August 31, 2012
Have You Considered Doing Yoga?
Fall is ripe with new possibilities…here’s why you should explore this (new to you) fitness regimen!
As children return to school and fall sports season begins, many families feel their time for fitness is increasingly limited. Yoga classes at the YMCA offer members a way to get the most out of whatever time they’re able to devote to fitness, by offering multiple physical, mental and emotional benefits.
Andrea Tamillo, a Lakeview YMCA yoga instructor, further detailed the appeal of yoga by explaining that it can be tailored for both body type and age. Nearly 15 million people nationwide are reported to practice yoga.
“If you crave constant movement or a bit of a challenge, you likely will enjoy a vinyasa yoga class that keeps people flowing from one pose into the next, or you might enjoy a power yoga class in which poses are held for longer periods of time,” Tamillo said. “For those with joint issues or certain medical conditions, a seated yoga, beginner class or relaxation yoga class would be best. And use props! A variety of props, including blankets, blocks and straps, make yoga accessible to all.”
For active athletes, yoga can help complement their fitness routines, Tamillo added. “For runners it helps lengthen and stretch out their legs, and there are specific poses geared toward different muscle groups. For people that do yoga to gain flexibility, it also provides strength training because you have to support your own body weight through the poses and maintain a constant balance.”
Tamillo added that yoga can help runners, who tend to experience tightness in their calves, hamstrings, hips and low backs.
“Poses that lengthen and stretch, like forward folding, will help to open up the back and legs and frees the runner of that ‘tight’ feeling,” she said.
While many people come to yoga to gain flexibility, Tamillo notes that strength training also is an added benefit. “Those who do yoga will balance flexibility with strength by engaging in poses that require you to hold your own body weight,” she said. “Yoga is all about balance – balancing both sides of the body, balancing strength with flexibility and balancing body with mind.”
Tamillo also said that with the intense focus on breathing, yoga can help to clear your mind, an appealing prospect to the increasingly anxiety-prone population. “Yoga helps to both clear your mind and really focus it, which is something that Western culture doesn’t do much of, so yoga can really help to fulfill that need,” she said.
Tamillo recommends bringing a water bottle, small hand towel and wearing loose clothing to your first class. “If you’re a newbie, just jump in and try a variety of classes,” she said. “Go early, let the teacher know you’re new and try different styles with different instructors so you learn what you like most,” she said.
September is National Yoga Month! Reap the benefits this practice yields by registering for classes today at:
The YMCA recommends consulting your doctor before beginning a new exercise regimen.