We’ve learned that yoga is a lot of things. Yoga is a mental practice, as much as it is a physical practice. It connects people, it can be a safe environment, it can be an integral part of your personal development. However, one thing remains the same among students of yoga and observers. When yoga is brought up in conversation, many people paint a picture in their head that yoga is all about relaxing and “zenning out.” But, this isn’t always true.
Committing to a yoga practice can help strengthen muscles, tone the body, and improve cardiovascular health. The physical practice of yoga may look way different from a strength and conditioning class at the gym or guided by a personal trainer, but that’s okay. Everyone likes different things and can achieve the same goals differently.
If you want to try a sweatier, more rigorous yoga class, attending a yoga for strength class would satisfy that need. A yoga for strength class will emphasize form, repetition, coordination, and balance. By including the layer of a conscious, invigorating breath, you should complete the practice feeling strong, challenged, and accomplished. Below, you will find how to prepare for a yoga for strength class and what to expect.
- Have a towel handy to wipe down your mat and your body/face if you should sweat a lot.
- Bring a water bottle to sip on after class. Add a pinch of unrefined salt to replenish minerals and electrolytes in the body.
- Upon arriving to class, it would be beneficial to lightly stretch. Your instructor should guide you through a warm-up, but you can incorporate a brief stretch prior to class to ensure your muscles and joints are engaged.
- Let your instructor know if you have any injuries or physical ailments that might impact your practice. Knowing this information, they can support you differently throughout the practice.
- Remember that this class may be open to all yoga levels. Your practice is unique, you should not feel the need to perform at a higher level if your body is not there yet. Check in with your body regularly throughout the practice to understand its strong points and limitations.
A yoga for strength class is usually done vinyasa style. Vinyasa yoga increases muscle strength, improves flexibility, enhances cardiovascular function and respiratory capacity, and improves bone density. Vinyasa style yoga tends to be more rapidly paced that syncs the breath to each movement transition. The class duration typically lasts between 40 and 60 minutes.
When you’re taking this class, there will be a strong focus on engaging your core and setting a strong foundation that encourages full-body awareness throughout the practice. A strength class incorporates engaging different muscles groups as the practice develops. The class builds intensity rather quickly. It is absolutely vital that a student evaluates their form to maintain safety and reduce the risk of injury. Your instructor will offer you ways to advance the pose and modify. If you suspect that your body needs a break or it cannot handle a challenging posture, consider dialing it back and continuing at your own pace.
As a result, building strength in this practice means your arms, core, and legs may feel sore. With a consistent strength practice, your ability to improve your physical and mental well-being will be greatly valuable in your daily life.
More about yoga classes here!