Yoga has significantly increased in popularity in recent years, with over 36 million people in the United States practicing it on a regular basis.
Yoga is a millennia-old comprehensive mind and body practice aimed at calming the mind, improving your physical and mental balance, as well as enhancing your strength and flexibility.
Yoga can be a great hobby for anyone and everyone, regardless of your age, and can be done anywhere.
Besides being an excellent hobby, it offers a wide range of benefits that are worth considering. What’s more, you don’t require any special equipment to get started.
If you are interested in yoga as a hobby, here is all you need to know.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is a full mind and body practice that involves low-impact physical activity, breathing techniques, postures (also known as asanas), meditation, and relaxation techniques. This practice is aimed at caring for and strengthening your body, mind, and spirit.
Essentially, it caters to your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
People have been practicing yoga for over 5,000 years, with its origins being traced to Northern India. Yoga was first introduced to the United States at the end of the 19th Century, and it has been growing in popularity ever since.
Can Yoga Be a Hobby?
Yes, yoga can be a hobby; in fact, it is one of the best and most beneficial hobbies that you can incorporate into your life. It offers a wide range of mental and physical health benefits that can significantly help to improve your life.
What’s more, it can be done anywhere and by anyone, whether fit, young, or old. There is a lot that everyone can gain from taking up yoga as a hobby.
What Types of People Like Yoga?
As noted, yoga can be practiced by anyone and everyone; however, it is particularly beneficial to certain groups of people.
Many people who suffer from depression or anxiety or have a stressful work life claim yoga to be an essential part of their lives. Yoga helps them to calm down, better focus their thoughts, and gives them the strength to face everyday challenges.
For some couples, doing yoga together is a great way to enhance their intimacy and love life.
Many pregnant women practice yoga under the supervision of an instructor to get relief from nervousness and mental anxiety, as well as physical pain caused by the added weight on the abdomen.
Athletes love yoga as it helps them to improve their flexibility, endurance, and muscle strength.
Generally, people who are mindful about their health, want to stay physically fit, and avoid mental stress will enjoy yoga.
Benefits: Why Yoga Could Be A Good Hobby?
There are many benefits to taking up yoga as a hobby, which explains its increased popularity and eventual entry into the mainstream.
Here are some of the reasons why yoga could be a good hobby:
It helps to improve your strength, balance, and flexibility
The slow movements combined with deep breathing techniques help to improve flexibility and blood flow and work out your muscles. In addition, holding a pose helps to improve balance and build strength.
According to some research, yoga can help improve balance among the older population.
It helps you to relax and sleep better at night
According to research, sticking to a regular bedtime yoga routine helps you to wind down and relax after a long day and allows your body to fall asleep and stay asleep through the night. This goes a long way in improving your quality of sleep.
It allows you to better manage stress
According to research, yoga is an effective stress management technique. Asanas, breathing techniques, and meditation all combined play a key role in combating stress.
Enrolling in a yoga class helps to ease loneliness and connects you with a supportive community.
If you don’t go out often, taking a yoga class allows you to meet new and engage with new people, and it also offers a great opportunity for group healing and support.
It helps to boost your energy levels and mood
Many people claim to feel mentally and physically rejuvenated after partaking in a yoga session. So, the next time you are feeling down, take out your yoga mat and say goodbye to the doom and gloom.
Improves your heart health
Besides helping to lower your stress levels, regular yoga practice also helps to reduce body-wide inflammation, allowing for a much healthier heart.
In addition, regulated breathing has been found to have a positive influence on the heart rate, arterial pressure, stroke capacity, and the heart’s contractility.
It promotes better self-care
With the results gained from practicing yoga on a regular basis, you will be more encouraged to take up a healthier lifestyle and take more care of yourself.
It can help to treat arthritis symptoms
Yoga has been found to provide relief from pain and discomfort caused by symptoms of arthritis, including swollen and tender joints.
Are There Drawbacks to Choosing Yoga as a Hobby?
As with many other hobbies, yoga has its fair share of disadvantages.
While they aren’t as serious or discouraging, they are still something to consider before taking this practice:
Classes can be expensive
As a beginner, you may need some help from a qualified instructor to learn the important yoga techniques. Attending a class at a yoga studio can cost you anywhere from $10, and the cost is even higher if you want one-on-one sessions.
However, you can bypass these costs by finding an online instructor or trainer videos on YouTube.
The risk of injury
While yoga has very minimal side effects, it is always important to keep in mind that there is always a slight risk of injury. This is especially so if you suffer from chronic pain or an existing condition or injury. It is important to first consult your doctor to see if yoga can be a safe hobby for you.
The first class can be intimidating. However, this is a very small disadvantage considering the benefits you will gain thereafter.
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How to Start Yoga as a Hobby
As noted, people have been practicing yoga for thousands of years. All they needed was their mind and body. However, the modern yoga industry recommends having the following equipment for the best experience.
- A good-quality yoga mat to keep you safe and prevent injuries.
- Towels. If your type of yoga practice is sweat-inducing, you may need to invest in two towels. One will be for wiping your face, and the other one for covering your yoga mat.
- Comfortable, breathable clothing that allows you to move freely and focus on the practice.
Other accessories may include yoga blocks and a water bottle.
Start-Up and Ongoing Costs
A single drop-in yoga class can cost you anywhere from $10–$40, with some memberships going for a hundred dollars per month. However, you can find cheap online classes and avoid paying hefty fees.
What’s more, once you get the hang of it, you can be doing it on your own at home or anywhere at no cost at all.
As for the equipment, a premium yoga mat may cost you up to $100; however, you can still find cheaper versions for $20.
You also don’t need to invest in expensive designer clothing as all you need is comfortable, well-fitting, and breathable clothing.
Can You Make Money from Yoga?
Yoga is one of those rare hobbies that are highly profitable. If you have a passion for yoga, you can become a yoga teacher and earn a sizeable income. You will need to get relevant certification to become a yoga teacher.
You can then set up your own yoga studio or apply for a freelance position at a yoga studio or use online as well as other traditional means to get clients. The average pay for an entry-level yoga teacher is $10 per hour.
Similar Hobbies to Yoga
Mind and body exercises have become quite popular in recent years. However, if yoga isn’t your exact cup of tea, here are some other similar hobbies to yoga:
- Contemporary dance
- Martial arts
Alternative Hobbies to Yoga
Yoga is a great hobby that allows you to relax, boost your mood, as well as improve mental and physical health. Here are some other activities that you can consider for similar benefits:
Where to Learn More
There are many places you can learn more about yoga. You can take a beginner class at a yoga studio or use online resources like blogs, websites, YouTube videos, as well as online classes. There are also many books about yoga available.