Stretch Your Limits Try a New Yoga Style
Dallas Yoga Magazine Publisher & Yoga Enthusiast
Did you know that 44% of people who do not practice yoga say they are
interested? Then they finally decide to take a yoga class and they look
up classes at the closest yoga studio and then….they get confused.
There are so many different styles of yoga! Do not fret, it’s even
overwhelming for those long-time yogis. The key is to take a few
different classes from a variety of teachers and find the right yoga for
you. Everyone has their own personal preference so be patient and find
the one that fits you best. How will you know? You will be in the class
and realize, this is awesome! Then after class you will think, I feel
awesome! That’s when you know the class and style of yoga is the one
The following are some of styles of yoga you may want to experience. If
you are new to yoga, then just go for it! If you are not new to yoga,
then go outside of your comfort zone and try a new style. Everyone can
learn something new no matter how long you have been practicing.
This practice of yoga is also called “Power Yoga,” it does not have long
meditation sessions but concentrates on building strength and endurance.
Ashtanga has difficult poses compared to other styles and changes
rapidly from pose to pose. The idea is to build your strength and
flexibility. Classes begin with a warm up to loosen muscles but even
then, they are often difficult especially for beginners. This is a great
workout and physically challenging.
“Hot Yoga!” The rooms are usually about 100 degrees and sometimes
higher. The idea is to have the room the same temperature as it is
India where this style of yoga was originated. Bikram yoga has 26
different positions that are all completed in a certain order. The
exercises are physically demanding and when you add the heat you are in
for a tough workout. It is best if you want to try this style and you
are a beginner to make sure you find a beginner’s class so you are not
overwhelmed with the intensity.
This is considered the footing for all other yoga practices. It is a
very calm style of yoga and focuses on simple postures and poses that
move from one to the next at a comfortable stride. Hatha takes the time
to focus on breathing and meditation and to let it flow at your own
pace. This yoga is a peaceful and relaxing.
This style is not as physically difficult as some of the others.
Iyengar is perfect for beginners who may not be physically fit and are
just starting to move more. Chairs, blocks, pillows and straps are often
used to assist those who may need extra assistance with their poses.
Using aids is a great way to slowly start stretching and gain more
flexibility. Anyone who has chronic pain or physical issues would
benefit from this style.
“Yoga of Awareness!” Kundalini focuses on the energy going up and down
the spine from the root chakra. Freeing this energy is believed to
awaken your truth and insight. This style of yoga is very powerful with
intense meditation and utilizes a rapid fast breathing exercise called
“Breath of Fire.” It is known to release dormant feelings and have
dramatic emotional and physical changes in people. There is a lot of
sitting in Kundalini and it utilizes the arms in many exercises. It
offers a long meditation period and includes mantra chanting.
This is often called, “The yoga of being rather than the yoga of doing.”
It offers deep relaxation and uses postures that are often supported
with blankets, bolsters or pillows. The stretches are deep and you take
your time relaxing into the pose to extend further. You could spend 15
minutes in just a few poses. Restorative is not just about the
stretches, during this yoga you will fall into a deeply relaxed state of
mind that you want to stay in forever.
“Flow Yoga.” This yoga is known for going quickly from one posture to
the next often in a series called the sun salutations, where movement
focuses on breathing. Vinyasa strives to bring consciousness to every
posture and stretch as the flow is ongoing. This is a vigorous yoga and
beginners need to find a beginner’s class to learn the poses and series
or they may feel lost.