Finding the best yoga style for you

Yoga_June1_AYoga is becoming more and more popular among people who adopt healthy lifestyles. Some of the increasing popularity has to do with its reputation for being a great exercise that helps relieve stress. Finding a class used to be simple – your choices were limited because there weren’t as many people who were interested in taking up yoga. But as the number of yoga practitioners increases, so does the variety of classes and styles. The question is, how do you know which type of yoga is best for you? Here are some of the most popular yoga styles to consider.


If you’re a complete novice in yoga practice, then this is the perfect fit. Hatha’s poses are straightforward and casual. You perform a pose, come out of it, then do another – it’s as simple as that. Props and blocks are used to support your poses and to help you get the right alignment. You can grasp all the yoga basics here, whether it’s how to focus on breathing, relaxation or meditation. Hatha is essentially a gentle yoga routine that’s attainable for those who are just beginning to walk the yoga world’s long and winding road.


Looking for a challenge? Then you should give Ashtanga a try. This vigorous yoga style is ideal for athletes, since it focuses on moving from one pose to the next without rest. Ashtanga aims to generate heat in your body by performing a series of poses that become increasingly challenging as the class progresses. You can also practice Ashtanga for weight loss, since an hour of practice burns around 500 calories.


Derived from the calm half of “yin and yang” Chinese philosophy, this style requires you to move slowly into passive floor poses, which mainly work the lower part of the body, and stay there for up to five minutes to allow for a deeper stretch and greater relaxation. Yin yoga is particularly beneficial if you want to relieve pain and stress, as you’ll be practicing with meditative music and paying extra attention to breathing. If you’re exhausted or overstimulated, then Yin yoga is a perfect match for you.


Iyengar style helps your body recover from injury. Instructors are trained in biomechanics, and so have the expertise to understand which positions are most likely to cause injuries, and how to modify them by showing modification moves and using blocks and props to alleviate the intensity of the poses. Intervals between moves are longer, allowing you to perfect your position and avoid putting too much strain on the body.


Commonly referred to as hot yoga, Bikram is performed in a room heated to approximately 40 degrees celsius. Bikram helps rid your body of toxins – you’ll start sweating almost instantly, flushing out impurities through the skin. A traditional Bikram class focuses on repeating the same 26-pose routine in order to enhance your meditation. Practicing in a heated environment also elevates your heart rate, which makes the body work harder and in turn helps to develop strength and flexibility. Don’t forget to stay well hydrated before and after taking a Bikram yoga class!

Want to take advantage of yoga’s benefits? Unsure of what class to pick? Get in touch today and our experienced yoga instructors will be happy to help.

Published with permission from FitnessAdvisory. Source.

Tips for yoga newbies

164 Yoga_AYou can see it now. You’re in a graceful one-handed tree pose as your now lean body glistens with sweat. No one in the class is saying it, but they’re all mesmerized by your form. And the few men in the class have even started to take notice, exchanging smiles with you between poses. Then suddenly, you snap out of your fantasy. As you lie on your back in shavasana panting, you begin to wonder how anyone ever sticks with yoga. If you’re new and frustrated that you can’t nail a scorpion pose like the top student, not to worry. Here are a few things to keep in mind as a beginner.

Don’t overexert yourself

Just because yoga is a low impact exercise doesn’t mean you can’t injure yourself. If you push your body too hard attempting a pose that’s beyond your skill and stretch level, you’re likely to get hurt.

Yoga teachers give variations of different poses for a reason. They recognize that there are different levels in each class, and not everyone can do a full scorpion pose. So stick with the beginner version until your body is ready to take it up a notch. You’ll likely enjoy it more and gain more of a sense of accomplishment.

Remember, you’re not here to impress anyone

Go to a yoga class suitable for you, for the health benefits and the increased mental and emotional balance it can bring to your life. Many students, especially new ones, will fall into the trap of constantly comparing themselves to their peers. If you start doing this, ask yourself what the point of it is. Again, if you push yourself too hard too soon, you’re more likely to hurt yourself and give up on an amazing yoga practice that can benefit your health in the long run.

Yoga workouts don’t have to be intense

From Bikram to Vinyasa to Gentle Flow, the intensity of a yoga workout can vary widely. While some classes will leave you dripping with sweat, others will be more of a light workout that’ll loosen up your body. The point is that if you’re not after an intense workout, you needn’t go for an intense yoga class. Instead, find something gentle or light that you’ll really enjoy. You’ll still gain the benefits of increased flexibility and some calorie burn, and you’ll be more likely to stick with the practice for the long haul.

You don’t have to be a new age hippy to enjoy yoga

Yes, you can drink coffee and wine or enjoy a steak outside of class. Not all yoga students are vegan meditators who shop at Whole Foods. Most are normal people like you, who just happen to like yoga as their exercise of choice. When it comes down to it, that’s what yoga is – an exercise. It doesn’t have to be anything more than that if you don’t want it to be. And saying ‘namaste’ at the end of class is optional.

Remember, you’re a beginner

You’re new. No one expects you to be doing a wounded peacock pose the first week, or even the first couple months. If there’s one tip you should take away from this article, this is the most important one. With any new sport or skill, there’s always going to be a learning curve, and you’re likely to struggle at first. The students who end up doing the advanced poses and have lean physiques are the ones that stuck around when they struggled as a beginner.

Want to learn more about yoga and its health benefits? Contact us today.

Published with permission from FitnessAdvisory. Source.