Yoga may seem intimidating, but it doesn’t need to be. Some people think they need to be ultra-flexible just to join a class, others may think they already need to be in a certain zen state of mind. The truth is, your calm and flexibility come from practice, like with anything else. Just as you wouldn’t expect to be able to deadlift 500 lbs. on your first day at the gym, no one expects you to do a split leg handstand starting out in yoga. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself no matter what type of fitness you’re participating in. See, there’s your first step to relaxation! There are all kinds of yoga options emerging that take the fun as seriously as the fitness.
Interacting with animals can be a relaxing way to get back to nature. Full grown goats may be too big to climb around on you during poses, but baby goats are just the right weight to help you in downward dog during a session. Lainey Morris launched the first class that turned this type of yoga into a viral phenomenon. The official website explains, “The Original Goat Yoga Mission is to farm happiness by providing; 1. A joyful experience that improves mental and physical health though the healing powers of nature and animals. 2. The economic development of rural households and family farms throughout the world through agritourism.” That sounds serene and fun.
If you’re a yogi who feels like your routine isn’t quite feisty enough, this mash up of yoga and boxing might be right for you. This may have originally been designed for fighters, but anyone who wants to gain lean muscle and stamina can participate. This style of yoga interweaves cardio into it, so you get the benefits of both. You can view an at-home routine of this method here. Olivia Young, founder of Box + Flow in New York explains, “Because boxing is so adrenaline-heavy, following it up with yoga forces you to gradually slow down, stretch out your muscles, and end your workout feeling calm, not hyper.”
Turns out hula hooping isn’t just for your mom and her friends when they were tweens! Anna Dubrovski at Yoga Journal says, “Devotees of the hybrid art form say it not only helps them tone and tune in to their bodies but also encourages better alignment while bringing a fresh infusion of fun and joy into yoga practice.” Liana Cameris who helped develop Hoop Vinyasa explains, “It’s about connecting to that childlike energy, that playful spirit inside you.”
Do you have some pent-up aggression holding you back from your calm place in life? If so, maybe rage yoga is right for you. Healthline says this type of yoga stands out because it mixes in “swearing, middle fingers, and good tunes. And sometimes beer. And wine.” The founder of Rage Yoga, Lindsay Istace, explains, “The super serene and ultra calm environment (of traditional yoga) works well for a lot of people but it made me feel like I was standing in a library full of gymnasts!” This kind of fitness sounds like a whole vibe of blowing off steam.
If the goal is to wind down and get fit at the same time, it may take practice. There are no rules as to what working toward those goals has to look like.