Strike a pose: Make yoga part of your New Year’s resolutions
First things first: Give yourself a high-five for surviving the most wonderful time of the year—AKA the hectic holiday season. Now, with the New Year approaching, let’s get a jump start on our resolutions for a happy and healthy 2015. Yoga to the rescue: It’s time for some rhythmic breathing, relaxing stretches and meditation to help us re-center. Here are three types of yoga to try and what you need to get started. Now, repeat after us: “Ommm!”
What it is: Turn up the heat on your yoga routine with this yoga style, which is practiced in a heated room. (Read: You’re going to sweat … a lot … which is good for flushing out toxins). You’ll work your body through a sequence of 26 poses and two breathing exercises, all while improving your balance and core strength. A little history tidbit: Bikram Choudhury is credited for creating the practice. As a teen, he injured his knee and doctors believed he’d never be able to walk again, but he says the deep stretching of yoga healed his knee.
What you’ll need: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. And then hydrate some more. You’ll sweat buckets during this hot yoga class, so make sure you’ve got a trough of water readily available after class. Super-size your water bottle with a 64-ounce version, like this Klean Kanteen stainless steel water bottle, $32.95 from REI. Another hot yoga necessity? A super-absorbent towel, like this Thirsty yoga mat towel, $24.98 at Gaiam, that will suck up twice as much sweat and moisture as an average cotton towel and will also dry in half the time.
What it is: A great class for beginner yogis as well as those who want to break from routines, these poses smoothly run together, resembling a gracious dance. You’ll synchronize your movements with breathing techniques, making it a great workout for stretching your muscles and improving flexibility and releasing stress.
What you’ll need: This type of yoga is frequently called flow because you flow from pose to pose, so you’ll definitely want to wear workout gear that allows for movement and wicks away moisture. A go-with-the-flow exercise combo: Curve Capri pants, $60 at Gaiam, are made with breathable, quick-drying fabric and can be paired with a petal tank, $54 at Gaiam, that has ruching at the waist to stay put while you move about.
What it is: This practice is all about perfecting alignment for better balance and improved circulation. This type of yoga uses props such as blocks, benches, chairs and belts to help those practicing the form to remain in their poses longer and become more precise.
What you’ll need: Check with your studio to see what they’ll be providing. If you want to work on new poses, though, we suggest a Yoga Essentials block, $10.98-$21, to help with your safety and alignment. The blocks are lightweight, but stable and are non-slip to help you stay stable.