Workout Wednesday Feature | Cleveland Yoga
By: Kathie Zipp, Engage! Cleveland Leadership Council Does your New Year’s resolution include weight loss, stress relief, meditation or maybe yoga? What are the advantages of yoga anyway, and how should you prepare for your first class?
Engage! Cleveland’s upcoming Workout Wednesday with Cleveland Yoga on February 8, is a great way to give yoga a try, or a fun way for experienced yogis to practice together. In light of the event, we caught up with Tami Schneider, owner of Cleveland Yoga Studios, yoga teacher training and international faculty member of Baptiste Yoga. She gave us some great tips to get ready!
- Yoga is important to your overall health.
Yoga is a blend of physical body movements that link a rhythm of breathing and focus—or as we often call it, meditation in motion. Any type of physical movement is beneficial to our overall health. When combined with deep breathing techniques and committed focus (which promotes mental clarity and self-motivation), the health benefits are endless. Here are some top reported results from our client base:
- Increased strength
- Greater flexibility and better balance
- Enhanced range of motion
- Mental clarity
- Better circulation
- Weight loss
- Better sleep
- My favorite: Better relationships! (with partners, bosses, co-workers, family members, etc.!)
- Yoga can be a great workout, as well as a practice.
In the traditional sense, yoga is a practice—personally, I stand by that. However, in our modern world, many people who practice may use it as their workout. A powerful heated yoga class brings in fitness enthusiasts who use yoga to balance other forms of fitness. The practices and techniques of yoga (physical movement, meditation and breath work) help to prevent injury, which is something that fitness enthusiasts and athletes need. But in reality, yoga is a practice. It’s something that we can work on and improve upon for the rest of our lives. It’s not just about the physical practice, which is what brings so many to their mats. It’s about bettering yourself and keeping yourself healthy and full of vitality. That’s a life-long practice.
- There are easy ways to incorporate yoga into your daily life.
If you can’t get to your mat for the physical practice, you can bring in the other aspects of yoga to your world. Meditation can be done for just five minutes. Sitting still and clearing the mind is something that can be done every day. Taking five deep breaths throughout your day does wonders. Simple stretches at your desk can alleviate back pain. Some people may be doing yoga every day and just not realizing it. When you take a deep breath and sigh out frustration or anxiety, you are practicing yoga. Also, self-inquiry is a “limb” of yoga. Those who journal and blog about their thoughts and emotions are incorporating yoga into their worlds too.
- Both hot and traditional yoga have benefits.
All forms of yoga are beneficial. It just depends on the person. Our studios offer hot-vinyasa-style classes because that is what speaks to me. I come from a long-time fitness background and have always loved the feeling of a good sweat. Our philosophy is that when you heat anything it changes—an egg, glass, water etc.). A good sweat helps to remove toxins from your body and promotes better circulation and increases blood flow to your muscles, thus reducing injuries and better flexibility. Having said that, a yoga practice in a regular temperate room is amazing for the body and soul as well. People enjoy different things. It just depends on what style is a fit for you.
- It’s worth investing in a good mat.
It’s important to invest in a good quality mat. Some are smooth while some have a little roughness to the touch. The right fit depends on the person. The mats sold in discount stores are slippery and fall apart easily. Investing in a good mat helps you commit to your practice, and a really a good mat helps avoid slipping by providing the proper cushion. A quality mat makes you feel good about your practice.
- What you do after your practice matters.
After a yoga practice, be sure to hydrate yourself, just as a massage therapist would tell you to drink a lot of water after your massage to help flush out the toxins and lymph system you just tapped into. Water will help alleviate fatigue and muscle soreness as well. Put fresh and healthy foods into your system so your body feels light and ready for your next practice.
Learn more from Cleveland Yoga at Engage! Cleveland’s Workout Wednesday event on February 8th! Sign up here.