The practice of Yoga is more than 5,000 years old, so it’s not going away anytime soon. But if you’ve often thought about adding it to your weekly workout regimen and then never followed through (like many of us), now’s the perfect time to commit. September is National Yoga Month and to get an insider scoop on why Yoga is so good for you, we checked in with yoga and fitness guru Jeni DelPozo.
Q: Jeni what’s the most important thing for people to know and understand when they take up yoga?
With fitness people expect to become experts right away. But the thing about Yoga is that it is a practice – and you learn, develop and grow physically and mentally as you become more accomplished. It’s a lifestyle and it’s incredibly helpful for making us not just more toned and flexible, but more centered, de-stressed and calm.
Q: How did you get started with yoga?
I grew up dancing and that led to a wonderful 15 year career as a professional dancer. I worked in the apparel industry for a few years after that but still loved dance – and needed it after long days at work. After a while, I decided I needed to make what I got from dance the main part of my life again. Over time I studied and became certified to teach Pilates, barre and then found my way to yoga. The more I practiced and learned about yoga the more I realized what it can do for people and their lives. It helps you get in touch with yourself, to be mindful – and of course it’s an amazing all over body mind workout for life.
Q: What are some of the benefits people can see from practicing yoga?
Some of the benefits of regular yoga are obvious – things like increased strength and flexibility, toned muscles. But because breath control and breathing is an important element, it also helps people develop better lung capacity too. Yoga helps us perfect posture, protect our spines, and because of the body-weight lifting requirements, helps us retain bone density. It can also lower high blood pressure, improve immunity, increase your heart rate and really becomes the basis of a whole healthy way of life that people can maintain well into the later years.
Q: How should someone get started with Yoga?
I am lucky enough to have the best of both worlds – I get to teach live classes, but also record on-demand content for platforms like FLEX by FitnessOnDemand, and stream live classes to people at home. Despite the down sides of the pandemic, we’re living in a really great time to try new fitness practices. The idea of starting yoga can be quite intimidating to even the most adventurous fitness enthusiast, because of the knowledge needed to perform and perfect moves. But with on-demand content, classes and technique training people can try a wide variety of yoga styles – and instructors – from the comfort of home. They can become more familiar with yoga, then perhaps join a streaming class and go live at their local clubs.
Q: What other tips should people keep in mind when starting yoga?
- Enjoy the process – yoga is a journey to be enjoyed. It’s not about the destination but about the ongoing process of learning about your body, your breathing and perfecting moves that bring the mind and body together
- Be conscious of yourself – yoga shouldn’t be about a quick 45 minute session and then rushing on to the next thing in your day. Take the time to sit with yourself and decompress. Many yoga enthusiasts journal as part of the mindfulness experience
- Be open to it – if you haven’t done breath work before, some people may feel unsure or even roll their eyes. But stay open to the experience. Yoga’s been practiced for centuries for a very good reason. Once adopted, it can change your life.
See more of Jeni DelPozo on FitnessOnDemand or at www.jenidelpozo.com