If someone asks you "Are you coming to play tennis with me?" you probably have no problem visualizing the sport you are being told about.
Now if you are offered to do a yoga session, what image appears in your mind?
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Many forms of Yoga
Don't be fooled, that single word “yoga” hides a host of different exercise styles. By digging a little you will come across a host of names such as Sivananda, Ashtanga yoga, Iyengar, Vinyasa yoga, Jivamukti, Yin, Hatha yoga, Power yoga, Prana flow, Traditional yoga and many others.
The real question is what are you looking for? To put it simply, there are 3 main families of yoga:
- Spiritual Yoga: Encompasses the practice related to the philosophy of yoga, its texts (mantras) and meditation.
- Dynamic Yoga: This practice requires moving your body and working your muscles through successive postures. The evacuation of mental stress and the practice of good breathing accompany the exercises.
- Passive or relaxation yoga: For this type of yoga, it is a question of learning to relax outside the usual phases of sleep by adopting adapted postures.
If it's dynamic yoga that interests you, that's great! This is the one we are going to talk about in this article. It also comes in many variations such as Ashtanga, Jivamukti, Bikram and Vinyasa.
Equipment for dynamic yoga
Before diving into your best leggings and launching a 30-minute dynamic yoga video, take a few moments to think about the equipment needed.
In fact, this sport is not expensive since the ideal is simply to have a suitable and quality floor mat. I specify "adapted" because, having experienced it, it is very unpleasant to have to readjust the position of your body all the time because either the hands or the feet are off the mat with each change. of posture.
And to keep the yoga mindset, investing in a good eco-friendly mat is a great initiative. For example, discover the Yogom yoga mat. They have the advantage of being versatile in addition to being recyclable and without latex or pvc.
The rest of the accessories sometimes used, such as cushion or chair, are certainly already at your disposal.
Benefits of dynamic yoga
Yoga has been practiced for millennia and practitioners have always recognized its benefits. From recent studies further confirm this fact.
Here are some benefits of practicing this physical activity:
- Improved flexibility and balance
- calorie burning
- Elimination of toxins
- Strengthening of muscles and bones
- Increased joint mobility
- Reduction of inflammation
- Improved cardiovascular system and physical condition
- Stress management and breathing exercises
To accentuate the effectiveness of their sessions, some add Pilates or HIIT to work the cardio even more.
The practice of dynamic yoga
This discipline is practiced by chaining fixed postures while controlling your breathing. This sequence of dynamic postures in a fluid way allows you to stretch, tone and strengthen the whole body by working on its balance. It also affects the internal organs.
As with any sport, regularity is obviously important. Then, depending on your level and your objective, the duration of the sessions, the number and type of postures and the rhythm between them may vary.
To practice dynamic yoga at home, you have at your disposal thousands of videos of exercise sessions or guides on paper (magazines and books).
It's up to you to see if you prefer to follow sequences prepared by a yoga teacher or if you want to learn about the different postures to create tailor-made workouts.
All dynamic yoga postures do not require the same strength, the same energy and do not solicit the same parts of the body.
One of the advantages of taking a close look at the different yoga postures is that you can prepare a training program that targets certain parts of the body or certain objectives.
For example, you can select exercise sets for stretching and leg muscles. Another series for special cardio training. Then a sequence to work mainly the upper body. Or a series of postures to burn as many calories as possible.
Here are some examples…
Stretch and strengthen the legs
- Downward Facing Dog: This pose stretches the hamstrings, glutes, calves and lower back.
- Warrior III: Excellent balance posture to strengthen the calves, hamstrings, buttocks with the bonus of good stress on the back and shoulders.
- Triangle: The triangle is a good way to stretch all the muscles of the thighs, hips and back.
- Half-moon: Strengthens the quadriceps, glutes, ankles in addition to stretching certain leg muscles.
- The bridge: Helps strengthen the glutes, hamstrings and lower back.
Relax and tone the back
- The Sphinx: This exercise strengthens the spine and allows you to work the spinal muscles, the glutes, the pectoralis major, the trapezius and the latissimus dorsi.
- Half Lord of the Pisces: The twist in this pose stretches the hips, shoulders, and neck and engages the rhomboids, serratus anterior, spinals, pectoralis major, and psoas.
- Low Cobra Pose: A variation of the Cobra Pose for working the deep and superficial muscles of the back.
- The chair: This posture corresponds to a static squat to solicit the majority of the muscles that support the back.
Strengthen the abdominals
- Boat: This seated position with your legs raised and your arms horizontal will quickly make you realize that your abs exist. The exposure time should increase as you progress.
- Planks: All variations of planks, such as the classic, side or dolphin plank, are excellent for working the abs and toning the core muscles.
- Raven: An ideal exercise to strengthen the upper body and abs.
Burn maximum calories
The postures already mentioned above, such as the chair, the triangle, the warrior, the bridge and the cobra are interesting to integrate into a sequence to burn as many calories as possible.
The main thing is to perform a series at a pace that will make you sweat enough to know that you are achieving the desired goal.
With practice, you will quickly find that the series of certain postures naturally generate an acceleration of the heart rate, like any other sports activity. This is the case of the chair or the warrior for example.
By increasing the intensity of the series or the rhythm of the sequences, you can easily integrate cardio into your sessions.
NOTE: Intense efforts require vigilance. It is wise to seek medical advice before engaging in heart-intensive physical activity. Especially since cardio exercises are contraindicated for people with acute conditions, high blood pressure, overweight and obviously heart failure.
Benefits of Dynamic Yoga: Conclusion
The principle of dynamic yoga is to unite body, mind and breath in order to strengthen, stretch and relieve. Its many benefits also include an effect on the mind of the practitioner.
Performing fluid movements with the mind focused on each part of your body and breathing synchronized to the rhythm of the movements is one of the most beneficial physical activities.
As a beginner, it is interesting to follow the courses prepared by specialists or a yoga school to the letter. Later, the advantage of practicing the sessions at home is that you can do them at your own pace and when you want.
Far be it from you this feeling of shame alongside a dozen people chaining without problem all the postures at a frantic pace, while you barely manage to finish your installation of the previous pose 😅
And the fun part is, with practice, you will understand that you can practice dynamic yoga like a dance, like sport, like gym or like fitness. It's up to you to give it the touch you like to maintain your body...
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