This ancient practice, of which there are many forms, brings together mind and body. Technically, yoga is for everybody, but not every style is for everyone. Incorporating breathing exercises, mediation and stretching poses, the benefits of yoga are almost too many to mention, but it’s important to choose the practice that works for you.
If, like me, you have have found yourself typing “30 Minute Yoga” into Youtube and clicking on the top result, why not read the below and take a more targeted approach to your next session?
In Sanskrit, Hatha is the overarching word for all yoga practice, but we often use it to refer to a more gentle, flowing class which is great for beginners just getting to grips with basic yoga techniques.
Vinyasa, one of the broadest terms in yoga, combines a series of postures from the Hatha yoga practice. Vinyasa translates as the movement between poses: it can be very active, with each movement in coordination with the breath.
Ashtanga follows a set sequence of six series of postures, which increase in difficulty from standing to seated. Fast paced and dynamic, it’s usually practiced without music or props.
Another dynamic style of yoga, classes are themed around the elements and the corresponding target areas of the body: water (hips and groin), fire (core), air (front of body and back bends) and earth (hamstring and forward-leaning poses).
If you are looking to get into the subtleties of each pose, then Iyengar is for you. Rather than dynamic flow, Iyengar concentrates on the alignment of the body in a pose. Using lots of props, it is all about focus, building up to a pose with a small number of similar postures. It’s particularly good for injury rehabilitation.
Translated as yogic sleep, a Sanskrit phrase to describe the state of consciousness in between waking and sleeping. Yoga Nidra encourages the body to find a deep state of relaxation, whilst maintaining full consciousness until the final relaxation pose. Perfect for anyone with trouble sleeping or under stress, as it naturally calms the nervous system.
A slow-paced yoga using props such as cushions, straps and blocks, the poses focus on opening up connective tissues within the joints to release tension. Yin yoga can become quite intense, with poses held for as log as 10 minutes, but with concentration on the sensations, it can be very restorative.
Yoga is very much about being more in tune with oneself, taking a moment to understand what the body needs. If none of the above practices are taking your fancy, why not get in touch with Becky or Emily – our two yoga buffs who will be more than happy to advise/help. Simply pop up on chat for more info!