Education

How to choose a yoga class that is right for you

Updated: 2012-02-22
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Deciding which yoga class to take is like choosing a life partner. Both decisions take a lot of consideration and can transform your life. And like important decisions we make in life, what sways us most is the intangible - the feelings - the intuitive sense that something is either right or wrong.

I will attempt to give you the layman's version of the different yoga classes you will probably come across in town. But take note that I can only truly talk about Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga - my first love that has stuck with me (you know how they say nothing compares to the first one). So the classes listed are in no particular order of importance, just an alphabetical list (ya, sure!).

Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga

First thing you notice is the throaty sound of breathing and the focus students exude. Expect to do the same sequence of poses with emphasis on breathing and core control. Poses are linked throughout the practice with either an inhale or exhale. This practice tends to be more demanding but like anything, it can also be a gentler practice in time with an increased awareness to surrender to the pose.

Bikram Yoga

Heating the room to a constant temperature of 38C and the sweat puddles around each mat are a given. This style of yoga also teaches a set of poses with a brief rest that allows one to lie on the mat. Most find the heated room causes dizziness but others take to heat like ducks to water. Those who love the heat are invigorated by the sweat and a more supple body.

Iyengar Yoga

Props such as blocks, bolster pillows, blankets, ropes on the wall are a mainstay in this precise interpretation of yoga. Poses are always different depending on the lesson to be learned. If the lesson is learning to do a backbend for example, other poses that give you awareness and strength, teach you the required flexibility will first be introduced before the final pose. Because we are all structured differently and have our unique concerns regarding our bodies, this type of yoga uses props to help you access poses more effectively.

Power Yoga

This class is based on the traditional Ashtanga Vinyasa style of yoga, the only difference being poses vary according to what the instructor chooses to teach. The similarity is that both types of yoga keep the movements going, flowing from one pose to another.

Slow Flow Yoga

Equals Sivananda yoga, another traditional form of yoga with a set sequence of doing poses. Within this sequence, the teacher is given the flexibility to choose various poses of the same category. Often considered a more gentle form of yoga because of the rest in between poses, it can be equally challenging depending on the teacher's choice of poses.

So how would you choose a life partner? There is often the initial attraction that gets you interested in the first place. But in the end, you must have certain things in common that cement your relationship, values for example.
 
When choosing your ideal yoga class, do the dating game and try them all. You will feel it in your gut when you've found the type of yoga class most suited to you. Stick to it like a life partner and you will reap benefits in ways unimaginable.
 
SOURCE: asiaone
 
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  Deciding which yoga class to take is like choosing a life partner. Both decisions take a lot of consideration...