Choice is a great thing but, as you may have experienced when buying yoga pants or coffee, sometimes you can have too much choice.
Brand new students have so many yoga options that choosing can be overwhelming. As the popularity of yoga has grown so have the number of styles and schools of yoga.
Here are just a handful common to many studios…..
Hatha Yoga is the term, if you like, for the physical aspect of yoga, i.e. the poses or asanas. Any yoga class with physical poses is a hatha yoga class. Broadly speaking a class described as hatha yoga will be a gentler, slower paced class suitable for beginners. However, sometimes a hatha yoga class will be described as having different levels so it’s worth a call to the studio to check. what makes it unique? It is taught by instructors from different backgrounds and schools of study so every teacher will have a different style and interpretation.
Vinyasa loosely translates as ‘flow’. Flow or vinyasa yoga is a faster moving and warming sequence that transitions quickly through mixed sequences of poses. what makes it unique? It is a more challenging yoga class that is unique to individual instructors as poses are linked and presented in creative ways.
Ashtanga A very popular style of yoga bought to the West by a yoga pioneer from India called Patthabi Jois. It is an athletic form of yoga that is fast moving and flowing (vinyasa – see above) and a popular choice for those who enjoy a challenging yoga class. what makes it unique? It is a set sequence of poses which are always practiced in the same order, every time.
Brand new yoga students have so many options to choose from which can be totally overwhelming.
Iyengar yoga is another of the very popular schools of yoga brought to the West by yoga master, BKS Iyengar. It is often credited as the style of yoga that influences many of today’s styles of yoga. It is a slower paced class where poses are held for longer and lots of props (blankets, yoga blocks & yoga straps) are used for support. Even though it is slower paced it can still be challenging. what makes it unique? Focused attention to alignment in the poses with lots of verbal instruction and adjustment. Iyengar classes always use yoga props.
Hot Yoga This style of yoga has gained popularity in recent years. One of the original hot yoga schools is Bikram yoga. what makes it unique? Pre heated rooms to start with creating very hot & sweaty environments. Quite often, a fixed sequence of poses are practiced depending on the school of yoga.
Restorative Yoga is becoming more and more popular in studios, restorative yoga is a much more quiet style of yoga that incorporates lots of props (blankets, bolsters & blocks) to support the body in active relaxation. Poses are set up on the floor with the body fully supported to ensure complete release. what makes it unique? Total relaxation and surrender of the body without any physical effort as the body is supported to the individuals need with blankets, bolsters and yoga blocks.
As the popularity of yoga has grown so have the number of styles and schools of yoga.
Therapeutic Yoga is building in popularity as we have all become more aware of our own health and interested in our own self care. what makes it unique? Taught by very experienced instructors with in depth yoga therapy training it focuses more attention on specific issues such as injuries or physical conditions.
Yin Yoga poses apply moderate stress to the connective tissues of the body—the tendons, fascia, and ligaments—with the aim of increasing circulation in the joints and improving flexibility whilst quietening the mind with longer pose holds. what makes it unique? Similar to restorative yoga in that the poses are held for long periods but the intention is less relaxation and more of opening the body.
Ultimately, Yoga is a practice that is unique to you so choose the class that appeals and enjoy!