I would love to tell you that Yoga burns calories like crazy. Alas, I can’t. It doesn’t. Of all the exercise types it gets your heart pumping the least and I can do one hour of it and still only burn 100 calories. HOWEVER, it is wonderful for calming you down and making you more limber, increasing your ability to balance, and giving you an unmatched sense of well-being. So, if you are wanting to get into this ancient form of exercise, please go for it but know that you will have to rely more on diet to lose weight with yoga than if you chose cardio based workouts.
Finding a class in your area is probably going to be easy. Yoga schools have been popping up like kambucha mushrooms, there are even yoga “malls” here in the Midwest where you can choose from several different forms of yoga all given in the same building!
Hot yoga looks like the latest form to catch on. You do this in a room heated to about 103-104 deg F. I have done this and you will be dripping at the end of a 70 min class. I urge you to find a place where they keep the studio spotlessly clean. All that heat, moisture, and bacteria (in a darkened room) can lead to some icky surroundings. You have to be careful of your yoga mat, too. The clothes you normally wear in a setting like this are pretty skimpy, so be prepared for that. I have worn long pants and regular cami-tops but a lot of the practitioners wear what looks like bathing suits.
Hot yoga is very invigorating. You feel your blood pumping when you are through and your heart rate does go up a lot more with hot yoga than with room temperature yoga. I still would not say it is a weight loss form of exercise, but it is marvelous for stretching to the max and helping your joints feel much batter.
Hatha is probably the most regular form of yoga. Series of poses done as a set and repeated, sort of like a massage from the inside out. Some of the poses are pretty simple but you can get complex and exceptionally difficult if you please. The Peacock is a pose that few people can do, it is basically a handstand but with your body parallel to the floor. Lots of the balancing poses are very difficult and exceptionally good for you (like standing on one foot). You can make your sense of balance better by practicing, and you don’t often do that in your day unless you practice yoga.
There are lots and lots of different variants on yoga, and one is sure to be your “cup of tea”. I find that the relaxation it brings is worth every second I devote to it, but there are people who use it as a spiritual treat every day, too. It is great because it is flexible to suit your needs, demands very little equipment, and gives you a wonderful workout on your terms.
Many yoga practices will sell you a set of tickets or classes for you to try out what they offer, at a reduced rate. Look around your neighborhood and see if anything has sprouted up there. I bet you will be surprised by what you find, and delighted by how great it feels.Namaste!
I have practiced a bit of yoga in my life. Actually, I started doing it when I was a child and I had no idea that is what we were doing! Now, coming back to it in adulthood is like finding an old friend with whom you lost touch. Really good. Give it a try.