Ah yoga – that marvelous physical practice that makes you feel SO DAMN GOOD when you do it. BUT, unless you have developed the habit of yoga, it can be difficult to keep up with the discipline needed to create a regular practice, and enjoy some of the MANY amazing benefits that any regular yoga practice will give, such as:
- Increased flexibility
- Increased blood flow
- Better Immunity
- A happier state of mind
- Better relaxation and sleep
- Eases pain
- Increased physical and mental strength
- Higher self esteem
- Better posture
- Increased focus
AND the list goes on and on – there is (believe it or not) many MORE benefits to including regular yoga in your life. BUT, because of the benefits and popularity of yoga, you can no longer go to your local gym and just see “Yoga”. Not on your Nelly. There are so many different types, with exotic and confusing names! How do you know which want to try, and what will suit you? No need to get yourself into a twist, I’ll talk you through some of them RIGHT here. And it IS worth trying out a few different classes before picking one and sticking with it for a while, so you can reap the rewards of getting better every week! Deep breath… here we go!
Get your flow on in this dynamic, dance-like practice that links movement and breath together. The pace here is quite quick, and heart rate will rise. Great for those who love HIIT and are already quite intense exercisers.
If you’re looking for a challenging yet orderly approach to yoga, try Ashtanga. Consisting of six series of specifically sequenced yoga poses, you’ll flow and breathe through each pose to build internal heat. The catch is that you’ll perform the same poses in the exact same order in each class. Great for Type-A folks who’ll love Ashtanga’s routine and strict guidelines.
Hatha is fabulous for beginners – slower moving classes that require you to hold each pose for a few breaths. In many studios, hatha classes are considered a gentler form of yoga, but “hatha” actually refers to any yoga that teaches physical postures.
Prepare to get sweaty! Bikram consists of a specific series of 26 poses and two breathing exercises practiced in a room heated to approximately 105 degrees and 40 percent humidity. All Bikram studios practice the same 90-minute sequence so you’ll know exactly what to do once you unroll your mat. Remember, the vigorous practice combined with the heat can make the class feel strenuous. If you’re new to Bikram, take it easy: Rest when you need to and be sure to hydrate beforehand.
This is a physically and mentally challenging practice that looks very different from your typical yoga class. You’ll perform kriyas — repetitive physical exercises coupled with intense breath work — while also chanting, singing and meditating. The goal? To break through your internal barriers, releasing the untapped energy residing within you and bringing you a higher level of self-awareness.
It’s great for people looking for a spiritual practice. Those who are seeking something more than a workout may enjoy Kundalini due to its emphasis on the internal aspects of yoga, including breath work, meditation and spiritual energy.
No matter what your experience or current state of physical fitness is, you will enjoy and benefit from a yoga practice, that much we can guarantee, get your mat and get looking for your yogic “home”!
And, after all that self-care, you’ll be in an expansive and giving mood, so our next chat will be about some of the best gift ideas – it’s always a birthday or special occasion – be THAT person who always has the perfect gift ready!
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