While the traditional yoga you may be familiar with takes you through a range of movements and poses. Gentle yoga is a yoga style that focuses on gentle, manageable movements.
Gentle Yoga is a style of Yoga that focuses on a gentle style of movements and the aim of the yoga is to slow things down
―Melissa Anahana Wellness Instructor
History of Gentle Yoga
The aim of gentle yoga is to slow things down.
Gentle yoga is a great slow flow yoga for beginners, seniors with chair yoga, and perfect for pain relief. It's also beneficial for stretching nerves if you struggle with chronic pain or irritated nerves, also referred to as nerve flossing, something we will cover in a later post.
Gentle flow yoga promotes calmness and stillness. It is also known as hatha flow or hatha yoga. You may also hear it referred to as restorative yoga where poses tend to be held for longer periods of time.
What Does Gentle Yoga or Hatha Flow Yoga Mean?
In Sanskrit (the ancient language of Hinduism), hatha means force. This alludes to the forces that direct our lives — yin and yang, sun and moon, hard and soft. Hatha yoga was developed to balance these forces. It provides gentle yoga sequence exercises that help relax and align both the body and mind, essentially uniting otherwise opposing forces.
Who Benefits Most From Gentle Yoga
Gentle yoga is as we have mentioned a slow-moving yoga, with gentle motions excellent for individuals with a range of motion issues, disabled individuals, or those suffering from flexibility issues. As such, anyone that falls into any of these categories can benefit the most from performing this type of yoga.
Gentle yoga is also an excellent style of yoga if you are a senior. It helps you increase your strength and flexibility and it's all tailored after your needs and ability. The main objective is to take it slow and do it in accordance with the practitioners’ abilities. From there as the sessions progress, the teacher will assist the practitioner to slowly start to push themselves to increase their range of motion and flexibility.
This type of yoga is also one of the prime yoga styles aimed at the beginners of yoga. It is a slow and easy transition into the world of yoga and once you feel comfortable with it, then you are ready to take on new styles and dive deeper into the world of yoga, thus becoming a regular yogi, reaping the benefits that come with it.
The practice is especially beneficial for individuals spending a lot of time at their desk or in front of a computer, positions that can cause both neck and back discomfort. Spending most of the day in a sitting is a receipt for spinal and joint pain.
Since gentle yoga focuses on the somatic nervous system, by practicing it, you stand a great chance of reducing this pain and discomfort.
As with all styles of yoga, gentle yoga also comes with several health benefits to the practitioner. This type of yoga comes with some really good benefits for senior practitioners. These include:
Frequently asked questions Gentle Yoga
What is gentle yoga?
Gentle yoga is a yoga variation that focuses on modified poses for pain relief and improved range of motion. If you are a beginner to yoga or have been feeling out of shape as of late, use a gentle yoga sequence to get back in the game.
Gentle yoga is the perfect way to ease back into physical fitness and relieve pain and stiffness. The goal is stretching cranial nerves and other nerves in order to provide alternative gentle poses that are totally doable for yoga beginners and newcomers.
Is gentle yoga good for beginners?
Yes! In fact, gentle yoga is one of the best yoga variations for beginners because it offers soft modifications to traditional poses. Many people come to yoga because of problems with pain and discomfort — often in the back, neck, hips, and other joints.
This type of pain is exactly what gentle yoga aims to improve. Each pose is slow and gentle, as the name implies. Movements are doable no matter where you are on your fitness journey.
Does yoga count as an exercise?
Yoga is certainly a form of exercise. While it’s not usually considered “cardiovascular exercise” or even “aerobic exercise,” it’s still a type of movement that can improve your overall health and wellness.
Moreover, the particularly wonderful thing about each gentle yoga sequence is that gentle yoga can improve both your physical health and your mental health.
Would gentle yoga be considered as a good workout?
Gentle yoga is an excellent workout for those who are just beginning a wellness routine. If it’s been a while since you’ve worked out or if you find yourself at the very beginning of a new fitness journey, try a gentle yoga sequence.
Can I do gentle yoga from home?
Absolutely. You do not need a wide array of equipment or tools. Some comfortable clothing, a yoga mat, and a tablet or computer so you can communicate with an online instructor. Doing online yoga classes or private yoga lessons allows you to do all this from the comforts of your own home. You no longer need to look for "yoga near me" to get your yoga fix or start practicing yoga.
Gentle yoga is also ideal for those who work behind a desk all day. If you tend to experience pain and stiffness from a sedentary job, gentle yoga could be your perfect solution.
Stay tuned for the launch of our Anahana Academy, where we will be offering a number of different courses such as Breathing 101 followed by Yoga 101.
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Written by Hina Sheikh
Hina is the voice of Anahana! Not only does she write about yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and finding balance in life, she is our connector. Hina not only guides our global team of digital nomads to produce amazing educational content, she connects us to our community. She is our voice and ears for the relationships Anahana has with educational institutions, charities, and our fantastic business partners. Previously a corporate boss lady for one of the largest real estate owners in the world, Hina now lives in Nosara, Costa Rica with her pup Zen and likes to catch the odd wave when not taking care of business and the entire Anahana team!