You’ve heard about yoga and all the incredible benefits it provides mind, body and soul. You’ve maybe even attended a class or two. You’re ready to jump in and make it a lifestyle… that is until you hear that there is more than one type of yoga. Panic sets in and the pursuit of a healthy body and enlightenment comes to a halt.
Don’t let fear pull your mental emergency break and stop you from attending a yoga class.
First and foremost, yoga isn’t for the flexible, it’s for the willing. With that out of the way, move onto the next yoga truth, yoga is for everybody. That’s why there are different types of yoga – to allow people to find what works for them.
At Wellwood Health we offer Ashtanga, Hatha, Vinasaya and Yin yoga classes. All names that are fun to say and definitely enough variety to find what works for you. We also have inviting, accepting and encouraging instructors who want you to enjoy yoga and reap the benefits of a yoga practice. So if you try a class and it wasn’t for you, no feelings are hurt if you try a different class or instructor. Be mindful though, it really takes about 8 tries to decide if you genuinely like something or not.
Ashtanga Yoga practice is warm and repetitive, but in a great way. Ashtanga Yoga practice is going through the same series of poses no matter where in the world you drop in to take a class. That may sound boring, but it’s truly a great way to grow into your practice. By doing the same poses each time, not only can you feel at home in your practice no matter where you take it, you can also see your progress.
In any type of yoga you will learn that how you move into and out of a pose is as important as being in the pose. That progress doesn’t mean perfecting the pose. Ashtanga Yoga offers the benefit of seeing how your poses relate to where you are at in life. Tight hips preventing you from going as deep as you did 3 weeks ago? Stressed? Holding in some emotions? Ashtanga Yoga helps unlock those connections.
Swap out the word Hatha for ‘all’ or ‘classic’ and you get to the meaning of Hatha Yoga. Hatha refers to all yoga, which would technically mean that all yoga is Hatha Yoga. But the classes labeled as Hatha Yoga tend to be basic or general yoga classes. This doesn’t mean that they are of lesser quality or authenticity. It’s more akin to sticking to the core principles of the practive.
Hatha Yoga is great for beginners as well as anyone who wants to drop in to take a course. Even the biggest Bikram Yoga enthusiast or a qualified yoga instructor can benefit from a Hatha Yoga class. All you have to do is drop the pin and be there.
Yin Yoga is all about quiet, mediation and surrendering to gravity. This yoga practice is perfect to wind down from a long day or a long stretch of stress. If you’re currently in the throws of a stressful life experience this type of yoga can do wonders for you. If you’re looking to deepen your mindfulness activity or a way to zone-the-bleep-out, Yin Yoga is a great practice.
It’s simple. Yin Yoga focuses on holding poses for a long time and allowing gravity to do the work. While you close your eyes, relax and breathe deep gravity will slowly ease you deeper into the pose. Does far more for you than a glass of wine ever will.
Vinasaya Yoga is an active approach to yoga. It also goes by the names of power yoga or flow yoga. It’s moving through a certain sequence of poses several times working the entire body head to toe. It’s yoga with an athletic vibe to it. If you’re truly having trouble being in the moment this is a great type of yoga for you. It’s hard to stress about life when you’re focusing on not falling on your face. That may sound simplistic or even anti-yoga, but it genuinely works.
This type of yoga helps you find your mind-body connection by challenging you in a positive way to not only move from one asana (pose) to another, but to transition in a healthy way that doesn’t cause injury. This type of yoga forces you out of your thinking, worrying mindset and pushes you into the moment and into your body.
Choosing YOUR Yoga Class
Again, yoga is for everybody. Every body is a yoga body. You may find that a certain style of yoga, instructor or even time of day simply isn’t for you. Try a class or instructor at least 8 times before you make your choice. We all have off days and that goes for both you and your instructor. If you’re legit miserable beyond belief in a class, than accept that as the truth and try another. Otherwise, keep going back and keep exploring.