Since I started teaching I always get this question, from people who would like to start practicing yoga but are not sure which style to choose from. Or those who started with classes but found pose too difficult for them, or others who found it too easy and not challenging enough.
I always say to all of my students and clients – if you like a combination of postures, breathing, relaxation techniques Hatha yoga is ideal for you. If your personality is quite dynamic, you like to be challenged and you already have good physical strength come and join one of my Vinyasa classes, and if you are seeking a more relaxing, meditative style of yoga where you can relax but also feel a deep stretch Yin yoga is best for you.
To make it easier for you when choosing your next class, or starting with your practice. I’ll give you more information about those three most common styles of yoga:
What it is: Hatha Yoga is the traditional yoga practice from India that uses a combination of body postures (asanas), breathing exercises (pranayama) and relaxation techniques. In Hatha yoga, we focus on correct alignment, breath control, and breath retention to achieve an equilibrium between the active body and the mind. This type of yoga is gentle with minimal flows between poses, and it is ideal if you are a beginner.
Benefits: As a beginner-friendly type, Hatha yoga will increase the flexibility of your body, and reduce the risk of injuries; also will reduce stress, anxiety and you can notice that after your first class. Shapes your body and stronger your immune system, improves your cognitive function (focusing, memorizing), affects the mood and corrects your spinal discomfort.
What it is: Vinyasa Yoga is a flowing, challenging, dynamic yoga practice that originated from a system of Hatha yoga and cultivates presence by connecting movement with the breath, leading to deep relaxation and steadiness after class. Vinyasa is physically demanding practice, that requires focus, therefore, it would be good to have some prior experience before coming to this class.
Benefits: Vinyasa yoga build strength of the entire body, increases mobility in joints and makes your body more flexible, improves cardiovascular and respiratory health. It is also good for concentration, determination, and enhances your clarity, improves sleep and reduces stress. The steady and continuous flow of postures builds internal heat, which can help to detoxify the body.
What it is: Yin yoga has a more meditative approach, and if you chose this style, be prepared that your yoga instructor will be focused on stretching your body. This class usually consists of a series of long-held, passive floor poses that mainly work the lower part of the body – the hips, pelvis and lower spine. While initially, this style of yoga can seem quite passive or soft, Yin practice can sometimes be quite challenging due to the long duration of the poses (up to several minutes). The aim of the practice is to bring the practitioner into a state of deep relaxation while focusing on areas of the body especially rich in connective tissues – the tendons, fascia, and ligaments.
Benefits: If you are regular you will find Yin yoga reducing stress and anxiety level. It will also improve your flexibility, release fascia, improves mobility increase circulation and calms your body and mind.
After reading more about Hatha, Vinyasa, and Yin you are ready now to make a decision and start your yoga practice!
You can choose individual or group classes, and join one of my yoga retreat program based in Ibiza – everyone who enjoys yoga can be part of it, it is educational, creative, relaxing, active and also fun!
Let me know in the comments below if you have any other questions about these or other styles of yoga, not mentioned here.
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