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September is Yoga Awareness Month!  In honor of that, we have compiled a quick guide to all things yoga.  One of the cool things about yoga is that there is something for everyone: over 14 technical styles of yoga as well as hybrid yoga styles – think golf yoga, PiYo (Pilates and Yoga combination).  Each have its own set of unique benefits for the mind and body.

For a beginner just looking to unwind: Hatha yoga movements are designed to calm the body and mind in preparation for mediation.  Most Western forms of yoga are classified as Hatha Yoga.  Hatha yoga is simply the practice of physical yoga postures.  This style of yoga is best for beginners, since there is a strong focus on basic yoga techniques and postures.

If you just want to de-stress: Restorative yoga is also known as yin yoga.  The goal of restorative yoga is to relax the nerves.  In restorative yoga classes, blankets, blocks, and other items are used to place students into passive yoga positions without having to put forth much effort.  The purpose is for participants to leave feeling like they have gotten good rest.

If you love to sweat: Bikram yoga consists of 26 precise postures and two breathing exercises.  The movements and

 breathing techniques must be performed within 90 minutes and in a room that has a temperature of at least 100 degrees.  The added element of heat helps detoxify the body, relieve stress, make it easier to stretch, and help better tone the body.

Additional Yoga Benefits
Many are familiar with the basic health benefits of yoga, such as flexibility, muscle tone, and protection from injury.  Although yoga itself will not directly ensure effective weight-loss, there are other benefits that are not highlighted as often.

Immune Boost: It does not take too many yoga sessions before yoga is positively impacting your immune system.  According to numerous studies, participating in yoga helps boost your immune system very quickly.  In fact, the impact to your immune system lasts days after your last yoga session.

Brain Health: While engaging in yoga poses, you are practicing mindfulness.  It is the mindfulness component of yoga that packs major benefits for your brain and overall mental health. Bonus: We all know that mindfulness is key for effective weight-loss, so this is a win-win!

Community: People who engage in yoga on a regular basis are a part of a larger community filled with support and unity.  It is a great way to connect with others in a healthy setting.

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