Yoga is More Than Just Getting Down the Dog

More forever and less a fad, yoga is the perfect way to get into shape without the hassle of tackling gym life. Since other exercise classes like spin and body pump can be a little (a lot) intimidating for some, yoga is a good place to start. You don’t have to be a pro to stretch your muscles and move your body. While it’s not as easy as it sounds, the activity allows for personal modification at every twist and turn. More balance and breath than cardio and calories, the hour-long session offers a mix of strength training and meditation. And don’t sweat it; you don’t need to be in tune with mind and body. Feel free to lie back, relax and embrace some well-deserved (and much needed) quiet time.

Whether you’re new to exercising or coming back from an injury, the low-intensity activity is a favorite for people of all ages. With personal development a natural process, the work out centers on quality over quantity. Trade timing sets, counting reps and recording weights for strengthening breath, lengthening body parts and improving poses. Leading to physical, psychological and emotional benefits, yoga is all about building a community and applying its lessons. Considered by some an all in one, move from the mat to Monday ready to take on the week.

The best part: all you need is a yoga mat, a water bottle and a towel. Forget about spending all that money on a personal trainer, a gym membership or a collection of exercise equipment. Feel like kicking it solo? Take your mat and moves on the road. Get in on the nature scene in a whole new way. Whether a beginner or an expert, every yogi should bare their pair on the beach or in the park. Feel like sticking to group vibes? Change up your practice to keep from hitting a plateau or moving through the motions. From power yoga to yin yoga (and everything in between), master old moves and take on new challenges.

If you want to beat the heat, try a hot yoga class. At the top of the list for regulars, there’s nothing like pushing your limits while dripping – more like drenching – with sweat. So, you break a sweat while running on the treadmill or finding your rhythm in Zumba? It’s not the same. It’s not even close. By the end of a hot yoga sesh you’ll need a change of clothes as soon as you wipe down your mat. A rise in temperature not only relaxes your muscles and relieves aches and pains, it also serves as an extra obstacle. As the class comes to a close, you’ll feel strong, energized and re-charged. By the time it’s all over, you’ll leave wanting more and understand why it’s worth getting down the downward dog.

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