Celebrate World Yoga Day with the Y - 5 Reasons Why You Need to Start Doing Yoga

Yogis unite and celebrate! World Yoga Day falls on June 21, 2019 this year and the Y is excited to announce a special Yoga Starts with Y event to celebrate! This special event will happen the day after on Saturday June 22 (weather permitting) for a morning of relaxing yoga and meditation classes free to the community at the Summit Village Green. 

This event is open to all in the community. Grab your yoga mat and bring a friend! 


8:30-9:00 AM: Guided Meditation with Dana
9:00-10:00 AM: Vinyasa Yoga with Dana
10:00-11:00 AM: Slow Flow Vinyasa with Galina
11:00-12:00 AM: Alignment Yoga with Alaka
12:00-12:30 PM: Reiki and Relaxation with Bulbul


To those who are new to yoga, you might imagine the whole practice of yoga involving sitting on the floor with your legs crossed like a Buddha statue and fingertips touching while chanting "ohm" to achieve inner serenity. While this is certainly one facet of meditation, yoga is much more than ohm-ing with your eyes closed. A variety of yoga exercises can strengthen and make you sweat like no other workout!


Here are 5 reasons why Yoga is great for you:

1. It's a fat burner that makes you stronger and more flexible.

Yoga is by no means an Insanity workout (which BY THE WAY, the Summit YMCA also offers—along with other great HIIT classes at the Berkeley Heights YMCA too!) but is an awesome workout for any body type, no matter what your level. You can move at your own speed and you can always modify. Depending on the series of poses you do, it will test not only your balance but your strength and flexibility. Yoga can be a dynamic, full body workout that uses all the muscles in your body to achieve any single pose. Doing so consistently helps build up your strength and range of motion, making you more effective in your daily movements.

If you're looking for a yoga class that is more challenging, or you like to sweat with constant movement, we recommend taking something like Vinyasa Yoga or even Hot Primal Yoga to burn some serious calories. And in Hot Yoga, that's a whole new level of burn that will both detox and sweat your body out in places you didn't know existed.



2. It helps lose weight.

Some studies say yoga helps to lose weight. Wow!! Can I just sit on a yoga mat with some blankets and the pounds will shed?


Nope. At least not in the traditional sense. 

In Yoga, there is yoga meant for the mind and yoga meant for the body. Sitting on a mat might not directly cause weight loss, but yoga and meditation relaxes and relieves stress, tempering the mind in becoming more aware and mindful of your body and its actions. Knowing techniques to managing stress relief, having proper methods of stress relief (aka attending some of our great yoga and meditation classes at the Y) are great ways to keep the pounds off. Being in control of your mental state of mind helps us become mindful eaters, preventing us from binging on our next meal because we seek comfort through food or drink. But of course, in addition to being wizards of our own minds, doing more challenging exercises and yoga poses during your workouts will certainly attribute to an increased energy expenditure and help lead to weight loss. Don't completely ignore the benefits of meditation and mind power though, because it will help your ability to focus and hone in on things that really matter in life.


3. Yoga is a great stress reliever.

Piggy backing off the last reason, yoga is a great way to clear your mind and focus on the present. Forget all your deadlines, your bills, your responsibilities to everyone else and all you have left is you and your heartbeat and breath. By spending a dedicated amount of time to simply meditate, or move your body in specific poses and keeping your mind focused on how to achieve those poses, you are exercising your brain strength to be attentive to only yourself.

Whether it be 10 minutes, 30 minutes or an hour of this kind of focus, you are essentially cleansing your mind and starting anew, and giving yourself opportunities to look at your life and its problems with a new lens after each session. Plus, it helps you sleep better because your mind won't be wandering to all corners of the world and keep you up at night. When we're well rested, we can function better during the day. Studies show that through yoga and meditation, this renewed focus makes individuals more successful in their careers and happy in their daily lives.  Do more yoga, meditate more, and maybe you'll get a promotion or raise. 


4. Yoga is good for your heart.

According to Harvard Health Publishing from Harvard Medical School, some studies have suggested that yoga helps to "lower blood pressure in people who have hypertension." and "improved lipid profiles in healthy patients as well as patients with known coronary artery disease. It also lowered excessive blood sugar levels in people with non-insulin dependent diabetes and reduced their need for medications." In the United States, according to the CDC, 1 person has a heart attack every 40 seconds. While both the Berkeley Heights YMCA and Summit YMCA provides a free Healthy Hearts Cardiac Maintenance Program to everyone, taking an extra yoga class are two will definitely help in making sure your heart is strong and healthy. 


5. You'll make friends!


With yoga being such a popular practice and more than 35 million Americans engaging in yoga in the United States, it's a great way to meet others and enhance your social life. Whether you are new to yoga or a veteran, yoga is a healthy way to discover new friendships, teachers and communities. You can learn from others, suffer through poses together, or be proud of each other's triumphs, or relish in each others company and/or solitude in mindful meditation. The world of yogis awaits!



Ongoing, you're invited to join one of our many yoga and meditation classes at the Berkeley Heights YMCA or Summit YMCA!

Check out our Thursday Evening Vinyasa Yoga classes at the Berkeley Heights YMCA! Since space is limited, reservations (available 2 weeks prior) are recommended. Please register via the SAY Mobile App or Online via class schedules.




Questions for the Yoga Starts with Y event? Contact:






(908) 273-3330  ext. 1133



About the Summit Area YMCA
The Summit Area YMCA is one of the area’s leading 501(c)(3) charitable organizations. Founded in 1886, the Summit Area YMCA has a history steeped in working side-by-side with our neighbors to ensure that everyone, regardless of age, income and background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. Each year, we serve more than 10,000 individuals with our free and fee-based programs and services in an area spanning the communities of Berkeley Heights, Gillette, Millburn, New Providence, Short Hills, Springfield, Stirling and Summit. Through the generosity of our members, donors, and partners, we are able to offer financial assistance for our programs and services to those with demonstrated need.