Monday, September 15, 2014

Namaste: 3 Forms of Yoga for a Healthy & Balanced Life #silkproteinpower

Ever since I became ill, my family and I have been heavily into healthy living, but last year is when I really started getting seriously involved in fitness. I tried (and enjoyed) many different types of exercise; weight lifting, hiking, kayaking, traditional gym workouts, walking, and more.

While I loved experimenting with being fit in different ways, two particular types of exercise really stuck out over the others...

Pole fitness and yoga. Hatha yoga to be exact.

I have only experienced the one form of yoga so far in my healthy living journey but there are many, many different forms and subsets of yoga out there; it's just a matter of finding one (or more) that you enjoy and that fits your personality and lifestyle.

Outlined below are just a few styles of yoga, but if yoga as a whole is an exercise you enjoy doing, I highly suggest looking into the other different types and trying ones that interest you!

Hatha Yoga is the most basic of the yoga styles out there and gives you a fantastic starting point if you're a newbie to the yoga world. Being the foundation for all other styles of yoga and the easiest to learn and use, Hatha incorporates Asanas (individual postures), Pranayama (regulated breathing), and meditation (Dharana & Dhyana) for a very refreshing and relaxing workout. Regardless of if you choose to do it on your own at home with video tutorials or in a class with a certified yoga teacher and fellow yogi classmates, the best part of Hatha yoga (in my opinion) is the fact that YOU can choose the pace! All asanas are modifiable so you're able to complete the posture without putting your body in any serious strain, the sequences you go through can be as easy or as difficult as you choose, and if you have any issues with your body, you can find several asanas that can help aid in your healing (I.E. back pain, menstrual cramps, digestive issues, etc).

Picture courtesy of

Bikram Yoga incorporates the same asanas in Hatha yoga but there's a catch; only 26 poses, including two breathing exercises, are performed in the same order and repeated for exactly 90 minutes in a single class. Bikram classes are also renowned for being held in 95-105 degree ferinheight rooms, the heat helping to promote flexibility, detoxification, weight loss, muscular strength and endurance, and more. On a related note, hot yoga is nearly the same thing as Bikram yoga except instead of being restricted to 26 poses, hot yoga can be comprised of many different poses based on what studio or teacher you have, still in the same 95-105 degree environment. There are some precautions when practicing this type of yoga however; if you suffer from high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, or other chronic illnesses that are set off by heat, Bikram yoga might not be for you. You also will want to consume a lot of water during and after a class to replace the liquid you're sweating out and to stave off dehydration.

Picture courtesy of Unnata® Aerial Yoga

Unnata Aerial Yoga, also known as just aerial yoga, is fairly new to the yogi world and includes the use of a soft fabric hammock suspended from the ceiling to help support the weight of the yogi while they flow through their class. The hammock is positioned low enough to the ground so it allows the user to either partially or fully support their weight while practicing each pose. This type of yoga combines the traditional Hatha yoga asanas (positions) with the training of an aerialist, combining the two to create a unique, beautiful, and beneficial experience for any fitness level from beginner all the way to advanced. With all the benefits of other traditional yogas, Unnata aerial yoga also helps users achieve advanced yoga poses in less time with the extra help the hammock provides over possibly having to wait years with other forms of yoga.

Whether it's yoga you prefer or a different type of exercise you enjoy participating in, exercise isn't just the only thing you need to incorporate into your everyday life if you seek a healthy lifestyle. A well balanced diet is also a key to maintaining a healthy life!

Eating lots of fruits and vegetables, opting for organic foods, cooking a majority of your meals at home, and substituting healthier ingredients in snacks and recipes such as Silk Soymilk in lieu of regular milk in smoothies, especially before or after a good workout, are just a few ways to enhance your life for the better.

Speaking of soy milk, did you know Silk Soymilk has no cholesterol and contains plant protein? To learn more about the benefits of soy milk check out the About Silk Soymilk page on their website or follow them on Facebook.

Tell me, what do YOU do to stay healthy?
Have you ever tried yoga before?

This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.