Living in New York can admittedly be stressful at times and since I have yet to invest in therapy, I find my peace through my Saturday afternoon yoga class. I haven’t yet found the balance to incorporate more yoga into my weekly exercise routines because I’m so swamped during the week with errands, work, blogging and overall life. But I know that Saturday means that much more me because of it. It’s time for just me, where I block out everything, including the emails and blog notifications on my phone.
Why Do I Go To Yoga Class?
The self-care time is where I don’t think about others and where I have to be or going to work on Monday. Slowing my breath and listening to me what my body needs keeps me sane. I just concentrate on my breathing, slowing down and paying attention to what my body needs that’s it, there is no comparison to the person next to me and what they are or aren’t doing. I’ve found it to be essential to my mental and physical well being. I’ve seen others go to class and complain that it’s not much of a workout because you’re making small thoughtful movements instead of the aerobic exercise they are used to, totally untrue. If you leave class feeling that way, either you were doing the poses incorrectly or the type of yoga wasn’t for you.
If you are concentrating on the poses holding your core stomach muscles in alignment and breathing properly, you will soon find yourself pouring sweat from everywhere. The goal is to stretch every muscle group in a warm room to avoid injury and lengthen them for strength and flexibility. It’s not to bulk up. The goal is to achieve that mind-body connection as corny as that sounds.
What Are The Yoga Basics?
If you’ve never been to yoga there are different kinds depending on preference and comfort level. There is a beginners level yoga where you focus on learning the poses and breathing; the major poses are the downward dog(for stretching and lengthening the spine and legs, sun salutation (stretching of the shoulders and torso), warrior one (one-sided thigh stretch), and tree pose.
How Do You Choose The Right Yoga Class?
In New York City there are many different variations of Yoga offered. Here are few out of dozens:
- Vinyasa Flow as described by the Yoga Journal;
The word “vinyasa” can be translated as “arranging something in a special way,” like yoga poses for example. In vinyasa yoga classes, students coordinate movement with breath to flow from one pose to the next. Ashtanga, Baptiste Yoga, Jivamukti, Power Yoga, and Prana Flow could all be considered vinyasa yoga. Vinyasa is also the term used to describe a specific sequence of poses (Chaturanga to Upward-Facing Dog to Downward-Facing Dog) commonly used throughout a vinyasa class.
Vinyasa is my personal choice and what I have been practicing for years. I have been attending classes at Yoga To The People becuase I like their mission of having no pretense and no emphasis on fancy clothing and their classes are very affordable.
- Hot Yoga is also called Bikram which is the type of yoga that the rooms are very warm (105 degrees) and 40% humidity to detoxify the body while getting your stretch on in 26 major poses. I’m not that brave yet and I can admit that. There’s hot yoga, where practice takes place in a heated room up to around 100°F. The moves are more intense than basic yoga. And if you are like me and are sensitive to the heat this is not a good choice for you. Getting dizzy and passing out in class is not a good look.
- Ariel yoga uses silks around your extremities and you are doing your poses off the ground. Jess from UseYork City talks about her experience in a class here.
Do you practice yoga? Do you enjoy it? What was the reason you started to practice? What kind of yoga did you choose? Tell me all in the comments below.
So, when I’m traveling to class on Saturday on the train, all I’m begging from you collectively MTA is, “Seriously don’t fuck with my yoga time, please”.
Until our next rendezvous…