By Sarah Freeland
Which Type of Yoga is Right For Me?
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With the popularity of yoga rising throughout the western world, you have probably heard about it’s healing powers by now. However, you still aren’t sure exactly what kind of yoga may be right for your lifestyle. Chances are, you have probably asked everyone you know who practices yoga. While they may have a few suggestions, they may be bias in their decision making when it comes to which type of yoga you should choose.
Iit is fairly simple to find the right kind of yoga for you. Especially if you have all of the information there is to know about yoga. First and foremost you should try to consider why you are planning on entering the yoga lifestyle. Whether it was suggested to you from your doctor for medical treatment, or if it is a means for you to reconnect with a healthy lifestyle.
Just remember that you aren’t alone. Many people struggle with trying to find the right yoga class for them. Some can spent years jumping from class to class, type to type, or different yoga teachers before finding the right match. You may find yourself drawn to the names of each yoga class, often times witty and inspiring. However, I would suggest making your decision on more than just the location or name of your yoga class. Instead taking the time to sit down with each of the teachers, and getting a feel for their technique of teaching.
It may be helpful if you can find a teacher that will allow you to sit in on each type of class. This will give you a first-hand view of what would be expected of you during your yoga class. While some may promote the use of props, and focus on slow and controlled movements. Others may focus on spirituality, or exercise. All of which are beneficial to many different people in their walks of life. However, power-yoga may not be the best choice if you suffer from chronic back pain. For this reason, you should take care in choosing the right type of yoga.
Before we look into the different types of classes and what you can expect you should first remember that as with any exercise program; you should first consult with your doctor. This is especially true if you have any diagnosed health problems that reduce your range of motion.
Once you have begun to visit the many different yoga classes available in your area, you will find that there is a common denominator among them all. That of which is that they are focused on bringing oneness to one’s life. A unity between body, mind, and soul. Regardless of the fact that this oneness is all something we hold inside of ourselves on a daily basis. However, most people will find that it can be difficult to reach this place in our own selves without a little help.
Unfortunately there is no real way to answer the question of “what type of yoga is right for me?”. It is more or less an moment of inspiration that you will find enter your mind once you have found the right class. As with so many things in life, yoga is specialized. However there are many different options to choose from. No one yoga class is going to be right for everyone who practices yoga. Just like no one yoga prop or work out wear will be right for one person. Think of it as a “fitting” for your lifestyle. Try your yoga class on for size, if it doesn’t fit your lifestyle, your schedule, or your medical needs; then you should probably try to find something different.
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While it is a common misconception among newcomers to yoga. You don’t need to have a particular religion or belief to practice yoga. Just as you don’t need to be of any one shape, or size to practice yoga. Everyone can and will benefit from the healing nature of yoga. It is even common for families to practice yoga together. If this is your plan, then finding a low-impact yoga will be imperative for younger children. Which will allow all of you to relax while getting healthy together. This of course is one of the many reasons that yoga has become so popular in the western world. As we all fight to keep our lifestyles healthy in a stressful and fast-pace lifestyle. We find that there just isn’t enough time to run from one yoga class to another. Instead finding one class that will fit as a whole with your group of yoga friends, or family will help to keep your schedule relatively un-scathed.
The different types of yoga can be fairly difficult to differentiate. However, there are a few key differences that can help you choose which yoga is right for you. Whether you are looking for a high-impact yoga to help you drop pounds quickly; or simply trying to find relief from arthritis, or other chronic pain. There is a yoga that will be the perfect fit for you!
Hatha yoga (of which means union) is a term for yoga that employs both physical, and breathing exercise to calm the mind. This is only one of eight branches of traditional yoga, which has been passed down for generations in ancient Indian philosophy. It is thought that this style of yoga can help to attain enlightenment. Among these types of yoga that have stemmed from Hatha, you will find Raga, Mantra, and Tantra. All of which are considered to be philosophical styles of yoga, which are focused on elevating a person’s mental state. It is common for Hatha yoga classes to ask their practitioners to follow a certain dietary conservation as well as ethical codes of living.
There are several different disciplines that you will find practiced in Hatha yoga. However due to it’s popularity, some classes may even teach a fusion of several different styles of yoga. Including Hatha yoga. Most of these hybrid yoga classes (especially those that include Hatha yoga) are often times the best for beginner yoga practitioners. Simply because they will offer a wider range of poses, breathing, and physical elements. All of which are needed to practice yoga safely and get the most out of your workout.
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While Hatha yoga has increased in popularity within the western world. There are many other kinds that can be found here in the United states alone. Ashtanga Viniyasa is one of the most increasingly popular forms of yoga in the last few years. It is a physical and mentally challenging form of yoga. Of which focuses on the unity between movement and breathing. However, this form of yoga can be fairly taxing and shouldn’t be utilized for anyone with severe medical conditions. If you are a beginner, it is imperative to join a beginners Ashtanga class, so that you are able to learn at your own speed without posing an injury risk to yourself.
Along with Hatha and Ashtanga Viniyasa yoga’s you will find a few other choices to choose from. One of which being Sivananda yoga. Which is based around as little as twelve postures. One such posture sequence includes the sun salutation. Of which focuses on breathing and meditation. This is one of the most well-rounded yoga classes that can be found today. It is especially suitable for all levels of expertise, ages, and physical abilities. Making it one of the most family friendly forms of yoga available.
Another popular form of yoga is Viniyoga. Of which is known for it’s personalized touch. Each session of Viniyoga is tailored specially for the individual practitioner and their needs. These classes can vary from as short as fifteen minutes to two to three hours. However it is one of the best one-on-one yoga training that you can find. This is especially wonderful for anyone who might find it difficult to follow an instructor within a large class. This class is particularly well suited for children and those with medical conditions. Simply because it is so personal, and allows the trainer to keep your body, health, and physical limitations in mind when creating your routine.
The last form of yoga that is commonly practiced in the western world is Iyengar. Which is a slower and more precise means of practicing yoga. It is by far the most practiced yoga throughout the world (spanning not only in the western world). It plays in important role in one’s bodily alignment and posture. This is particularly well suited for those with back-pain or any other severe or chronic pain. This form of yoga is also particularly suitable for seniors, as they practice with many different props to aid in their posture progression.
Remember, as with any new workout regiment that you should always know your own body’s limitation. This will help you to choose the right style of yoga class for you. There is no right or wrong answer, simply knowing what you can and cannot handle is key. Regardless of the class, you should become prepared once you have chosen the right type of yoga for you. Your yoga instructor will be able to give you a list of the items you will need, whether it be yoga mats, blocks, blankets, or any other prop. It is best to come prepared!
The three popular types of yoga you may have heard of are hatha yoga, power yoga and bikram yoga. Hatha yoga is the style of yoga most practiced today. It is what you will think of when you think of yoga in general. Power yoga is a more aerobic-style yoga, with an emphasis on cardio. Bikram yoga is a style of yoga performed in a heated room to accelerate detoxification. Universal Yoga sells everything you need to practice these and other forms of yoga, pilates and meditation including cropped yoga pants [http://www.universalyoga.com/yogaclothes.html], yoga mats [http://www.universalyoga.com], workout clothing, meditation cushions, yoga bags, uplifting apparel, spiritual jewelry, and yoga DVDs.
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