Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The RIGHT Kind of Yoga for YOU

I saw this great article on the Women's Health website and it really hit home to me. It's not a serious issue, just one that really resonated with me because I have totally been where the article is talking about -- sometimes I still feel like I am there.

The article discussed how there are so.many. kinds of yoga that it can seriously be overwhelming for a beginner to really know or understand which type is the best. The article does such a great job of explaining the different types -- in a brief and easy-to-get way, and also aligns that with what people are looking to get from their yoga experience.

Dynamic Flow & Power Yoga
This just sounds fun! These types of yoga are mostly concerned with moving quickly through the class and get slim (hellooooooo power yoga!). They tend to include lots of upbeat and modern music to keep you feeling energized and motivated to keep with the fast pace. This is also the type of yoga that people do when they start getting crazy creative with their poses and sequences of moves.
Yeeeeeah, this will definitely take me a while to make myself into a human pretezel! But let's face it, if you want great strength and slimming results to your body, this is definitely a way to go! Plus, it's a great way to get a heavy cardio workout in, without having to gear up for a killer kickboxing class. 

Bikram Yoga
Bikram is the type of yoga that will still give you a workout that will have you breathing hard and have your blood pumping fast, but it is a bit more traditional when it comes to the poses. Bikram actually same poses each time you practice it, however, this is done in super hot studio  -- with some studios going up to 105 degrees Fahrenheit! I like the warmth, but this one is a toughy for me, especially if I haven't hydrated well enough before class! Don't let the heat deter you -- just make sure you hydrate and are prepared for a class of this nature. Bring a towel with you, and always make sure to go at your own pace and take a rest if you need to! 

Vinyasa-based Yoga
If the heat is a bit too strong in Bikram, you can always try a vinyasa-based yoga instead. This type of yoga moves through various positions at different types of speed, but is also more instructor-based. In
these types of classes, instructors are  more likely to actively adjust your pose throughout the session than to just call out the different poses they want you to perform. This is a great type of class for beginners, as you will be able to understand the correct form for each pose, with a hands-on approach be your instructor.

Ashtanga/Mysore Yoga
This type of yoga will still give you the great benefits of getting toned and burning calories, but it is much more heavily based around being more "zen." This is a serious practice, with many people attending classes 5-6 days/week, in the early hours of the morning, in a completely silent room.
Instructors will have you go through simliar poses ("asanas") each day, but your main focus will be on your breath, your movement, and remaining disciplined. This type of yoga really focuses on building mental strength and serenity, and is a practice that will probably not be the best type for early beginners to jump right into.

So there you have it. The article in a nutshell. Although I don't consider myself to be an expert yogi by any means, it was still great to be able to read such a thorough, yet simple, description of different types of yoga. I remember when I first started and I didn't know the different between any of these types -- just that there were a lot of words I didn't recognize!  My personal preference is still the vinyasa-based yoga. I am at the point in my practice where I am not quite ready to leave my instructor giving me hands-on assistance, but I am slowly moving toward a bikram yoga hopefully in the semi-near future. I would like to get into power yoga within the next year, so I am shooting at that as a goal!

How about the rest of you? What type of yoga do you prefer??

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  1. I do both Power Yoga and Bikram - both for the same and for different reasons. I have a hard time concentrating/relaxing if the yoga isn't intense enough. I find I do better with active meditation - where what you're doing requires so much of your attention you can only focus on one thing at a time. The exhaustion/relaxation you feel afterwards stays with you for a couple of days. It's fabulous!! What kind of yoga do you do?

    1. Lauren - I completely agree with you! I myself have a hard time making myself truly calm down so I am definitely the same as you in doing yoga that is intense to the point that I HAVE to focus only on what I am doing in the moment. I tend to like this when I have a lot going on in life, or just in my head -- it just literally makes me clear my head of anything but what I am doing in each moment of yoga. I am more into Bikram Yoga right now, but I am working on building my strength enough to the point where I can get more into Power Yoga in the near future!

  2. I LOVE Bikram! I was reluctant to start it, but once I did I couldn't stop. So amazing! Great blog by the way (now following you!)

  3. Christy,

    I know! I was hesitant in the beginning too but now I love it!! Thank you so much for following!! :)

  4. I am mostly a vinyasa girl myself. Bikram Yoga, though I have never tried it, just turns me off. I'm genetically wired to sweat, a lot, so I would probably be dripping and embarrassed. I use yoga to unwind and provide relief from pain. It's a lifesaver some days.

  5. I really want to do Bikram, for weight loss purposes, but living in Italy, I don't have that option. Right now, I'm super into this Vinyasa flow class. It's Vinyasa/Dynamic flow put into one. I am seriously drenched in sweat after the first 10 minutes of this class!