Yoga Classes are for Everybody!

Posted by Angie Quehl on Aug 15, 2011 4:23:00 PM

It’s rare nowe54d619a7e43739c82fb6c0e7a99caf3 resized 600adays to run into anyone who is not aware of the benefits of Yoga. Yoga is widely known for increasing flexibility, strengthening/ toning the body, reducing physical tension, weight loss, and improving balance and coordination. According to the Mayo Clinic, practicing yoga may help manage stress, improve sleep and decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety.

If you think the pace, temperature, or postures are beyond your body’s limitations (or in some cases, not challenging enough.) Don’t quit before you get started. There are many different styles to pick from, for all fitness levels and life situations. There’s an ideal match for everybody. Yoga is an individualized practice that should be done without judgment or comparison of yourself to others.

If you haven’t exercised in a while:

Beginners or Basic Yoga teaches the basic postures (asana) while easing you into a regular yoga practice. This level class guides you through the correct alignments so you work skillfully and safely within the limits of your body. Even though done at a slower pace, you still attain flexibility, relieve muscle tension and find relaxation and peace of mind. Modifications can be offered to allow you to do what’s right for your body. Many local studios offer Beginner or Basic level classes.

If you are recovering from an injury, surgery, or have physical limitations:

Gentle Yoga uses slower stretching without putting too much pressure on your body. Props (blankets, bolsters, blocks, etc.) provide support during long holds, allowing gravity to do most of the work. Gradually, the more you move, the more comfortable your muscles and joints feel. Most of the postures can be done lying down or sitting in a chair, depending on your needs. This is truly a relaxing and rejuvenating experience enjoyed at all levels and ages. Classes in this category include Restorative, Chair, Senior, Yin Yoga, or Yoga Nidra.

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If you are pregnant:

Prenatal Yoga not only supports your body’s growth and changes, but it also allows you to connect with your unborn baby on a deeper level before they enter the world! One piece of advice: As the pregnancy progresses there are positions that are not safe for the baby, such as a tight twist or lying on your back for extended periods; therefore it is essential for expecting mothers to attend a class specifically tailored for them. Prenatal Yoga contributes to better sleep, maintaining correct posture, and preparing you for delivery.

Breathing techniques (pranayama), meditation, and concentration facilitate labor and delivery. Practicing yoga promotes physical and emotional healing during the postpartum phase.

If you’ve recently had a baby:

Mommy and Baby Yoga incorporate core work, stretching, baby massage, and toning by often using your baby’s weight for resistance. These postures can help mom and baby boost their strength, coordination, and body awareness while also promoting relaxation and better quality sleep. This is a great time to reconnect with your body while bonding with your baby. Dads are also invited! For older children, Kids Yoga classes and Yoga Camps introduce a new form of activity that improves balance and coordination and instills techniques that foster a steady mind and body when confronted with life’s challenges. 

If you lead an active lifestyle and want a challenge:

Consider Vinyasa Yoga, which uses more advanced postures, increasing body heat, breath/movement coordination, and at a faster pace. These classes are designed for “all levels” however, some Yoga experience is recommended. Using your body weight for toning, stamina, balance, and weight loss, Vinyasa Yoga helps release toxins and stimulating blood flow throughout the body. Classes in this category include Flow, Power, or Heated/Hot Yoga.


Article Submitted by:


Malinda is a 2008 graduate of Yoga Pura’s 500-hour Advanced Studies & Teacher Training. Through the practice of asana (physical postures), pranayama (breathing techniques), and meditation, she radiates a profound physical and mental peace. Teaching from her heart, her students carry with them tools and benefits that transcend their daily lives. 

Her article originally appeared I Am Modern magazine.



Topics: exercise programs for women, yoga classes

Why Do Yoga? 6 Reasons to Include Yoga Classes in Your Routine

Posted by Angie Quehl on Apr 28, 2011 4:01:00 PM

Why Do Yoga?questions about yoga classes in northern va


Should I try Yoga??

Don't you just sit around and relax??

Au contraire! Check out all of the benefits that adding a yoga class can add to exercise programs for women!

Build Strength

If you observe a yoga class you will see people moving through “asanas,” or postures. These postures move you through the full range of motion of every joint in your body as you awaken and strengthen each muscle. Yoga is hard work, but unlike impact training where you contract (shorten) each muscle as you engage it; yoga lengthens and stretches your muscles while strengthening them. This creates long, lean muscle.  

Improve Posture

Yoga builds core strength, helping you strengthen muscles to evenly support your skeletal system so you can stand, sit, and move more fully and easily. It also helps you with body awareness: which muscles do you need to use to balance, stretch, support yourself, and which do you not need? You will start to notice where you hold unnecessary tension and stress, and how to release it.

Gain Flexibility

You don’t have to bend like a pretzel to come to yoga class. The postures work on opening in all directions: forward bends, backbends, twists.  The aim is to create a balance of strength and flexibility, something that improves over time, with practice. Listen to your own body. Never force yourself into a pose trying to look like the person next to you. It’s not about how you look, it’s about how you feel. Notice which muscles allow you ease of movement and which are tight, and learn how you can encourage further range of movement.

Find Your Balance

What if I can’t stand on one leg? You will learn that being aware of how you place your feet is the first step. Then you’ll learn about how the energy moves in your body and how your core strength is involved, in stillness and in movement. You will notice that focus is paramount. The second you start thinking of your to-do list instead of the asana, you will lose your balance. You will learn to access your center of balance in all kinds of positions, even upside down. It will come!

Learn to Let Go

It’s true—each yoga practice does end lying down on the floor in a final relaxation called “savasana.” This is an important time of letting go of each muscle in your body, of holding any tension, of all thoughts in your mind. It is a time of healing and renewal for your body, giving it space to incorporate and absorb all you have learned during the yoga session.  After all your hard work, savasana feels like dessert. It may well become your favorite part of the class. 

Developing Connection

Yoga teaches how to connect movement and breath, to move with awareness and focus. With practice, it becomes a form of moving meditation, of moving inwards. As you leave class after final relaxation you will probably find yourself in a calm, centered place, relaxed in mind and in the body. Yoga can teach you how to access this place again any time you need it. Who doesn’t need that?


Article submitted by Amanda Lloyd.


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