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Pregnancy Yoga Poses

It almost seems that yoga was made for pregnancy, with its calming and relaxation focus, intense breathing exercises, and finally improving your muscle flexibility and circulation. Pregnancy yoga comes with abundant yoga benefits and is one of the most populat types of yoga with enough yoga poses to keep you going throughout these special 9 months, and keep practisng yoga after!

Choosing the correct yoga music can be great to help calm those nerves, while the yoga poses for back and yoga poses for hips will help prepare your body for the physical demand it is about to experience. Pre-natal yoga has become very popular lately and has spread to yoga poses for kids to keep up the act of yoga after you have given birth!

What are the benefits of pregnancy yoga?

A common mixture of exercise during pregnancy is to couple yoga with running. These subtle exercises keep your muscles activated during pregnancy, they prepare your mind and body for labor as well as helping blood circulaton and staying healthy in general. The one suggested precaution when doing yoga poses for pregnancy would be to watch the abdomen area and try not to stretch it.

Yoga Poses for Pregnancy

These are specific yoga asanas to help during the pregnancy period. Be careful to stretch and move in the correct manner so as not to damage your muscles or over-stretch. Use as much yoga equipment as you need, pillows and cushions etc…

  • Cobbler/Tailor Pose: sitting straight up against a wall, bring the soles of your feet together and gently push your knees to the ground until you find a comfortable spot to stop and hold the pose
  • Child’s Pose: kneeling on your legs, stretch your arms forward and lean forwards, bring your tummy into our thighs and take deep breaths, breathe deeply into your back
  • Triangle Pose: stand with your legs wider than hip-width apart, point your right foot outward while keeping your left pointing straight, bring your right hand to your right angle, extend your left arm above and follow your arm with your eyes

Here is a short video to give you an introduction on some pregnancy yoga poses and breathing techniques:

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Yoga Poses for Kids

Yoga for kids is a specific category within the practice of yoga that is designed for children of several different age groups. Found within many types of yoga, classes are adapted to help younger ones with strength, flexibility and coordination. Similar yoga benefits are found for children too, and sometimes more yoga equipment is used to make activities more lively and fun.

During yoga classes for kids, yoga music may be used to get children excited and engaged. Different yoga poses are introduced and usually modified so it is easier for the children to achieve the correct positions. It is a good way for children to keep fit, get their muscles working hard and stretching, and it has also been said to be a calming activity for them to practice breathing and relaxation skills.

Benefits of Yoga for Kids

Children love fun activities, so why not add yoga into the mix! Not only is it good for self-health and relaxation, but yoga for kids helps build body awareness and is a non-competitive activity that they can get involved in. It can be a good way for them to make new friends and learn a new art, most classes for children’s yoga will involve other games and activities.

Yoga Poses for Kids

Like normal yoga poses for adults, kids yoga poses aim to work individual parts of your body. They are based on the adult versions of the poses but are given child-friendly names and more inventive actions to encourage kids:

  • Butterfly: sitting on the floor, bring the soles of your feet together and place your wrists by your hear with your index fingers pointing up, flap your knees like a butterfly and your fingers like the antennae
  • Mermaid: sitting on the floor, bend one leg to bring your foot towards your knee and bend the other backwards, lift one arm to the sky with the other resting on your leg
  • Kite: balancing on one leg, stretch your other leg out, extend your arms as well and sway gently like a kite
  • 3-Legged Dog: balancing on your hands and one leg, raise the other leg in the air and face upwards
  • Frog: bending your knees, keep your head facing fowards and don’t let your bum touch the ground, bring your hands in front of you between your legs
  • Airplane: balancing on one leg, lean forward slighlty with your arms extended swaying from side to side

This short video gives an insight into how you might want to do yoga for kids with your own children, or the kind of kids yoga poses that would be involved in a class:

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Yoga Poses for Weight Loss

Weight loss exercises are always on our mind. What is the newest way to lose those pounds? Yoga for weight loss! Yoga is a brilliant exercise activity that not only helps you with weight loss but improves your flexibility, builds strength and many more yoga benefits are still being discovered. In the beginning, yoga for beginners teaches you to focus on your mind, body and soul, but this in turn has positive effects on your weight.

With all the different types of yoga to choose from, it can be daunting trying to figure out which one will give you the best results. Don’t be worried if you feel the need to use yoga equipment and props at first to help with the yoga poses. Practice makes perfect, we suggest you read through the different yoga styles and positions, test them and see what works best for you. Bikram yoga and ashtanga vinyasa yoga are recommendable due to their quicker pace and higher energy sessions.

Check out our yoga vs pilates debate for more information.

Yoga Poses to Help Lose Weight

Our suggested yoga poses for weight loss will be sure to get you working up a sweat! As yoga is an activity that targets muscles and tissues, you might need to stick at it for a little while before seeing results. Give these yoga exercises a go:

  • Boat: sitting on a mat, raise your legs straight up and lean back to create a “V” shape with your body, hols your arms out straight and at shoulder height
  • Locust: lying on your front, inhale lifting your legs up and keeping them straight, raise your chest and head with your arms going backwards and palms up, you should feel a stretch in the abdominals and a slight lift
  • Warrior 3: standing and balancing on one leg, raise your other leg backwards so it is straight, bend forward spreading your arms out and face the floor, your body should be in a straight line except for your balancing leg and arms out
  • Temple: standing on the mat, bring your feet apart with your toes turned out as far as is comfortable, bend down slightly with your knees facing outwards, inhale and interlock your hands raising them above your head with palms facing the sky, exhale
  • Cow Face Twist: sitting on the floor, bring one leg over the other bending the knee and facing your toes behind you, bend the leg underneath also facing your toes behind you, place the contrary hand to the top leg to rest on your knee and turn to the side

For further help, view the video below showing yoga exercises for weight loss:

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Hatha Yoga

Yoga as we know it today is originally known as hatha yoga, the original style of yoga that describes the inclusion of yoga poses for any of the different types of yoga. Yoga has become an increasingly popular activity and workout, which would not be what it is today without the origins of hatha yoga.

