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18 Feb 2004

Classes
Morning, is it possible to perhaps list the yoga classes in the different provinces so all can see.

I am particularly looking for yoga classes in Cape Town but in my area (Table View).

I am a beginner and would like to start yoga. Will this make me fit and can you loose weight? I dont exactly want to loose weight but just get fit.

What are the benefits of doing yoga?
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Expert
Yoga
yoga

01 Jan 0001

Hi Bella, whilst some people do lose weight doing yoga as well as experiencing significant improvement in flexibility, strength and endurance it shouldn't really be the goal of your yoga practice (I would say). What you are likely to experience is an increase in physical and mental awareness, which can lead to bodily "improvements" but can also manifest in greater confidence, less stress or better relationships for example. Extra persons journey and experience is their own and therefore unique but there is a huge amount of researched physical of a regular yoga practice, for example:
"Putting Yoga to the Test
In one of the first studies done in the United States that examines the relationship between yoga and fitness, researchers at the University of California at Davis recently tested the muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, cardio respiratory fitness, body composition, and lung function of 10 college students before and after eight weeks of yoga training. Each week, the students attended four sessions that included 10 minutes of pranayama, 15 minutes of warm-up exercises, 50 minutes of asanas and 10 minutes of meditation. After eight weeks the students’ muscular strength had increased by as much as 31 percent, muscular endurance by 57 percent, flexibility by as much as 188 percent and VO2 max by 7 percent – a very respectable increase, given the brevity of the experiment.

One study, conducted in Secunderabad, India, compared a group of athletes taught pranayama (breathing exercises) to another group who were not. After two years, those who practiced pranayama showed a larger reduction of blood lactate (an indicator of fatigue) in response to exercise; in addition they were more able than the control group to increase their exercise intensity as well as the efficiency of their oxygen consumption during exercise. Other smaller studies also done in India have found that yoga can increase exercise performance and raise anaerobic threshold. (Anaerobic threshold is the point at which your muscles cannot extract enough oxygen from your blood and therefore must switch from burning oxygen to burning sugar and creatine."

I suggest trying a few different places and styles before deciding what is right for you. Thereafter the gifts of flexibility, balance, strength, stress reduction and increased awareness become accessible for every body.

Regards
Chris
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