- 24th Jan, 2018
When You Say Yoga What Comes to Mind?
When you say yoga what comes to mind? Many people have a preconceived, some times negative, idea of what yoga is and what the people who practice are like. The truth is there is a long list of benefits of a regular yoga practice. Some of the common benefits include stress management, lower blood pressure, increased energy, improved flexibility and strength, and improved overall health and wellness. The trick is to pick a practice that aligns with your needs and goals. Here at Annapolis Fitness & Yoga Wellness we believe yoga should be fun and available to everyone. We offer upbeat, spunky yoga teachers, fun play lists, and teachers who are well versed in props and modifications helping you find your appropriate space in every pose. The first step in finding your perfect class is understanding the different types of yoga that is available. Here at Annapolis Fitness & Yoga Wellness there is a practice for everyone.
Vinyasa or Flow - The traditional vinyasa flow focuses on breath and alignment. In general, each pose is held for a breath and then you flow to the next asana or pose. This is an excellent practice for building strength and flexibility, while calming the mind.
Slow Flow/Gentle - This is a breath based, alignment focused class in which we use props and move at a slower pace. It is designed to help you increase flexibility and strength while moving slowly. The slower flow lends itself to more introspection and over all calming. It is appropriate for all fitness levels and an excellent starting point for anyone wishing to explore yoga.
Restorative/Yin - In this class we ask the props to do the work for us, while we lay on them feeling fully supported. This practice encourages passive stretching and encourages the parasympathetic nervous system to activate, resulting in increased flexibility and overall sense of calm. A regular restorative/yin practice lowers the stress response in the body, settles to mind, and improves flexibility. It is appropriate for everyone.
Yoga TRX - The TRX can be used as a prop to make poses accessible that are not yet available on the mat. It can also be used as a tool that makes poses more challenging. This class is excellent for building strength and flexibility with the added cardio benefits. It is an excellent supplementation for your regular yoga practice.
Pre/PoVinyasa or Flowst Natal Yoga - This class is lead with the knowledge of what is safe and what feels good during the different stages of pregnancy. The benefits of yoga during pregnancy are: improved sleep, reduced stress and anxiety, increase the strength, flexibility and endurance of muscles needed for childbirth, decrease lower back pain, nausea, carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms, headaches and shortness of breath. Here at Annapolis Fitness & Yoga Wellness we do not have a dedicated pre/post natal yoga class, but one of our teacher's does have continuing education for this demographic.
Trauma Informed Yoga - This practice is one that is designed to create a safe and comfortable environment for those who have experienced trauma. We create a safe and predictable environment allowing for relaxation and potential healing to occur. There are 2 yoga teacher's here at Annapolis Fitness & Yoga Wellness who are certified in this practice. At this time, we do not have a specific class designated for trauma recovery, instead we incorporate these practices in all of our classes.
Laughing Yoga - This is a pranayama (breath work) practice involving prolonged voluntary laughter. Laughter yoga is based on the belief that voluntary laughter provides the same physiological and psychological benefits as spontaneous laughter. It encourages joy and is an excellent tool for those experiencing anxiety, depression, or PTSD.
Pranayama - This is the formal practice of controlling the breath, which is the source of our prana, or vital life force. When you tune into your breath you can reduce the stress response in the body, thus lowering cortisol and adrenaline. Prolonged deep breathing increases oxygenation of the blood. It has been shown to help with anxiety, stress reduction, asthma, lowering blood pressure, and more. We include this practice during our yoga classes.
Meditation - There are many ways to meditate, including guided meditation, moving meditation, and zazen (still mind). There is not right or wrong way to meditate. This regular practice has been shown to decrease stress, anxiety, and depression while increasing feelings of happiness, self-acceptance, and concentration. It also improves the immune system, aids with restful sleep, and may slow the signs of aging.
Every class is designed with safety and comfort in mind. Our classes also may include aromatherapy, warm essential oil infused washcloths, verbal and physical assists, and other extras to help you relax even deeper. If you have questions about which class is appropriate for you reach out, we are happy to help. We are looking forward to seeing you on your mat.
Written by: Beckie Evans Owner of Life Keys Energy, RYT-200 and Healer