WHICH YOGA STYLE & CLASS MIGHT SUIT YOU?
Yoga For Beginners
You have decided to try yoga. The benefits of yoga including – lower blood pressure, relaxation, boosting your immune system, to simply a feeling of wellbeing should be enough to get you rushing out to buy a yoga mat.The array of styles of yoga, however, can be enough to scare newbies off the mat for good.
The array of styles of yoga, however, can be enough to scare newbies off the mat for good.
My advice – if you are a newbie find a good HATHA yoga.
A 20-year-old and a 70-year-old won’t need the same thing! A flexible person will need a different style to someone who is muscle fit but stiff, but to get started everyone would benefit from the fundamentals of a good Hatha yoga class.
Often viewed as a gentler style of yoga, Hatha is a slower-paced class and is all about the basics.
If you don’t like your first class, don’t run, simply try another.
Search here at www.yog-ee.com for classes or get in touch for our help.
Hatha – Most forms of yoga in the West can be classified as Hatha Yoga. Hatha simply refers to the practice of physical yoga postures, meaning your Ashtanga, vinyasa, Iyengar and Power Yoga classes are all Hatha Yoga. The word “hatha” can be translated two ways: as “willful” or “forceful,” or the yoga of activity, and as “sun” (ha) and “moon” (tha), the yoga of balance. Hatha practices are designed to align and calm your body, mind, and spirit in preparation for meditation. (Yoga Journal)
An energetic style of yoga developed by Indian yogi K Pattabhi Jois and is one area of the eight limbs of yoga philosophy. A sweaty, aerobic, faced paced series of postures. Flowing from one posture to another in sequence with the breath (vinyasa), often with jumps backwards and forwards too. A yang, strong athletic style often liked by men and sporty types. Beginner classes are available. Teaching starts with the sun salutation sequence of postures for spine flexibility and to generate an internal heat to aid moving into next set of postures. More suitable for flexible, already fit people, but can be enjoyed by all from beginner level. Postures are the same each time, but the life long learning of this practice is that once a posture has been mastered (mostly) the student is moved on to add another to the sequence. Most yogi’s never reach the end destination of postures available, as they are extremely challenging but just enjoy and learn from the journey. Who’s done it? Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow and Ralph Fiennes!
Dru Yoga is a graceful and potent form of yoga, based on flowing movements, directed breathing and visualisation. With its foundations set firmly in ancient yogic tradition, Dru works on body, mind and spirit—improving strength and flexibility, creating core stability, building a heightened feeling of positivity, and deeply relaxing and rejuvenating your whole being. Dru Yoga is shown to be effective in the treatment and management of low back pain and stress, and is known for being a particularly safe style of yoga. Previous studies on the effectiveness of Dru Yoga for stress in the workplace and back pain. Designed to be practised by people of all abilities, all fitness levels and all age groups, Dru is a style of yoga that can be quickly dipped into or learnt in more depth over a lifetime.
Sivananda yoga, after teachings of Swami Sivananda, is a non-proprietary form of hatha yoga in which the training focuses on preserving the health and wellness of the practitioner. A gentle form of yoga which concentrates on breathing control, stretching, and silent meditation. Yoga shows us how to strengthen and balance the body, the mind and the soul, helping us to enjoy so a healthy body, a calmer mind and peace and happiness. Yoga helps with the everyday challenges of modern life.
A slow paced yoga style that works with connective tissue. This is more about tendons, ligaments and joints rather than muscle, which is the focus of most other styles of yoga. Each posture is held for many minutes at a time. All postures are practiced on the floor lying down or sitting. Exception may be Dangling pose where the yin approach is applied to a modified standing forward bend – Uttasana, with very bent knees. Suitable for all levels of students. A slow deep practice which was created to balance our hectic lives that are often very ‘yang’ both physically and mentally.
Scaravelli Yoga is a very gentle style of Hatha Yoga based on the teachings of Vanda Scaravelli, particularly her discovery that when one’s body is well balanced by gravity, the breath naturally flows along the spine like a wave, awakening and elongating it. You don’t need any props. You are already standing on the only prop you need. The ground is enough, just as it’s enough for all other animals, plants and trees. We’re not fundamentally different when it comes to the way our physicality reacts and interacts with the earth. Unlike animals, however, human beings have lost much of the contact with the earth that they used to have: – we sit for long hours in chairs hunched in front of a screen, we wear uncomfortable and constricting shoes and clothes, we don’t move around as much as we should and our breathing is often shallow and therefore does not benefit us as it might. As a result we have become used to holding our bodies in tension and with tension. It’s become so normal to us that we’re no longer aware of it; we’re not even aware that we are ‘doing’ it. So the task is to first become aware of what we’re doing with and to our bodies and then begin the long process of letting go of the tension and stop holding ourselves in ways that prevent a deeply satisfying contact with the earth, from the foot to and through the top of the spine and beyond.
Viniyoga practice includes asana (postures) pranayama (breathing exercises) chanting and meditation depending on the student’s needs. As the practice is adaptable, it can be gentle for some, but if required for the student, a more challenging practice is available. This practice brings out the best in each person. The teacher often requires an understanding of a person’s condition, health, goals, injury’s, illness – giving each practitioner the tools to individualise and actualise the process of self-discovery and personal transformation. Strong emphasis on alignment and poses are held for a consistent number of breaths followed by a resetting pose and breaths in-between.
The focus here is about alignment and precision to gain maximum benefit from the poses. This style incorporates slow challenging poses that are held for periods of time rather than flowing from one to another.