What is hatha yoga?

In summary, hatha yoga is the name used to describe the physical act of yoga, with the yoga positions and breathing exercises to introduce you to the world of yoga for beginners. This style of yoga tries to combine the relationship between body and mind. It is the perfect choice if you are starting out as it will introduce you to the yoga world and will then help you advance.

Hatha Yoga Benefits

Yoga benefits come in all shapes and sizes, depending on the pose, the length of pose, and the conditions in which the pose is done, such as in a heated room during bikram yoga. The act of yoga itself relieves stress and brings the body into a deeper feeling of relaxation. Yoga is mainly aimed at improving muscle flexibility, tone and strength.

Basic Hatha Yoga Poses

Hatha yoga is the basis of all modern day yoga practices, providing the guide for all the possible yoga asanas. A hatha yoga class would be slow-paced to allow you to get to know the yoga poses. These are a few of the most important and popular hatha yoga poses to build a foundation for further yoga practise.

  • Tree: standing on your left leg with your right foot bent and pressed flat against your thigh, keep your hands in prayer position against your chest, inhale raising your arms above your head with palms touching and hold
  • Downward Facing Dog: start on your hands and knees spread shoulder-width apart, raise your knees off the ground to an almost-straight position and push your heels towards the ground, keep your head facing down and hold
  • Bridge: lying on your back with your knees close towards your bum, raise your hips and bring your arms behind your head with palms flat on the ground, lift your chin slightly and hold
  • Seated Twist: sitting with your legs extended, cross your right leg over your left thigh with your foot flat on the floor, bend your left leg in the opposite direction, bring your left elbow to rest on your right knee and twist to the right

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Yoga vs Pilates

Yoga vs Pilates is a common question asked my thousands of people who want to know the difference between the two or who are unsure of which on to take up. There is no definite answer to the debate, yoga benefits will be different to pilates benefits and the purposes of the two popular activities are unique.

These two phenomenons, yoga and pilates, has taken the modern world by storm and are often thought of as going hand-in-hand but are in fact two completely separate practices that differ in origin, exercises and core focus. Yoga poses will differ to those of pilates, and for a specific reason. Due to the number of different types of yoga and pilates, it is hard to pin point which is better for you. Both yoga and pilates will bring you improved muscular and postural strength.

Why is yoga good for you?

Yoga is an act that brings together your mind and body through coordination of exercise, breathing and meditating. If you are looking for a cardio workout then yoga classes will probably not be what you are looking for, clearly depending on the type of yoga, generally speaking. As it is a low-intensity form of exercise, the longer the yoga session, the more pounds you will lose. However, yoga is proven to boost felxibility, endurance and strength through regular participation over a long period of time. An additional benefit of yoga is that is help to bring inner peace and relaxation, helping you to de-stress and contemplate.

Why is pilates good for you?

Pilates is a form of exercise that aims to strengthen muscle groups by stretching and lengthening the target muscles. As a calm way of exercising, it will not boost your heart rate like going for a jog would, but the more advanced class, the higher your heart rate would be. For weight loss, pilates is slightly more effective than yoga, however you would need to maintain going to pilates classes for around an hour several times a week for several weeks for regular weight loss. Pilates is especially useful for building abdominal strength and tightening obliques, with improved flexibility as a bonus.

 

Pilates or Yoga

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Yoga Benefits

The art of yoga is beneficial for your mind, body and soul. The benefits of yoga come in many varieties depending on the different types of yoga and yoga poses that you choose to do. Over the years, yoga has become increasingly popular, and there is a reason for it. Actually, there are several! With the numerous yoga benefits, from increasing muscle strength to sleeping better, it’s no wonder that the world is obsessing over the ancient tradition of yoga.

You might be a yoga expert yourself, or you might be searching for information on yoga for beginners, either way the most common doubt people have is whether to take up yoga vs pilates and what benefits each will bring. Here we will focus specifically on the amazing effects that yoga can have on your body, your mind and your life!

What are the benefits of yoga?

Any physical activity is bound to bring in some health benefits, and yoga does not shy away when it comes to improving your wellbeing. The great thing about yoga benefits is that they come in a variety of health, mental and physical improvements. Yoga Benefits

  • Improves your flexibility, builds muscle strength and perfects your posture
  • Betters your bone health and protects your spine
  • Increases blood flow and heart rate (decreasing blood pressure)
  • Makes you feel better and happier through increase of serotonin
  • Helps you focus
  • Relaxes your body system and promotes healthy breathing
  • Improves balance
  • Releases tension in your limbs
  • Can help you sleep better through relaxation of the nervous system
  • Gives you peace of mind, ridding stress and frustration, helps you understand your inner strength

If you are wondering whether to begin on the yoga journey or not, think about what you want to change in your life, whether it is a physical change you want to make or a mental change. Yoga is a great way to help you focus on yourself. Give it a go!