With over 20 styles of yoga, how will you know which style is the best for you to practice and enjoy?
Only you can answer this great question, and only after exploring the different styles and classes to see which one you like the most.
Being open-minded is crucial!
Many times I’ve heard: ‘I`ve tried yoga and I didn`t like it’. It is impossible to come to such a conclusion after only one or two classes. What if you took a very gentle class, as it was your first time and you heard that yoga can be tough, but you are very athletic and would actually enjoy something more energetic like a power yoga class. Maybe it was the other way round; you took a vigorous class despite being mostly physically inactive and would benefit much more from the gentle classes. Your experience also greatly depends on the teacher leading the class. Each teacher is unique in her/his style, energy, experience and such. Two teachers may lead the exact same class but create a different experience from one another.
This is why it is important to stay open-minded and keep exploring. I believe it`s impossible not to like yoga when you know how to match a good class and teacher to your needs.
Here are a few popular styles of yoga, you can find most of them anywhere you are around the globe:
One of the most popular classes. Vinyasa means flow, where in you move your body One movement,One breath. Vinyasa is also the transition between poses, something you will find in almost every style of yoga. This transition consists of three postures: Chaturanga, which is a low push-up, Upward-Facing Dog, and Downward-Facing Dog. In it, you will experience a lot of flowing movement between different postures.
This class has a fluid pace,suitable for all levels and you are guaranteed to break a sweat.
Vinyasa class will be a completely different each time.
There are 3 levels of Ashtanga: The most common is Primary Series, which can take years of practice to master before moving on to the next level. Ashtanga is a very powerful class and it will definitely kick your butt. It will make you feel amazing from the inside out.This class will always be the same format (sequence) no matter where you are practicing and who teaches the class.
This is a very sweaty, physical class which will help you build strength and flexibility.
Very similar to Vinyasa but with a focus on building strength in your entire body. You will experience arm balances, inversions, upper-body, core and more. Power yoga sometimes takes place in a heated room, which adds an extra challenge to the practice.
This is a type of yoga that teaches physically demanding postures with Vinyasa flow in between. The experience in this class will different depending on the teacher.It can be a sweaty practice or more a gentle style.
Up on leaving this class you should be feeling longer, looser and relaxed.
Restorative(also known as Yin Yoga):
Restorative yoga is a really delicious and juicy class where you lie on the floor most of the practice and focus on inner work. In this class, you will hold each pose between 2 to 10 minutes and you will use different yoga props, like blankets, bolsters, and blocks. This class is a great counter balance to any regular yoga practice which will take you deep into your connective tissues. Many students find this class challenging because there is not a lot to do.That is where the struggle in our thoughts and mind begins. But this class is super crucial for the body, mind and soul.
After this class you will feel like you`ve got a great deep tissue massage, you will feel calm, rejuvenated, and really relaxed.
Bikram yoga follows the exact the same sequence each class for 90 minutes, in a room heated to 105°F. 26 postures are repeated twice each pose, half standing poses and half floor poses. The heated room helps to delve deeper into each pose and you will sweat like never before.
For the first few times, you might feel dizzy and nauseous as your body is releasing a lot of toxins. This is normal and after a good shower and good amount of water, you will feel just wonderful.
Similar to Bikram, in a heated room around 100°F. It is simply a shorter version and is usually around an hour though that is different in every studio.
Here are some more styles of yoga that you can explore:
Jivamukti –Asanas (postures), meditation and spiritual.
Iyengar –A form of Hatha Yoga that puts an emphasis on detail, precision and alignment in the performance of asana and on breath control (pranayama).
Anusara –A system based on Hatha Yoga. Anusara means “flowing with grace”, “going with the flow”, “following your heart”.
Kundalini–A blend of spiritual and physical practices, Kundalini Yoga incorporates movement, dynamic breathing techniques, meditation, and the chanting of mantras.
Acro Yoga –A physical practice which combines yoga and acrobatics. A super fun and playful class for all ages and levels.
Here is a great beginners Yoga class led by me, check this out
Enjoy your practice!
WARNING: Yoga has been known to cause health and happiness!