Equipment such as yoga belts and blocks are used to assist students individual body requirement for the posture. Breathing patterns is not such a focus here. A lovely practice for those with back pain and arthritis worsened, by poor posture. Classes are often designed for different levels of students, from total beginners to experienced. The teacher guides students through the levels.
Hot yoga can refer to any yoga class done in a heated room. The room is usually maintained at a temperature of 95-100 degrees Fahrenheit. Most often, hot yoga tends to be a flowing, vinyasa style of practice in which the teacher instructs a series of linked poses. As you can imagine, a vigorous yoga session at high temperature promotes profuse sweating and makes the body very warm.
Vinyasa Krama Yoga
A flowing style that moves with the breath, but the uniqueness is the step by step progression aspect of the practice. Vinyasa meaning synchronised movement with breath Krama meaning steps or stages Vinyasa Krama means a step by step progression into something, or to a certain goal. A goal in this case being a complex or advanced asana (posture). Individuals build up their practice. Poses grow in progression in a natural way, until the full pose unfolds with time through this preparation.
In an ideal world every asana would feel restorative. But those that fall into the special category of restorative poses have a particular ability to leave us nourished and well rested. These postures are usually deeply supported by blankets, blocks, or other props and are held for several minutes at a time.
The style is practiced in a room well above body temperature (approx. 40.6 degrees Celsius or 105 degrees Fahrenheit); in other words, if you didn’t know your shins and elbows had sweat glands, you’re about to find out. If you didn’t know your shins and elbows had sweat glands, you’re about to find out. Bikram yoga aims to increase general health, and students of this style believe that a heated room will help drive a deeper stretch while preventing injury. Bikram consists of a set of 26 poses and two breathing exercises.
The school of Shadow Yoga is distinctive in its use of preparatory groundwork, in the form of dynamic sequences, or “preludes”. Beginners will appreciate shadow yoga’s straight forward effectiveness in breaking down tension in the body whilst building stamina, and how through the use of focused breath work, it helps calm the mind, leaving it in a restful state. The preludes particularly build leg strength and openness in the hips, firmness in ones ‘centre’, and stability in the spine. They also develop the rhythm and focused awareness necessary to free the mind from its habitual grip on the body. This breaks down both mental and physical tension and restrictions, so that one may move unhindered into the practise of asana. The preludes involve a lot of turning and nonlinear movements, and amongst the more familiar yoga postures, the casual observer might discern elements of the martial arts.
Such elements are used for their power in producing specific results in the physical and/or energetic body. The more experienced practitioner will appreciate the extensive use, and development of uddiyana banda, whilst learning how to apply knowledge of the marmas (vital points).
They will refine their breath, develop concentration and build a greater awareness of the body’s subtle forces. It is through this internal work that one finds a greater depth to the practise of asana.
- Balakrama stepping to strength is the first form, and the one recommended for beginners and students coming from other schools of yoga. The Balakrama builds strength and stamina, conditioning the body for the following preludes, and introductory asana work. It builds a firm centre (core), develops a sense of rhythm and co-ordination of breath and movement, and teaches correct positioning through the application of marmasthana (the science of the vital junctions in the body).
- Chaya Yoddha Sancalanam yoking of the shadow warrior/Moving the shadow is the second form. This prelude deepens the work of the warrior and sun forms and refines the coordination of the body and breath. There are strong internal/external rotations of the legs which further break down restrictions in the hips, and more elaborate movements of the arms which release tensions in the shoulders. Ideally one should attain a level of proficiency in this grounding sequence before working on the third form.
- Kartikkeya Mandalam garland of light/circling the shadow is the third form. It uses more complex spiralling movements and seeks to circulate the vital energy in the body. This form is particularly suitable as a prelude to working with yoga-asana.
- Uddiyana Bandha (one of the internal locks) is introduced in the first form and developed over time. It ties the practitioner to their centre thus making it possible to release tension in the peripheral body. It creates space in the joints, and once it is mastered, directs energy into the spine. It is instrumental in developing an effective practise, harnessing and channelling vital energy and increasing the digestive fire, which in turn nurtures the blood and bone, builds a strong constitution and healthy immune system.
ISHTA Yoga is the science of self-transformation.
ISHTA was founded more than four decades ago and is one of the pre-eminent yoga systems now taught in the West. ISHTA stands for the “Integrated Science of Hatha, Tantra, and Ayurveda” and combines elements of these three ancient eastern disciplines to produce a modern yoga system that trains, instructs, and develops the body, mind, and spirit. The word ISHTA is also derived from the Sanskrit word “ishta,” and is interpreted as “that which resonates with the individual spirit,” which is also ISHTA’s mission: to provide a personal yoga system that is neither rigid nor dogmatic, and which allows the individual student, guided by the teacher, to create the practice best suited to his or her physical, mental, and spiritual needs.
Using sound, breath, and posture, Kundalini Yoga aims to develop spiritual awareness by freeing the serpent power (kundalini)
that is coiled in the base of the spine and drawing it upward through the seven chakras.
AcroYoga is the combination of Yoga, acrobatics and Thai massage. This combination of Yoga and acrobatics is not only athletic but also aesthetic. In this different form of activity, in addition to an intense workout, the benefits of three ancient disciplines are also incorporated.
In terms of movements and style, AcroYoga resembles gymnastics. In AcroYoga, one partner acts as a base whereas the other performs asanas actively with the support of the base partner. It benefits both the partners immensely. It enhances the feeling of trust and builds a deep connection between the partners, besides building stronger bodies. The person who acts as a base can build up his strength while another person can increase his body’s flexibility, and vice versa. Since partners can interchange their positions, this form of yoga provides flexibility and strength to both partners.