The ancient exercise regimen is more popular than ever
Whether you’re flowing into a downward-facing dog, holding a plank position or a striking a warrior pose, we’re talking yoga. And as the practice of yoga continues to grow and evolve, one thing is for certain – yoga is hot and it’s here to stay.
In its 2012 Yoga in America Market Study, Yoga Journal reported that 8.7 percent of U.S. adults, or 20.4 million people, practice yoga. Of current non-practitioners, 44.4 percent of Americans call themselves “aspirational yogis”—people who are interested in trying yoga.
And while many may think that yoga is just stretching, it’s far more than that. Its true purpose is to create balance and unity among the body, mind and spirit by practicing a progression of poses and postures while breathing deeply.
The practice of yoga is categorized by different knowledge levels, generally defined as level 1 – beginner, level 2 – experienced beginner, level 3 – intermediate, and level 4 – advanced intermediate. Types of yoga classes range from gentle flow and vinyasa to restorative and hot yoga.
One such “hot” studio in Brentwood is Fahrenheit Yoga Studio which opened in 2011. Says Nora Shabayek, E-RYT 200* and Fahrenheit Yoga Studio owner, “I chose this city for our studio because I grew up in Brentwood and it is a great central location for Bellevue, Belle Meade, Franklin and Nashville.”
Fahrenheit’s director, Rebecca Campbell, E-RYT 200, is quick to point out the numerous advantages of practicing hot yoga. “The benefits are significant including increased strength, flexibility, balance and focus. Yoga lowers blood pressure, thereby reducing stress. It also helps to manage chronic conditions like insomnia, depression, low back pain and arthritis.”
Campbell says that the heat helps to warm up and soften muscles which helps reduce the risk of injury and allows for deeper stretches.
But the benefits don’t stop there. Campbell explains that the word yoga literally means to yoke – the yoking of body and mind. She says, “As I tell all my students, yoga is a practice of balance. It often begins with the physical by finding balance within a pose. Then there’s the energetic balance where we find complete and total stillness, oneness if you will.”
Emma Cribb, owner, founder and head coach at Women’s Edge Sports in Greater Nashville, agrees. “Yoga fine-tunes the body and illuminates and corrects imbalances in strength, flexibility and balance. Each pose, as well as the progression of postures along with appropriate breathing patterns and techniques, promote overall well-being and blends the body, mind and spirit.”
Never practiced yoga before? No problem. Campbell emphasizes that everyone starts somewhere, and while it can be intimidating as a beginner, Fahrenheit Yoga instructors encourage each individual to work at his or her own pace. Adds Campbell, “We live in a society where we are go, go, go and being pushed to do more and do better. But yoga asks us to just be. Be who you are that day and in that moment. Our instructors are trained to teach this way so we can be there for the safety and support of every student from beginners to those more advanced.”
So fill up your water bottle, grab your mat and start experiencing all the benefits of yoga. You’re guaranteed to have one hot time.
*Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher who, since training, has taught for 2 years and over 1,000 hours.
Visit FahrenheitYogaStudio.com for complete class and pricing information.