it may be able to help reduce the risk of falling in seniors, which is a major source of death and injury in the older population.
Benefits of yoga
In addition to the flexibility benefits, yoga has been shown to:
What equipment do you need to practice yoga?
Exercisers don’t need any equipment to practice yoga. In fact, even a mat is optional. This makes it easy for exercisers to do their yoga training online.
However, most practitioners will find it worthwhile to purchase a yoga mat. Anyone new to yoga may also find a yoga block helpful as it can make it easier to perform some of the more challenging positions.
Yoga vs. Pilates
Pilates is another popular form of exercise that is often confused with yoga. Both practices share a few similarities, such as a focus on:
However, unlike yoga, which is an ancient practice, Pilates was invented only one hundred years ago. While yoga places more emphasis on stress relief, meditation, and relaxation, Pilates focuses on strength building and muscle toning. It is often considered to be more secular, although yoga can be practiced secularly.
Here’s a chart that expands on some of the differences:
Yoga for weight loss
Although yoga doesn’t have the calorie-burning power of most cardio routines, it still gets your body moving and can be a good addition to any weight loss regimen. While a typical cardio routine will burn 311 calories in 30 minutes, a yoga session will burn about 150.
Since yoga reduces stress, improves balance, and increases flexibility, practicing yoga can make it easier for you to perform your other calorie-burning workouts.
How to start practicing Yoga
Since yoga doesn’t require any equipment, you can get started right away from the comfort of your own living room.
Tream makes getting fit and balanced with yoga convenient. Use our mobile-friendly platform to search by tag and category to find hundreds of yoga routines from top yoga trainers. When you’ve found a video you like, add it to your playlist so you can come back to it again and again. Plus, with new videos added daily, it’s never a struggle to find videos that will keep you motivated and inspired to keep practicing.
Found a trainer you like? Follow them one Tream to get notified whenever they upload a new workout and send them direct messages if you have any questions about your routines.
When you workout with Tream, you become a member of a community that’s dedicated to achieving their fitness goals. Comment on videos to give advice, ask questions, or motivate your fellow Treamers to keep at it.
If you’re ready to relieve stress, improve your flexibility, and unite your body and mind, check out our full selection of yoga videos to get started, no signup required.
Disclaimer: The content on this website is never intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider for any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.