Ayayoga: What Is It and What Are Its Benefits?
Strengthening the core is very important to cope well with the activities of our daily lives. A relaxed and fun way to achieve this is the method that’s all the rage in Japan: ayayoga. Read on to find out what ayayoga is and learn about its benefits here!
This training technique was developed by a Japanese instructor named Aya – hence the name. It’s a combination of yoga postures mixed with ballet and strength training to reduce the waistline and strengthen the back muscles.
Ayayoga can also help us to stretch muscles and joints, achieve better posture, and prevent or reduce the back pain that so often plagues us.
What is Ayayoga?
Aya is a Japanese instructor and director of a yoga studio called Syaraaya. After being in an accident in the United States, the woman began to practice yoga as part of her rehabilitation process.
Then, she innovated the practice with her own techniques that gave birth to ayayoga. Thanks to the good results it offers in a short time, her method gained popularity in Japan and spread all over the world.
The classic asanas of the millenary Hindu technique to achieve a balance between body and mind with breathing techniques were fused with Aya’s taste for classical ballet and body exercises. The young woman demonstrated that yoga has no limits and that it gives room for imagination and that new and very effective techniques can be achieved.
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The main ayayoga exercises and their benefits
There are multiple exercises that can be performed when practicing ayayoga ranging from the most basic to the most complex postures. It’s a good idea to dedicate some time to its practice each day to begin to notice favorable changes in as little as two weeks.
In addition, a 2010 study concludes that yoga can be as effective or better than conventional exercise in improving health-related outcomes.
These are the most common ayayoga asanas that are ideal for beginners:
- The salute: This is performed by standing with the legs together. The torso should be leaning forward slightly. The exercise consists of extending your arms behind the back. Your hands should be stretched out to achieve a chest opening. The palms of your hands are turned outward to bring the shoulder blades together. Your fingers should be open, as far apart as possible. Your gaze should always be forward.
- The warrior’s pose: This is one of the classic asanas from conventional yoga that helps to strengthen the legs and ankles, in addition to stretching the chest, shoulders, and abdominal muscles. The difference is that when you do this pose in ayayoga, there’s a different placement of the hands. In this case, your palms should be up. You must stand upright and stretch one leg backwards. Then, you raise your arms and intertwine your hands. You place your palms up and stretch as much as you can to generate tension in the torso. After completing the stipulated time, you change your legs and repeat the exercise.
- A squat with outstretched arms: These are ideal for strengthening both the lower and upper body. To do this, you should start standing with your legs slightly apart. Then, you should raise your arms so that they’re aligned with your shoulders with your hands intertwined. Then you must turn your palms outward. Now you must bend your legs and bring your hips backward to perform the squat, while your arms are stretched forward. Repeat the activity until the set is complete.
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Breathing, relaxation, and stretching
After training, it’s very important to stretch the muscles to relax them, even in yoga. Performing stretching exercises reduces muscle tension, improves circulation, and helps prevent injuries.
Here are some techniques you can apply after your ayayoga sessions:
- Breathing and relaxation: Raise your arms and bring them together above your head with your body well stretched. Once in this position, breathe deeply. Another exercise consists of opening the legs shoulder-width apart and leaning the body forward in a gentle manner with the arms loose.
- Stretching: To stretch the area of the shoulder blades, you can interlace your hands above your head. Your palms should be turned towards the floor and keep the elbows open. Another option with the same position is to lean the trunk of your body to one side and turn one elbow forward. Then, move your torso to the other side and turn the other elbow.
What are the benefits of ayayoga?
Ayayoga helps us strengthen our back while also shaping our figure. Generally, we spend a good part of the day in postures that can be harmful, such as sitting for several hours. That is why it’s important to keep the core of our bodies strong. Meanwhile, the back is key to stability.
In fact, according to a study on low back pain management, yoga is one of the mind-body exercise interventions that addresses both the physical and mental aspects of pain along with core strengthening, flexibility, and relaxation.
These are other important benefits of an ayayoga practice:
- It improves posture
- It slims the waist
- Ayayoga tones the lower body
- It improves sleep quality.
- It relaxes tension in the shoulders.
The back is a fundamental part of the body for stabilizing the middle area, achieving better posture, and coping well with all types of activities. In addition, it’s an area in which we usually suffer discomfort and pain.
Ayayoga is a good opportunity to strengthen the lumbar region in a healthy and fun way. In addition, it is a practice that takes little time of the day and that we can do at home. It also helps to clear the mind and to stylize your figure.
So, what are you waiting for? Try this method and enjoy yoga, ballet, and all their combined benefits!
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Sorosky S, Stilp S, Akuthota V. Yoga and pilates in the management of low back pain. Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med. 2008 Mar;1(1):39-47. doi: 10.1007/s12178-007-9004-1. PMID: 19468897; PMCID: PMC2684152. Disponible en: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19468897/
- Ross A, Thomas S. The health benefits of yoga and exercise: a review of comparison studies. J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Jan;16(1):3-12. doi: 10.1089/acm.2009.0044. PMID: 20105062. Disponible en: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20105062/