It’s National Yoga Month, according to YogaMonth (I wonder what they do the rest of the year.)
As a former AFAA certified aerobics instructor, I’ve always loved staying up to date with the latest fitness fads. Remember those glider deals you put on your feet and you were supposed to slide back and forth, like an Olympic speed skater? If not, find some. It’s hilarious. Expect lots of injuries like sliding off the mat into a wall. So, well… never mind about getting some.
Back to topic- Yoga. I always thought of yoga as some mystical ‘ohmmmm’ thing but it’s certainly not a fitness fad. In fact, we’ve been seeing yoga grown in tremendous popularity over the past decade. So I tried it. I found myself going “What? This isn’t yoga, this is stretching, and strength work. I taught half of these moves back in the day.”
Curious, I looked up the word Yoga in the Merriam- Webster Dictionary. Definition one read as follows: “a Hindu theistic philosophy teaching the suppression of all activity of body, mind, and will in order that the self may realize its distinction from them and attain liberation.”
Yeah, um, that’s not what I want to do. Nor something I’m into promoting.
Merriam Webster Definition 2: a system of exercises for attaining bodily or mental control and well-being.
In other words, exercising with focus. The well-being part? Any balanced exercise program will give you that. The focused breathing yoga provides is unique, but I enjoyed being reminded to breathe deeply and correctly.
I found out there are several different types of yoga styles and variations, including those from definition 1. My favorite? Easy Yoga. Just kidding. Sort of.
Actually, I really enjoyed Power Yoga. Killer strength workout and I loved how limber and relaxed I felt once the workout was done. That, and sweat poured off my face even more than when I go running, so I know I got a good workout.
Yoga Month reports that practicing yoga will provide stress relief, pain relief, better breathing, flexibility, increased strength, weight management, improved circulation, and cardiovascular conditioning. Visit their site if you’d like to learn more and discover the research behind their claims. As its YOGA MONTH, over 1500 studios are offering a week of free classes with this coupon.
As for family moments, yoga is spreading in schoolrooms across the country. It is supposed to have all sorts of benefits in helping children release anxiety, relax, and become motivated. Some of the moves for kids also reminds me of BrainGym. So I wanted to try it with my kiddos. They were all surprisingly agreeable, except my son told me if I mentioned his name he’d kill me. ( ;
There are tons of DVDs, and classes, but we’re just going to try some basic moves as a family. Yoga teachers for family and children recommend doing all the same yoga moves as adults do but making it playful — let children imagine they’re a volcano spewing lava in some of the deep breathing exercises, or let them crawl under the tunnel you’ve made while executing downward dog. See if they can touch their foot to their ear, etc. Or if you want something more regimented, try these moves together: