Yoga Basics and Variations. While Yoga originated as a spiritual endeavor tied closely to the Eastern religions of Buddhism and Hinduism, modern society has adopted many of its basic tenets as a low impact physical fitness workout. Combining breath control, balance and stretching, practicing Yoga is a great way to enhance flexibility, posture and muscle tone. There are many options available in Yoga-based workouts, from those designed for stress release to more strenuous workouts intended to supplement weight loss. Whether you are interested in exploring the spiritual side of Yoga, or just want to increase your flexibility and control, there are a wide range of Yoga programs that can be incorporated into any lifestyle.

Exercise Specific Yoga Styles

Power Yoga. One of the most prevalent forms of exercise intensive Yoga is often referred to as Power Yoga. Geared toward toning muscle groups and enhancing control, Power Yoga offers a more intense workout than most other types of Yoga. Based on the Indian Yoga technique known as Ashtanga, Power Yoga is generally comprised of a two hour workout that cycles through several series of postures. The intense aerobic nature of the workout may make this style of Yoga difficult for beginners, but it also provides the most opportunity for body sculpting and muscle toning.

Core Yoga. A relatively new form of exercise-based Yoga, Core Yoga is designed to work on toning the abdominals, thighs and bottom. Many practitioners of Core Yoga use it as an addendum to their regular workout to target problem areas where weight can collect. Like other forms of Yoga, stretching and breath control are the focus of most exercises. This form of Yoga is also thought to help alleviate back pain, and many exercises originate from the spine. By actively participating in Core Yoga classes, you can expect to lose inches around your waist, bottom and hips.

Beginners Yoga. If you are new to Yoga, or uncertain whether your current level of fitness is up to an advanced Yoga routine, there are many beginning Yoga programs available on the market. Exploring Yoga for the first time can be an enlightening experience, and most beginners go on to more advanced levels once they are comfortable with the basics. Even beginner Yoga classes will emphasize muscle extension and breath control. Opting for an introduction to Yoga program can provide a low impact workout that will supplement the rest of your fitness workout.