Choosing a Yoga Style

Choosing a Yoga StyleThere are so many different styles of yoga that it can be intimidating for the beginner to figure out where to start. Most beginners want to get a good workout and experience some success in being able to complete the class. Many are concerned about accidentally signing up for an advanced class and being unable to perform the various moves.

But yoga has something to offer everyone! There are classes suitable for those that have been spending too much time on the couch and other classes for those that just competed on the Olympic gymnastics team.

The following descriptions will help you in choosing a Yoga style that meets your needs:

  1. Hatha yoga combines body postures, meditation, and breathing. This is great for beginners, as it tends to be slower paced and focuses on the basics. Nearly all other modern styles of yoga were developed from Hatha.
     
  2. Bikram yoga is great if you like to be hot! Bikram is performed in a room at 105 degrees and 40% humidity. There are 2 breathing exercises and 26 poses that are performed every class. The heat can help with flexibility, and the sweat is said to help flush toxins from the body.
  • This yoga style is suitable for beginners, but if you’re pregnant or have heart problems, you should consult your doctor first.
  1. Lyengar is less commonly known. This style is similar to Hatha, but relies on numerous props, such as chairs and blocks to get into the ideal yoga positions.
  • The class is suitable for beginners and advance students alike.
  1. Yin yoga relies heavily on meditation. The postures really focus on the connective tissues. The postures are very passive, and they need to be. The postures can be held for up to 20 minutes.
  • If you’re looking to increase your flexibility and quiet your mind, Yin yoga is the place to be.
  1. Vinyasa is quite popular now. There is a lot of movement, and this style of yoga is often called “flow yoga.” There is an emphasis on flowing smoothly from position to position. Your breathing is synchronized with the movements.
     
  2. Acro yoga consists of very athletic poses that require great strength and balance. Many of the poses require a partner, often balanced on top of the other. This style of yoga requires great athleticism.
  • Put this class on the shelf for another day unless you’re very athletic.
     
  1. Jock yoga is great for those that want a workout without the mind-emphasis. The moves are very athletic and a class focuses on developing power and conditioning. Flexibility is not emphasized.
  • This class is great for those that are in shape and athletic.
     
  1. Jivamukti yoga is a variation of Vinyasa. The classes usually have a different theme each week. One week it might be chanting, another week might focus on the philosophy of life and death. The classes tend to be intense and go well beyond just the physical.
  • Beginners are welcome.
     
  1. Ashtanga is also similar to Vinyasa. There are six series of poses that are performed rapidly. The synchronization of the breath is emphasized.
  • Due to the pace, beginners are advised to start elsewhere.

Yoga can be a great way to get your mind and body in top condition. It’s important to start slowly to experience success. Being successful will help to ensure that you want to go back again and again. Add a yoga class to your life and reap the benefits of this great form of exercise.

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