Do you ever wish you had a bit more energy, or were more flexible, or suffered less back pain? Do you just want to get fitter, but unsure which sport or activity to take up? Yoga is a fantastic hobby, as it can help you increase strength and improves breathing, flexibility, posture, muscle tone and overall wellbeing.
Yoga has been around for 5,000 years so it’s not a fad, it’s tried and tested over generations. So if you are looking to take up an affordable new hobby with great benefits, we take you through how to get started with yoga.
How to start
There are many types of yoga, so be sure to find one that suits your aims and needs. Yoga works both body and mind as it uses breathing techniques too. It can improve health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, especially when combined with more aerobic exercise such as running or swimming.
The great advantage is that yoga doesn’t require a large amount of space or resources to start. You could buy a yoga book, or there are a number of dedicated YouTube channels online like Yoga with Adriene or Fightmaster Yoga.
You could even get some friends round and start your own small club. All you’ll need is a yoga mat (try this domyos fitness mat from Decathlon it’s just £1.99) and enough space to perform the moves.
Initially, we might suggest that you get your technique right first by going to some structured classes held by qualified yoga teachers. Yoga is for people of any age and fitness levels, allowing everyone to do the most basic stretches and poses. With time you could improve and see the rewards.
You could go online and check your local leisure centre for classes. Most will hold a yoga class a few times a week, and charge per class, or for block bookings on a monthly basis. There are lots of yoga communities, blogs and sites online too, to help with finding classes, teachers and lessons. The British Wheel of Yoga are a great source to start with.
If you’re already a member of a gym, it’s likely they hold yoga classes at no extra cost, so check out their timetable. There are also specialised schools that focus on yoga. They’ll run timetables for every level of ability, and the different types, so ask locally or check online to see if any are close you.
To help you get started, here’s a list of the different types of yoga you could try.
Ashtanga – this combines a series of poses and breathing techniques.
Bikram – or hot yoga, takes place in a hot room and has a fixed sequence of 26 moves which you’ll repeat each session.
Hatha – this is the most common type and combines basic moves with breathing.
Power – this will build strength, muscle and the classes are much faster with higher intensity.
Iyengar – this type uses various pieces of small equipment, such as straps, chairs, blocks to help move your body into the required positions.
Vinyasa – these poses flow one into the other, quite similar to Bikram but without the heated room.
So whatever your age, size and physical ability, have a think to see which style suits your needs most and look for local classes online. Trying out an exercise like yoga is a great way to get moving and stay on budget!