Yoga is a form of meditation and exercise that promotes physical, mental, and emotional well-being. While more vigorous and difficult traditional yoga forms like Vinyasa or Ashtanga can be practised, gentle yoga provides a calmer, more meditative way to practise yoga.
Gentle yoga does not focus on the calories burned but more on the stillness of the mind and the fulfilment one gains in stretching. Let’s learn more about gentle yoga practice and gentle yoga styles. How does gentle yoga count as a meditation practice, and what does it entail to have a balanced yoga practice?
You will learn a lot from this article, which you can bring when you sign up for a gentle yoga class or yoga practice. Let’s begin your journey toward a healthier mind and fulfilled spirit.
What is Gentle Yoga?
A gentle class is known for its accessibility, which makes gentle yoga suited for yoga practitioners of any age and fitness level. Gentle yoga is slower-paced and concentrates on relaxation, breathing, and mindfulness, unlike the more vigorous kinds of yoga.
Gentle yoga stretches, yoga poses, and gentle yoga styles are frequently practised in slow motion during gentle yoga classes.
Benefits of Gentle Yoga
Throughout ancient times, people have used yoga to enhance their physical, psychological, and emotional well-being. While other yoga styles can be physically taxing, gentle yoga offers a calmer, more laid-back way to practice this age-old art.
Here are some of the benefits of joining a gentle yoga class and practising gentle yoga:
Gentle yoga session reduces stress and tension
One of the most important benefits of practising gentle yoga is alleviating tension and anxiety. Deep breathing exercises, breathing techniques, and relaxation techniques are used to calm the mind and emotions of yoga practitioners.
Gentle yoga poses and gentle yoga styles have been demonstrated to lower the body’s levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Gentle yoga poses also help relax the physical body and calm the mind.
Gentle yoga improves the range of motion and flexibility
For people new to yoga or with restricted mobility, gentle yoga is a good practice to increase flexibility and range of motion. Gentle yoga classes, gentle yoga poses, and yoga styles develop joint mobility and muscle flexibility. They also aid in lowering the risk of injury while enhancing physical and mental health.
Gentle yoga styles improve stability and balance
Gentle yoga helps improve stability and balance, which is crucial for healing injuries or improving the balance of elderly people. Gentle yoga involves slow, purposeful movements that enhance body awareness and coordination. With continued practice, gentle yoga styles can lower the fall risk and improve general balance.
Gentle yoga improves sleep quality
A gentle yoga class or gentle yoga sequence encourages better sleep, especially for people suffering from sleep disorders. Gentle yoga focuses on deep breathing and relaxation techniques, which can calm the mind and lower tension. As a result, you will find it easier to sleep and stay asleep when you regularly practice gentle flow yoga or attend a gentle yoga session.
Gentle yoga alleviates persistent pain
Gentle flow yoga and other yin yoga classes can be an excellent approach to reducing chronic pain, especially for people who suffer from medical conditions such as fibromyalgia or arthritis. Gentle yoga offers assistance to lessen stiffness and inflammation. By doing regular gentle yoga flow and yoga sequence, you will have fewer bodily pains and suffering.
Gentle yoga boosts mental wellness
Gentle yoga helps you meditate through deep breathing exercises and relaxation techniques. The combined breath work, proper alignment, and yoga poses done at a slower pace can enhance your mental state. It also promotes inner peace and a happier aura.
Gentle yoga encourages inner tranquillity and mindfulness
Gentle yoga emphasises the value of being present and paying attention to your breath. This may aid in fostering inner calm and mindfulness, which promote general well-being.
Gentle Yoga Styles
Practising yoga, including basic yoga, can be beneficial for the whole body. Yoga workout is easy; even an average person can do it regularly. But you have to commit to practising yoga at home, in yoga classes, or fitness classes led by qualified yoga teachers.
Before aiming for the more challenging poses, you can begin by doing a style of yoga that promotes relaxation above all else. If you are up to trying the gentle yoga practice, here are the gentle yoga styles you can choose from:
Hatha yoga is a gentle, classic form of yoga that emphasises deep breathing and slow, deliberate movement. This gentle yoga practice suits beginners or those aiming for a mild yoga workout. It’s now easy to find yoga classes that offer Hatha yoga in Singapore, led by licensed yoga teachers.
Yin yoga is a contemplative, slow-paced style of yoga that calls for holding positions for extended periods. It is intended to increase the range of motion and flexibility, strengthen muscles, and offer many other potential health benefits.
Restorative yoga uses bolsters, blocks, and blankets as props to support the body in passive, gentle, and soothing stretches. This yoga style is suited for individuals who are recovering from an illness or injury.
Chair yoga is a moderate form of yoga practised either in a seated position or using a chair as a support. This one pose is easy, which makes it ideal for seniors or anyone with limited mobility.
