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What is Yoga
Close your eyes and imagine someone practicing yoga. What do you see? For many, this picture would involve someone twisted into some sort of human pretzel, or balancing precariously on an arm or a leg. For others, they would envision someone peacefully sitting with their hands in a prayer position. For others, they may just picture themselves in everyday activities. And the truth is, all of these are correct. The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit root “yuj” which means to join together and in practice means bringing harmony to the body and mind.
Yoga is not just a noun for the practice of poses and postures but it is a verb that describes connecting to the process of acting and paying attention. This may mean the actual flow of poses, also known as ‘asana’ or this may mean sitting breathing quietly, meditating, chanting or even simply interacting with others in a mindful way. The practice of yoga involves philosophy, physical movement and breath.. The physical practice of asana, is a way for us to focus our mind, body and breathe together and is commonly referred to as the yoga.
Why should you practice yoga?
Even if you never wanted to execute the perfect arm balance, handstand or twisted pretzel like pose, yoga offers more than flexibility and strength and can be of value to everyone. You do not need to sit quietly with your eyes closed for prolonged periods of time to start to experience the benefits of meditation, or to practice 90 minutes of asana daily to start to see the value of linking your breath to your movements. Learning to focus on how your body and mind interact can teach you more about yourself and how you function than you may realize. Whether you are going for a one rep max on a dead lift, giving a public performance or are competing in combat sports, learning to tune your mind and body together will help you gain perspective, find focus and feel in control.
But yes, of course yoga can also provide some concrete physical benefits! And NO! you do not need to be flexible to practice yoga! The active flow between postures helps with joint mobility and of course flexibility. Your active range of motion can increase, and you can become stronger. The physical practice of asana will help with core engagement, improved posture, and lean muscle. The added benefits of ‘yoking’ together the body and mind lead to improvement in overall function such as increased energy, to improved focus and stress management.
Why you should practice yoga with hot fit
Coach Jamie embraces the power of yoga for what it is and knows that not all aspects of the common teachings may fit everyone’s need or wants. Once a skeptic herself, she has developed a love and passion for all the elements of yoga and uses them in her own life and training. At HOT FIT NYC, we implement yoga postures, flows and breathing to improve your overall fitness. The incorporation of corrective exercises, postural alignment, building body awareness are all valuable to improving performance and physical comfort. Classes and flows are designed for ‘fitness fanatics’ and the common imbalances seen in day to day life whether as an office worker who sits all day at a computer, a powerlifter with significant muscle mass and power but limitations in range of motion, or combat sports that require flexibility, power and a high sense of mental and physical agility. Yoga is taught in a non-judgmental and fun way, light on philosophy but heavy on the rewards.