Which Yoga Style Works Best For Me:
Would you like to embark on a yoga journey? The question of “which yoga style works best for me” may come into the equation when embarking on said journey. Well, this articles has your back! Together we are going to answer some common question and attempt to clear your confusion.
Yoga is a practice that brings countless benefits both to the body and to the mind. Although it is increasingly associated with something related solely to the physical, in reality, this discipline works in a profound way. We’ve stated this in a prior post, Above all, yoga’s a practice linked to a spirituality and to a personal search.
Outside of this, yes, it is certainly a practice that is physically challenging in many ways. But, at it’s root yoga is about “feeling good” and “experiencing “self awareness on a deep level”.
Before indulging in this ancient practice it is crucial to understand different approaches. Consequently, choosing one that may fit you (each individual) the best.
Truth is, it can all be confusing, specifically with modern approaches to finding information. There is just so much of it!
By typing “yoga center” and the name of your city, you can find a wide range of styles. However, beforehand let’s understand, fundamentally, the differences in them.
What’s The Best Yoga Style For Me?
The physical part of yoga are called asana. The study of asanas is called Hatha Yoga, or the physical practice of yoga. Different styles of yoga have been created over the years. Mostly thanks to the contribution of teachers and schools, who have given their interpretation to the classic execution of asanas.
One of the greatest masters was Krinshnamachaya who, among the many students, trained B. K. S. Iyengar and K. Pattabhi Jois. Then, in turn created two of the most practiced styles in the world, Ashtanga yoga and Iyenger yoga.
All styles of yoga work on the body, the mind, and spirit, but in a different way. For example, some styles give more attention to the inner part of the being, while others tend to stimulate the physical self more. Furthermore, other endure positions held for only a few breaths, others a minute or more.
Our advice is to try different styles and different teachers before choosing one to practice consistently.
How Do I Choose The Right Yoga Style For Me If I Don’t Know Them?
There are several aspects that need to be considered when looking for “your” style of yoga. The style you practice must be in line with your physical abilities and with your psycho-emotional state.
Firstly, if it is your first yoga class we would not recommend immersing yourself in an advanced Vinyasa yoga class. Reason being, you may believe that yoga is not for you, when in fact it’s because you chose a specific “level” or class to challenging at this specific time.
It is also essential to find the teacher with whom to practice that particular style of yoga. Each teacher has their own characteristics and their own personality. Consequently, these characteristics may not please or be suited for everyone. However, surely you’ll find one that you can trust.
Popular Yoga Styles:
Now, let’s briefly discuss some of the most practiced and taught yoga styles in yoga studios all around the globe. Thus, giving your a more 360° feel and overview.
These will be short descriptors to get you started with links to more detailed posts on each style of yoga.
It is a style of yoga with a very relaxed pace that allows you to listen to your body carefully and slowly. Static positions are usually performed and maintained for a long periods of time. It allows a greater understanding of the execution and a deep contact with the body.
Chanting of mantra’s, meditation and breathing techniques (pranayama) can complement the asanas during a class.
It is a dynamic style in which fluid movements are performed combined with the breath. The inhalation, exhalation phases, and the asanas are performed smoothly and continuously. The term “vinyasa” defines the dynamic transition that connects Tadasana (mountain pose) to Adho Mukha Svanasana, or Downward Facing Dog. Often the rhythm is very fast. Consequently not allowing much time to understand the movements, and listen to the body, especially for beginners.
This style was founded in 1948 by K. Pattabhi Jois and is a physically demanding practice where there is a rapid transition connecting the asanas. Each position is preparatory to the next one. The system of Ashtanga yoga is based on 6 series of Asanas of increasing difficulty.
We will start with the first guided series, until we practice it independently. This self-practice of the first series is commonly called Mysore Style and if practiced a studio, one can receive the adjustments from instructors.
Founded by B.K.S. Iyengar, who developed a style of yoga focused on alignments. In this practice, supports are used to achieve the correct training of the asanas. Teacher training takes several years. The classes have a slow pace and are particularly suitable for both beginners and those with physical, joint, or muscle problems.
It was introduced in the United States by Yoga Bhajan, in 1969, so it is a fairly recent practice. It is called the yoga of awareness. Its main purpose is to awaken and release the healing energy found at the base of the spine and then make it rise again. Kundalini yoga classes include chants, mantras, meditations, in addition to physical positions, which are however limited in number. It is a very different practice from the others and for this reason sometimes it takes several lessons to get to the heart and be able to carryout.
In 1971 it was introduced to the United States by Bikram Choundhury. It is a very intense practice in which 26 positions are performed within a heated environment (40 ° C). The sequence includes 45 minutes of standing positions and 45 minutes of floor positions. The purpose of practicing in a heated environment is to improve muscle flexibility and eliminate toxins from the body. Before entering a class of this style, it would be useful to already have a basic understanding and interpretation of body movements in yoga.
Now To Choose The Perfect Yoga Style For Me:
After understanding the basic differences between the various styles of yoga, the right questions to ask are, “why do I want to practice yoga?” What am I looking for? Would I like a more physical practice? Am I more interested in learning about meditation techniques?
Once you have answered simple questions such as these, it will be easier for you to orient yourself and choose a style to practice. Remember that the style you choose today, may no longer be the most suitable for you in a year. You change, with and through practice, and sometimes it is necessary to change, experiment, and evolve. However, it doesn’t always happen like this, sometimes it’s love at first practice with a style, and you always remain faithful to it.
Each style has its own characteristics, but they all work mind, body and spirit. Feel free to experiment, there is no one style better than the another. The right style is the one that allows you to feel your body, experience physical, energetic and mental sensations that make you feel good.