Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Yoga

A hobby to some and a way of life for many, yoga is a multi-faceted practice with an ever-growing following. Though its popularity is increasing by the minute, there are still a lot of questions to be asked on the topic. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions people have about yoga.

Does yoga burn calories?

The short answer is yes, but the intensity of the yoga class you do matters when it comes to how many calories you will burn. Participating in a regular yoga session can burn 180 to 460 calories, depending on a few different factors such as:

  • The type of yoga you do.
  • The length and intensity of the class.
  • Your body weight.

Just like with any other physical exercise, you get out of it what you put in. A 90-minute power yoga class is going to shred more calories than a slow-flow, restorative class.

Does yoga build muscle?

When done correctly, yoga is an excellent way to strengthen, tone, and build muscle mass while also improving overall mobility in the joints and becoming more flexible. While there are many different yoga styles and poses that target certain muscle groups, not all yoga poses are effective in strengthening your muscles. If you want to build muscle quickly, consider adding a strength training regimen into your workout routine.

What are yoga blocks for?

In yoga, there are many props to help you express a yoga pose. Yoga blocks provide assistance by posing as an extension of the arms, to support the back, head and hips to melt into a pose with ease.

Yoga blocks can be used to shorten the distance between you and the floor, support proper alignment, and make certain poses more doable for beginners and those with injuries and/or physical limitations.

Is yoga cardio?

While many yoga styles are not aerobic in nature, yoga can be considered cardio if you practice certain types, like Vinyasa, for at least 45 minutes, 3-5 times per week.

What are yoga pants?

The flexible nature of yoga calls for clothing that allows you to move about freely as it hugs your every move. Yoga pants are comfortable, stretchy pants that are usually made of spandex, lycra, polyester, nylon, wool and/or cotton. They are slim fitting like leggings, but tend to be thicker, and can run from the waistline all the way down to the feet.

Most yoga pants reach to the ankle or mid-calf, but some will even extend over the heel, covering the arch of the foot.

When was yoga invented?

There is evidence of the existence of yoga dating all the way back to 2700 B.C. known as the pre-Vedic period. However, the period between 500 B.C. – 800 A.D. (The Classical Period) is widely considered to be the most noteworthy timeframe in the history and development of yoga.

Can yoga make you taller?

There are many physical and mental benefits to be attained through the practice of yoga, but skeletal height is not one of them. Yoga can help you increase strength, build muscle mass, develop body positivity, enhance flexibility, and improve posture. All of which may help you to stand taller and prouder.

How long do you hold a yoga pose?

There are no rules as to how long you need to hold a yoga pose. However, most yoga poses are usually held anywhere from one or two breaths to 5-10 minutes. The amount of time that you hold a yoga pose will depend on the type of yoga you are practicing as well as the goal of session.

Does yoga help with flexibility?

Absolutely. Yoga poses stretch out your muscles, increase your range of motion, and improve your flexibility. While yoga is not aerobic, there are many physical benefits from practicing it regularly such as improved balance, coordination, static strength and mindfulness.

How often should I do yoga?

Incorporating yoga into your routine can gain you many benefits. As you begin to allow your body to adjust to the practice, its best to do 2-5 sessions per week. Over time, you may be able to accomplish up to five or six sessions per week so long as your yogi heart desires.

How much do yoga classes cost?

On average, a single yoga session will typically cost you anywhere from $10 to $20 whereas private lessons will typically run between $30 and $70 per session. Yoga studio memberships are on the pricy side, costing between $100 and $200 per month.

That being said, there are a lot of yoga instructors who post instructional videos online for free if you’re looking for a more cost-effective way to practice. You can also try searching for donation-only yoga classes offered in your local area as a refreshing weekend treat.

Can yoga help sciatica?

Sciatica is a condition that affects the lower back region of your body with severe pains. A gentle yoga practice can help to alleviate some of the symptoms of sciatica while enjoying a relaxing activity. Yoga asanas that target the lower back along with slow, mindful breathing techniques can provide substantial relief to sciatica patients.

How do I blow up a yoga ball?

If you have just purchased a brand new yoga mat, you’ll need to remove it from the package and let it rest at room temperature for a minimum of two hours before inflating. This allows the temperature of the material to adjust so that it inflates quicker.

You can either use a ball pump with a foot pedal or an electric pump. Attach the pointed end of the ball pump to the ball plug and inflate the ball to 80% of its entire capacity. Then close the ball plug back up and allow the ball to rest for the rest of the day before inflating it to 100%. If you try to inflate the ball all the way on the first day, you may not get the right results and the ball may not take its proper shape.

The next day, you can remove the ball plug, attach the pump nozzle to the ball and pump until the ball is full. Its advised that you wait another day before you begin using your yoga ball to allow it to rest.

Should I do yoga with lower back pain?

Yoga is highly effective at targeting the muscles that support the back and the spine. The act of stretching and stabilizing your back through yoga asanas and breathwork can help to alleviate the discomfort caused by lower back pain.

Can yoga help you lose belly fat?

It’s not possible to target your weight loss, so it’s hard to say whether practicing yoga will help you get rid of unwanted belly fat. However, doing yoga supports weight loss because it is a physical activity that helps you improve flexibility and build muscle. In other words, practicing yoga may help you burn fat all over your body, not specifically in the abdominal area.

What should I eat before doing yoga?

Many yoga experts would agree that practicing on an empty stomach is ideal for optimal results. If you must have a snack, it is best to go with something that light that will be easy for you to digest such as a handful of almonds, chia pudding, avocado, fruit, or oatmeal.