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Yoga is a broad umbrella-term for a number of ancient exercise programs which aim to increase the strength and flexibility of the body in order to improve the physical and mental health of the body. There are many different elements to yoga, but the main ones including postures, which are a number of fixed positions which help to increase flexibility and strength, and breathing. If you are interested in learning yoga, then there are several places where you can learn, including in leisure centres, gyms and health clubs across Australia.

Why choose yoga?

If you are interested in learning about yoga, then there may be several reasons why you could benefit from this type of exercise. In the West, Yoga is typically used due to its excellent health benefits, which can include an increase in core strength, helping balance and movement, greater flexibility and better breathing techniques. The exercise routine is also considered to be useful for those with arthritis, since it is much gentler than other forms of exercise, and can be used to move joints which are stiff or tender.

Most yoga learners with arthritis need to make use of a specialist trainer in order to ensure that all of the movements used are suitable for those with arthritis. For those with more spiritual intentions, Yoga also has a number of philosophies designed to improve the mind. Yoga in this field is seen as a discipline for follows of Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism. It is used to control the mind and body during religious observation and in Buddhism is seen as one of the ways to separate the mind from the physical world around it.

  • Low impact – With some forms of exercise like running and contact supports taking their toll on the body’s systems and joints over time, yoga is a great way to exercise without having long term detrimental effects.
  • Convenient – Because yoga is so popular, you’ll definitely be able to find a class close to you at a time that fits in to your schedule.
  • Practical – There are a wide range of formats in which you can do yoga. From group classes, to one-on-one instruction, to practising at home, the minimal equipment you need for yoga makes it a practical and accessible form of exercise.
  • Relaxing – Stress is on the rise, and even half an hour of mindful yoga will go a long way towards diffusing the tension that builds up because of our hectic schedules.
  • Something for everyone – Whether your goal is weight loss, meditation, flexibility, a social opportunity or some time to yourself, yoga can fit into the lifestyle of anyone, at any age.

Schools of Yoga

There are several different schools of Yoga, depending upon the following of the tutor. For example, Buddhist Yoga is used as part of a process of meditation and focus. In Hinduism, Classical Yoga is used as one of the Vedas religious schools of Yoga, with the Yoga Sutras being some of the most well-known works of this form. Ashtanga Yoga, or Raja Yoga, is a more religious form, which practices self-development and healing, and ethics. Hatha Yoga focuses upon the mental and physical development of the follower, and uses exercises and poses described in classic Hindu texts. Jainism uses yoga as a path to self-realisation, and to create a pure state beyond attachment. Tantra Yoga, a disputed form of both Hindu and Buddhist Yoga, is also common in the West, though it is a much more private method than other forms of Yoga.

Yoga and exercise

Since the development of Yoga teaching in the West, Yoga has come to stand for a form of health exercise and breathing techniques that have little to do with the traditional religious exercises. Most people in Australia will learn this modern form of Yoga, with a focus on core strength and muscle stretching without the use of any spiritual methods. If you are interested purely in the fitness methods for Yoga, then you will be able to find many schools offering these classes.

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