Gentle vinyasa is a flowing, slow-paced yoga technique emphasising synchronising breath with movement. This yoga practice is comprised of an active yoga sequence recommended for individuals who prefer gentler styles of yoga but still want to engage in challenging poses.
Is Gentle Yoga for Everybody?
Gentle yoga suits almost everyone, regardless of age or physical condition. This is preferred by beginners and those with physical limitations or ailments over the athletic yoga styles.
Compared to standard yoga practice, gentle yoga classes often comprise slower motions, fewer repetitions, and more adaptations. Hence, the practice is safe and more accessible to people who find it difficult to do advanced poses.
Before beginning any new workout regimen, including a gentle yoga sequence, it is always advisable to speak with a doctor or other healthcare provider, especially if you have any medical ailments or worries.
How Often Should I Practice Gentle Yoga?
It is recommended to practice gentle yoga frequently, but you can do it less often if you have an existing medical condition. To give the body time to get used to the exercise, beginners are advised to start with one yoga class or two each week. You can gradually practice more often as your body gets used to the gentle yoga class and movements.
In the end, it’s crucial to pay attention to your body and stop when it is telling you to do so. Try to develop a regular practice schedule of a gentle yoga sequence, since consistency is key to making it work.
Gentle Yoga Poses
Here are some of the most popular gentle yoga poses taught by qualified yoga teachers at yoga studios or yoga classes:
This one pose gently stretches the back, hips, and thighs. Begin on your hands and knees, and while extending your arms in front of you, bring your hips back toward your heels.
This yoga pose will help you become more flexible by stretching your spine gently. To get this done, begin on your hands and knees and alternate between arching and rounding your back.
This standing yoga pose is good for posture and balance. Standing with your feet hip-width apart, raise your arms toward the sky while maintaining a relaxed upper body and spine.
This yoga pose gently stretches your hamstrings and lower back. Standing with your feet hip-width apart, bend your knees slightly, and bend your hips forward.
Legs Up the Wall
This simple inversion pose promotes blood flow and lessens oedema in the legs. Relax into the yoga pose while lying on your back and keeping your legs against a wall.
As you become more accustomed to doing yoga poses in your meditation and exercise, you can try different styles in doing a yoga sequence. You may want to try Iyengar yoga, ashtanga yoga, or hot yoga in a heated room.
Additionally, you can tweak the styles and poses, like doing more stretches to your right leg, left leg, right knee, or left knee. You can add more yoga poses to your yoga sequence, including downward dog or downward facing dog, corpse pose, or bound angle. Moreover, you can try different breathing methods, such as alternate nostril breathing and more.
Hatha Yoga vs. Gentle Yoga
Traditional yoga, known as Hatha, emphasises breathing control or pranayama, physical postures or asanas, and meditation. It is meant to be challenging and active and requires more energy than gentle yoga. Hatha classes require a sequence of poses that flow together.
On the other hand, gentle yoga is an easier and calmer way to practice yoga. It often consists of a yoga sequence of gentle stretches, poses, and motions intended to be accessible to people of all ages and fitness levels. It is performed more as a meditation than an exercise practice.
Restorative Yoga vs. Gentle Yoga
Restorative yoga aims to reduce stress and encourage relaxation. Many gentle poses are held for a long time, usually 5 to 10 minutes. This yoga practice is a good option for those healing from injuries, including carpal tunnel syndrome or limited mobility.
Restorative yoga is one of many styles that fall under the umbrella term of gentle yoga. This makes the practice among the many yoga styles you can do when you enrol in a gentle yoga class.
Is gentle yoga recommended for beginners?
Yes, it’s easy, which makes it an ideal practice for beginners. It provides an opportunity to get at ease in your body while practising yoga. However, for beginners who want to try the more challenging yoga poses, you may wish to enrol in Vinyasa or Ashtanga yoga classes.
Does gentle yoga count as a good workout?
Gentle yoga is more of a meditation than a rigorous exercise practice. Its emphasis is on slow, fluid motions. It won’t make you sweat a lot, especially in the beginning. However, you can gradually increase the difficulties and lengths of the yoga poses included in the practice. You can already consider gentle yoga a good workout when you reach that point.
What do I wear when practising gentle yoga?
You can wear anything loose-fitting and comfortable. You must focus on keeping your body and mind fully at ease, so make sure that you avoid constricting or uncomfortable clothing. Most gentle yoga practitioners practice at home in their pyjamas.
Can I practice gentle yoga at home?
Yes, but getting honed first by a licensed teacher and seeing how the practice is done at a yoga studio or yoga class is advisable. When doing the practice at home, try to follow a recorded yoga session or online lessons to ensure all your poses and movements are done accordingly.
Is Hatha yoga considered gentle yoga?
Yes, but there are many Hatha yoga styles, some of which may not be considered gentle yoga. If you want to follow the practice, choose a class with beginner-friendly yoga postures.
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