The NYC Future guide acknowledges over 62 million visitors per annum visit the state and this is said to have almost doubled in twenty years.

New York City has always been widely popular and the notable images of Times Square and the Statue of Liberty only serve a compliment to the vast landmarks found across the city.

The overall population rests comfortably in the top five states alongside California, Texas, Florida, and Pennsylvania. And, this is not taking into account the volume of tourism in which as a state, has remained in the top five for most visited places in the country.

Yoga hasn't alone been a hit in New York. From Boston, Philadelphia and Houston - it seems that Americans just can't get enough!

With such a volume of people, city living can at times cause chaos and stress upon the residents. A quick search on Google will present a plethora of articles, opinion posts, and studies that state that New York City can be one of the most stressful places to live in America.

New Yorkers are known to work some of the longest hours across the country to earn their keep and the regular increase in accommodation costs can lead to unwanted anxieties.

To counteract such feelings, a wealth of approaches, a number taken from separate cultures and places, have swept across The United States.

From group mediation classes, wellbeing weekends, Bikram exercises (working out in high-temperature rooms) to group-based cardiovascular workouts in Central Park: the city offers a wealth of new and exciting activities to be part of.

This article will look at some of the opportunities that are available across the city, concentrating specifically on Yoga!

An activity which boasts a 5,000-year-old history, yoga is practiced across the world and is widely regarded for its benefits upon not only the physical attributes of the student, but the mental and spiritual developments that can transcend from regular participation.

From Jennifer Aniston to Justin Timberlake, a range of well known and established celebrities swear by the benefits involved with yoga, and the level of popularity has skyrocketed over the past eighteen years.

Before analyzing the various places offering training programs and yoga teaching, we will identify the reasons as to why this ancient practice may be a suitable activity for a New Yorker.

A rainbow peers across the city.
Yoga studios can be found both in central and across the residing areas of the city. (Source: Visualhunt)

New Yorkers - Why Choose Yoga?

As previously mentioned, it is no secret that central New York can be a stressful environment to be in. City folk who thrive in a busy atmosphere are almost always drawn to living/working in busy areas such as Tokyo, Shanghai, London, and The Big Apple.

Yet, we all, after all, require a little 'Zen' to allow a sense of calmness and content replace the stress we may pick up along the way. Other bustling cities including Chicago and Los Angeles also have an increasing number of yoga studios popping up across the city.

Regular yoga can help develop physical fitness, releasing endorphins called serotonin that calm the body and mind.

It is well known that over time, a student can increase the level of body flexibility and the variety of poses can relax muscles, tendons, and ligaments throughout the body.

However, the longer the student invests their time in such yoga practices, the more developments they will incur.

In regards to those living in New York, a city filled with loud noises around every corner, it is most notably the mental developments of regular yoga practice that can benefit the everyday New Yorker.

There is an ever-increasing body of research to suggest the long term benefits yoga has on the mind.

From the sharpening of attention and concentration, the overall relief of stress, to the calming of the nervous system.

It has also been prescribed to those who have suffered from clinical anxiety, depression, ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), and those who suffer from irregular and uncontrolled sleeping patterns.

The wealth of benefits listed above are only the tip of the iceberg. So, if the city life is causing havoc within your mind, may yoga be the remedy!

Why?
People are drawn to yoga for various reasons. (Source: Visualhunt)

Ashtanga Yoga

What exactly is it?

Firstly, there are plenty of variations when it comes to yoga and this should be established as a beginner. It is important to understand that due to its long history spanning across various cultures and continents, no yoga class is likely to be the same.

Although experienced yoga teachers are likely to question this notion (regarding there to be significantly more), there are in all eight common styles of Yoga.

Traditional Ashtanga Yoga is a popular style that comprises of a similar sequence and series of poses in a precise order. This particular style is common and can be found taking place in several places across the city.

Where can I find a traditional Ashtanga Yoga class in NYC?

With it being a popular style of yoga (especially amongst beginners), there are a lot of establishments across the city that offer such classes.

Ashtanga Yoga Shala based on Broadway, is a company that offers drop-in sessions as well as regular, weekly sessions for beginners, novices, and more experienced participants.

With it being centrally located, this is an ideal place for those that live/work in the city and as well as yoga practice, they offer meditation lessons that are often incorporated within the yoga sessions.

A simple search on their website will show the available classes and anyone can register for upcoming sessions online.

Yoga With The Family

There are also family yoga center's in which parents can bring along their children - a great way to save a few dollars on the baby minder costs!

Family yoga has increased in popularity over the years and it has become a new phenomenon with new parents and their young children, (baby yoga classes have been popping up across the city ever increasingly).

It is said to improve sleeping patterns and encourages sleep in the evening amongst young infants - a delight amongst not only the children but the parents too!

Llamaste, founded in 2014 and based in Brooklyn, is a company created from a parent's time spent with his children. The desire to create more family orientated yoga activities was the central focus behind the idea and it has since grown in size and popularity, also offering their very own range of yoga apparel!

With several qualified and experienced yoga instructors, there are multiple sessions that go on throughout the week and weekend! Sessions commence before 9 am and go on into the later afternoon.

Virtual Yoga Classes

Haven't got the time to travel after a stressful day at work? Unable to find a babysitter for the evening? Well, fear not, for private yoga companies such as Llamaste (as discussed earlier) are currently offering online yoga classes in which you can join from your front room!

Peaceful Presence, also a NY based yoga studio, is currently offering online yoga sessions that can be joined using the Zoom application on a phone, tablet, or home computer.

The company also provides many free videos on their Youtube account and you can also purchase access to their online videos from as little as ten dollars!

Top Tips for the Beginner/Novice Yoga Participant

An advanced performer does a headstand.
Top-tip: always enquire about the overall proficiency level of those attending. (Source: Visualhunt)

Ensuring you book a session in alignment with your experience level is vital.

Respecting your body's inner wisdom and limitations is the best way to prevent injuries that may occur in the future.

The various yoga poses take time to understand, and pushing your body too quickly can not only result in injury, but it is likely to reduce the mental and spiritual developments associated with regular yoga practice.

It is also advised that you try out a few yoga instructors before investing in a long term set of lessons.

As mentioned earlier in this article, there are over eight styles when it comes to yoga and once experience develops, participants may wish to branch out and give other styles a go!

Finally, like with all new skills and exercises, the more frequently you practice the better the results. There are multiple benefits associated with this ancient form of exercise, and investing your time and concentration will see you reap such benefits.

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Christopher